Thursday, August 20, 2009

Overcoming Discouragement

Have you ever been going along smoothly and then whoops....? A small thought seems to run a dialog through your head that just won't quit. Before you know it you’ve turned that thought around every which way in your mind. Now it’s snowballing. Its running 90 miles a minute down a slope picking up speed and snow as it goes. Before you know it, that small, single thought has instilled a great big feeling of discouragement that can linger and linger.

That seemed to be my mode of operation for the biggest part of my life. My thought life controlled my feelings which were up and down according to how far the barreling snowball went down the hill.

Discouragement is something that I have battled and still do. Yes, it's better than it has been in the past, but I still struggle with it.

Lately, God has shown me some things about my discouragement that I would like to pass on to you. I hope you get as much from it as I have.

Romans 12:2 - tells us "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

We are to be transformed, changed by renewing our mind. That means we take the old, bad stuff out and put the new Godly thoughts in. Often, we have built up thought patterns that are built on lies not God's truth. We do life out of the lie that we have accepted instead of the truth that God wants us to live out of.

Recently, I realized that no matter how hard I tried or how good I did, it was never good enough. I was working out of an ingrained thought pattern of "nothing is ever enough, so keep doing more, if you do more maybe it will eventually be enough" But it was never enough, never good enough. For other people and for God I did plenty. To me it was never enough. Because of this lie that I was living life out of, I would experience feelings of failure and discouragement.

The first thing that God showed me was that discouragement was not from Him. He would not be the one over my shoulder saying "see what you've done, you've failed". Instead His tender mercy is always there with kindness to pick me back up and urge me on.

Second, He gave me this verse to show his kindness and what His intent is when I fail my own standards and feelings of discouragement come over me.

Psalm 23:6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

In Hebrew the word "follow" is radaph (raw-daf') and the meaning is quite different than what it seems. The Hebrew meaning is to run after or pursue. This gives this scripture a whole different meaning.

Goodness and mercy run after, they pursue me all the days of my life. When I fail, it is goodness and mercy that pursue me relentlessly not condemnation. I can rest in the assurance that it is mercy that God reaches out to me with. In Jesus there is no more condemnation.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Here's the truth, God does not condemn us, Satan condemns us and we condemn ourselves. God lifts us up with His goodness and mercy. He sends His goodness and mercy to pursue us until we accept it. This, you can count on.

5 comments:

Mary said...

thank you so. I have been so encouraged my your recent posts.

Mike said...

Wonderful, thank you for your encouragement.

Dan said...

Sherri,

The good news in Romans 8 that "There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" is one I turn to when my thoughts start to stray down a road of negativity. When that begins to happen, I recite it (often out loud) to myself and after a time of recitation and meditation, I find my awareness returning in gratitude to grace that Jesus died to provide.

Thanks for the reminder.

Dan

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Jennifer said...

Boy, oh boy, is there a DAY when discouragement does not creep into everyone's brain? I bought a little book several yrs ago about showing appreciation and went thru the suggestions one by one: writing notes to favorite teachers I had in high school, taking treats to neighbors just as a hello and thank you for being a good neighbor, donating baby clothes to a local crisis pregnancy center, etc. Do you know, no one ever responded to any of those actions? None of the notes were answered, none of the neighbors started to say hello to me, the women at the crisis pg center said, "Just put them over there" and didn't even look up from their conversation. Talk about discouragement!! Three months after getting the book and thinking I had wasted my time and effort I came across Jesus's words that we are not to give publicly for the praise of men becuase that will be our only reward. We are to give in secret and let God reward us. For the first time in months I felt at least SOMEONE was paying attention -- and what a Someone!

Deborah Ann said...

Oh my! Girl, you are just what the doctor ordered! I have been battling discouragement lately, and I needed a good kick in the pants, which I just got. Thank you, you have no idea how much you helped this poor soul today!

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