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Confession: Sometimes I Struggle With Discouragement (Part 2)

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On Friday, we recognized that discouragement and itchy feelings of frustration are normal. Bad hair days come and waking up on the wrong side of the bed happens. And so do crushed dreams, broken relationships, and unmet expectations. Life happens, we get frustrated, we get disappointed, and discouragement’s icy tendrils wrap around our aching hearts, threatening to derail us from becoming who God made us to be. (If you missed Friday’s post, read it here.)

Today, we’re going to look directly at the discouraging lies creeping up on us and how we can declare victory. Our emotions no longer control who we are and who we’re becoming.

So, how can we be the warriors God made us to be? How can we fight feelings of discouragement?

  1. Steep your life in truth. If there is one thing that lies cannot co-habitate with, it’s truth. Open the Word of God, soak your heart and mind in it, and embrace who Jesus is and what He says about you.
  2. Follow by example. Every person God used in the Bible had to combat fear, discouragement, and their emotions attempting to derail their journey. Check out David, Hannah, Esther, Ruth, Noah, and Moses to get started.
  3. Memorize it. What verses can you meditate on and memorize to keep truth at the forefront of your thoughts? If we truly do become what we focus on, I would much rather focus all of my energy on the strong and empowering Words of Jesus than on the crippling sound of my fears. Philippians 4:8 is a great place to start: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
  4. Mark it. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Take 5 minutes and reflect on the the good things that happened in the past 12 months. As thoughts pop into your head, write them down. Write anything and everything down from the littlest victories like conquering a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try to the gigantic victories like overcoming a habit, forgiving someone who hurt you, or discovering financial freedom. After you’ve listed your items, take a step back and look at all of the good that has happened. Don’t allow temporary feelings of frustration to overshadow the incredible blessings and victories you have experienced.
  5. Look towards the sunshine. Choose your thoughts, choose who you surround yourself with, choose what you fill your mind and heart with. One of my favorite quotes says it this way, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.” When we focus on the good, the positive, and that which is true about God and what He says to be true about us, we can conquer anything—we can continue becoming who He made us to be despite anything that attempts to hinder us along the way.

As we throw off that which hinders us and attempts to derail us from this journey of becoming, may we be unstoppable. May we look our fears and disappointments in the face and say, “You’re not going to win today.” And as we stand in truth, may we confidently embrace who we are and whose we are. Because in that, dear friend, we can crush discouragement, we can control our emotions, and we can continue becoming who God made us to be.

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