Discouragement: 7 Ways to Respond

Discouragement: 7 Ways to Respond 

by Faith Rogers

photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

During this difficult season, many people have been launching their brands, starting a business, investing, studying for exams, writing books, or just growing in God. All of those ventures are wonderful. However, fighting to get back up when you feel discouraged is difficult. Many people look at the results of their efforts and begin to rethink their choices. Some begin the task and then fear convinces them they will fail. If that is you, trust me, you are not alone.

Keep Moving Forward

There are times when the past looks more appealing than the effort of moving forward. New ventures are not for the faint of heart. There are times when hopelessness creeps in. However, remembering that what we are called to do is bigger than us and that we are not just working–our work will be a blessing to others. There is an audience waiting for you.

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today” Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV.

Discouraged but Don’t Quit

There are many successful individuals who have struggled to achieve their goal. The emotions of being discouraged or the thoughts of quitting crossed their mind, too. However, when God births an idea within, he will provide the means that will lead to prosperity. When you are following him, trust his plan because he will never leave nor forsake you. It’s not always easy but that’s why communicating with him is important. If you are battling with whether to give up, talk to God first and follow his leading.

Below are some ideas that may help you if you feel discouraged:

  • Meditate on God’s promises
  • Don’t forget why you decided to make that particular
  • Put on worship music, and rest in God’s presence
  • Share what you’re feeling or experiencing with those you trust
  • Wait for God to guide your footsteps 
  • Ask God to lead you to Godly mentors
  • Know that it’s ok to feel what you feel

Reasons to keep going

When we do all these things, God gives peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that He will give clarity and guidance to you about what to do next. You may not see the results you want but keep going in order to glorify God. I also pray that He gives you strategies and resources. Trust the process and know that the results will grow. 

Another important point is that we have to put in the work to become knowledgeable about our God-given assignments. When we commit our plans to the Lord they will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). He never said when, but He said they would bear fruit. He is with you and has already gone before you. God is no mere human! He doesn’t tell lies or change His mind. God always keeps his promises (Numbers 23:19 CEV).

About Faith Rogers

Faith Rogers is an assistant teacher who loves working with kids. She is a lifestyle blogger and aspiring author. Rogers is the youngest of three children in a family of five. She loves spending time with her family and sharing God’s Word to enrich the lives of others. Visit her website for more.

Be Still My Worried Heart

Guest post by Anne Perreault

There are days when I can’t get my mind around my own problems. I mull them over and over, allowing them to steal my joy. I permit myself these moments because I believe I’m entitled to them. After all, I’m very good at pity parties.

For me as a writer, I have had a lot of experience fussing and worrying about the publishing/writing process. After I finally submitted myself to God’s urging to write down the stories in my head, I found that the publishing process was filled with pitfalls and difficulties. It began when a “publisher” contacted me and told me that my story was great and that they wanted it. As you can imagine, I was over-the-moon excited. I hadn’t even inquired and yet they wanted me.

I grew a little chip on my shoulder until I realized that it was a bit of a scam. Publishing my book would cost me more than I would ever make back. I deflated! My husband suggested I look into self-publishing, and I . . . well, I wasn’t very gracious about it. I told him that I had no idea how to go about it, that it was too much work, that it wasn’t proper. Just like homeschooling, how could I publish my own work?

When I talked to another vanity publisher, I began to doubt:  

Did God really ask me to write?

Was I meant to do this?

What’s the point anyway? My books aren’t ever going to be out there.

In a relatively short time, I had forgotten that God Himself had commissioned me to write. Worry replaced His personal word to me as well as the joy and excitement I should have experienced. I became so angry after the second publisher tried to swindle me out of my hard-earned money that I went for a walk in our “back 10” (that’s 10 acres, if you aren’t up on the lingo lol) and ranted at God.

Do you see how quickly one can go from praise to discouragement? I was so angry I wanted to throw something and have the satisfaction of it breaking. So I picked up a pebble. It makes perfect sense that a pebble would break on impact. When it didn’t, I really became mad and threw another, which also failed to give me the satisfaction of breaking.

How dare God! He was totally playing me! He had put me on THIS path and I, being the obedient servant, only wanted to please Him!

On and on it went. When I finally threw a clump of dirt that looked an awful lot like a rock, and it shattered, I felt vindicated. But I really wasn’t. I was still worried and anxious. I’d relied on me. God had to show me that He was with me in this process and that He would provide EVERYTHING. And I mean everything, from submitting to self-publishing, to not one but two editors, and the cover designer. It all fell into place when I finally released my worry and my thoughts of how the whole process was going to go.

