Out of the Pit: What to Do When You Are Discouraged

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When I am super discouraged or my hope is deferred, I am very careful of whom I talk to. I don’t want anyone speaking death over me or agreeing with what is going on or giving me advice that is in contradiction to the truth of the Word of God. Every time, I am very careful of whom I speak to and whom I lock arms with.

Everyone’s steadfastness in the Lord can have highs and lows—with moments of really strong commitment and, other times, feelings of weakness. If I focus on my circumstances, I can easily become discouraged. When I focus on the face of Jesus, everything He paid for on the cross, and the truth of God’s Word, my hope can be revived. He has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful today. He is faithful today, and He will be faithful tomorrow. My God is good, but sometimes I have to ask myself, “Do I really believe who God says He is? Do I believe it?”

What I do to get myself out of a pit—because I seem to be in one this morning—is start praying. I tell God how I really feel. I don’t hold back. I give Him all my ugly thoughts and all my ugly words. I give Him all my doubt and disappointment. I confess it all.

The next thing I do is start asking Him whom I could talk to, who could encourage me. I don’t need anybody to crawl into a pit with me because then we would both be stuck down low. I need someone who is up high and will encourage me with mercy, love, and truth. I need someone who will say, “That sucks, but God is really the only person or thing we can put our hope in.” I ask the Lord to bring someone to mind, or I simply listen and wait for peace. He will direct my steps if I ask Him. “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2 NIV). But if you seek Him, you will find Him.

Sometimes I don’t talk to anyone else. I let the Holy Spirit be my comforter. Today what came to mind was that I needed to call into a prayer line with beliefs similar to mine. I know without a doubt, 100% of the time, they will strongly encourage me. They will agree with me in the truth and renew my hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and it is certain. It is absolutely resolved. It is believing for things that aren’t seen; it’s not visible. It’s impossible for man’s eye to see, but I am sure it is there.

I am reminded of the testimony of a man named Allen Moore. He had a stroke. He is not supposed to be able to walk or talk. His MRI to this date reveals that the part of his brain related to these abilities does not work. With man’s eye, it appears he should not be talking or walking, yet he does. I have met him personally, and he is walking and talking—living the unseen.

I start reminding myself of all the things God has done for me in my life and my family. I start reminding myself of the miracles and the power of God that have been on display in my life for years. As I do that, it encourages me. I am encouraging and sharpening myself in the Lord and in the truth. It awakens me and gives me hope. It gets rid of doubt. It doesn’t increase my faith, but it begins to smash out any doubt so my hope can be renewed. When my hope is renewed, faith is restored. Faith is present.

I can use my imagination in faith to see a part of my body completely healed and whole again. I imagine what it would look like the next time I am able to see it. I’m not going to look at it again until I have done this for a while and I feel it is time.

When I fall into a pit, this is what I do to get out of it. How about you? 

People Pleaser

How to Please God
Ephesians 1:6
… He [God] made us accepted in the Beloved.
I longed for my mom’s approval. I just wanted her to say, “You are a good mom. I am proud of you. You are more than I ever dreamed you would be.” But for years, she just continued to correct me and give me unsolicited advice: “You wipe her face too hard. Here, let me help you” (meaning, “I can do it better”).

At the end of her life, I realized that I had been striving for what I already had. My mom was proud of me. She told everyone (but me) how pleased with me she was. All of her advice and correction was because of her great love for me, not because she wasn’t pleased.

My mom was pleased with me.

In the same way I longed for my mom’s approval, are you longing for the approval of God? Are you working hard to please God?

You can stop.

He is already pleased with you.

When you know that God is pleased with you—no matter what you do, but just because you have trusted in His Son—it will set you free.

You will begin to rest like never before in the finished work of Christ rather than in your unfinished efforts.

When you know that God is pleased with you, you will begin to serve Him more by accident than you ever did on purpose!

God is pleased with you! Rest in that!

You Didn’t Say Anything Then, So Don’t Start Now

It’s annoying how no one tells you when you are fat, fluffy, overweight, or out of shape, but the minute you start to look good and lose weight and feel better, people start trying to give you all of their diet tips. They begin to tell you that you are working too much, working out too much, and eating too strictly. They tell you this weight is good for you, maybe you should stop, and maybe you are finished.

Here is what I have to say to them:

“Hey, you didn’t say anything before, so don’t start now. I don’t want to hear it. Where was your voice when I was all messed up in the mind and blind? I couldn’t see it. I needed someone to see for me. Where were you then? You weren’t around, but now you want to give me all of your unsolicited advice.

“I don’t want it. I don’t want your judgments, your opinions of me, your negativity, your discouragement. I don’t want you making fun of me for eating sugar-free snow cones. I don’t want you pressuring me to take a bite of your food I don’t want to eat. I don’t care what meal plan I am on.

“No one’s telling me to do it. I don’t want to be in bondage to this addiction anymore. I’m putting my foot on its neck and changing my habits.

“Would you please keep your comments to yourself? I don’t want to hear them anymore. Neither does anyone else.”