Severe pain, struggling through simple tasks like making lunch for my kids and a persistent awareness that my body simply cannot keep up with all the things my mind wants to accomplish. This is rapidly becoming my new normal. I was feeling rather discouraged most of yesterday and today. But I battled it hard, in the strength of the Lord, by asking for His help and trusting in His promises.
I have developed a few other tactics to battle discouragement that I hope may help you along your own journey.
Trust TRUTH not feelings
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Look to past examples of those who persevered in faith
The missionary and writer, Amy Carmichael, said, “Our feelings do not affect God’s facts.” Amy Carmichael suffered from a disease of the nerves called neuralgia that made her body weak and achy, often putting her in bed for weeks.
However, she persevered by the grace of God and was still able to accomplish great things to His glory. She founded a rescue mission called the Dohnavur Fellowship in India for young girls who were dedicated to Hindu gods and forced into a life of prostitution. Amy Carmichael committed her life to the Indian children, who loved her dearly. Later in life, she suffered an injury that forced her to become bedridden for almost two decades. She continued her life’s work by completing eighteen books.
At one point, Carmichael was unable to go to China for missionary work because of her illness. If she had gone there, she may have never rescued young Indian girls from a horrible fate. If she was not injured and bedridden, we may not have her books to learn from and enjoy today.
God knows what He is doing. However we may feel, the fact is that whatever we have in mind to do may not be what God’s plan is for us. And His plans are always better than ours.
Talk to myself
Yes I do talk to myself! Because I can’t accomplish tasks in my own power, I am continually drawn into a deeper dependence on the One who sustains me. In my humanity, this sometimes feels frustrating and inconvenient. But the fact is, I am dependent on a powerful God who cannot fail and who loves me immeasurably. When discouragement creeps in, this is what I literally say to myself over and over.
Go to the cross
I take my discouragement and lay it at the cross where it loses all power. All I can see is the love and grace of Jesus poured out, hanging on a cross to purchase life for me, a diseased sinner. The overwhelming love of Christ overcomes dismay.
I am no longer giving that feeling of discouragement the time of day, instead honoring a God who is GOOD. And when it returns, my battle plan is ready.
Grace be with you, my friends.