God is there. His beauty is not in His commandments but in the mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love that are available through Jesus Christ.

Someone said recently that women need to feel safe and secure. Mmm . . . I’m like that. I worry about everything. On a scale of one to ten, I’m probably a seven on the worry meter. How about you? For me, it has to be a conscious decision NOT to worry and to remember:

I am loved.
He’s enough.
He’s my Savior, I’m not.
The circumstances don’t matter.
I am good enough for Him.
He chose me.
He’s given me the ability to face my giants.
He will see it done.

When worry threatens to overwhelm, I can KNOW that He is Lord of the Universe who has me in the palm of his hand.

For the worries of your life, be encouraged. He knows what you are going through. He’s got YOU in the palm of HIS hands. You are His. He’ll make a way.

So, have I learned this lesson?

Ask me that when I go to publish. What usually happens is that the enemy starts to tug on the threads of worry and insecurity. The Deceiver does what he does best: deceives. And I have fallen into his trap numerous times. I’m up to ten published books now, and, every time, something big tries to derail the final process. It has taken me a long time to learn this because the devil is sneaky. He comes at me from different angles, attacking where I’m weak, and where I allow worry or fear to rule instead of resting in the One True God.

I was able to release my worry the last few times when the unrest started. I realized what was happening and took a step back, prayed, and asked for prayer. The problems didn’t disappear, but the worry and fear did. The last book I published was released and I wasn’t even aware of it! I had missed the 72 hours Amazon needed to review the files, and it went live without my fussing and hovering. So easy, so peaceful! Perfect. Because I didn’t have a chance to worry.

If we allow Christ to work through us, and if we place our worry in His hands, things change. I always wondered how Steven could stand amongst his accusers while they were stoning him and see Jesus. Or how Paul could shake off the dust after he was stoned and thrown out of a city and then walk right back in to preach again. I mean . . . HOW, Lord?

John 15:15 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In one sentence, we have the answer to all our worries, our fears, our difficulties. My books will not miraculously find themselves on the New York Times bestseller list, my children will not spontaneously have a brilliant career, amazing spouses, and happy, productive lives. My poor husband’s health won’t change overnight (not that it can’t, but God is working something out in him too).

But I don’t need to worry about all that stuff. He’s the vine. I’m the branch. All I have to do is rest in that.

Be blessed. You are loved. You are beautiful.

You. Are. Enough.

 

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Learn more about Anne Perreault and her books at Into the Light Fiction.

When Christian Writers Face a Writing Crash: repost

I’m thrilled and feel so blessed that Christian Writing Today has published my guest post tackling a subject that many Christian writers (and creatives) struggle with: discouragement. I invite you to clink here to read the post.

Blessings!

Poem: Clouds

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything creative since I started this blog. Writing, like any art or craft, must be practiced. I still write a lot, but producing blog posts and About Me pages uses different skills and parts of the brain than what is needed to world-build or create memorable characters. So, it seemed only natural to begin to worry…

I recently created a string of visual prompts for the Speculative Christian Writers group I co-lead on Scribophile.  One of the images in particular caught my attention, but it triggered a mood not a story. I was stuck because I didn’t know what to do with the feeling it stirred in me.

This morning, I decided to sit down and write something, anything, to break out of this creative dry spell. Instead of a story came this free-form poem. I’m not a poet. But I find that, for me, feelings are more easily expressed in this form.

Is it an inspirational poem? I wouldn’t say so. But it does represent how I feel this mornig. And, I suspect there are others out there feeling something similar. So, I share it this morning to encourage those who trust God even if they don’t know what He has in store for them, for those who are confused, frustrated, feeling down, and who just want to know they aren’t alone.

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Clouds

I know you’re there.

Hidden

beyond the clouds.

Arrayed in white light,

Inhabiting a world

beyond understanding.

King of the universe

Lord of all.

My Father,

And, my God.

 

I know this.

But I am small.

The distance between us so great,

I cannot see you

At all.

You’re light is bright,

But clouds

confound.

When I reach for You,

Emptiness abounds.

 

I stand on the cusp of a mountain,

An island between worlds.

If I throw myself to the Void

Would you catch me?

If I command these stones to become

Bread

Would You feed me?

 

If I raise myself up,

Would You praise me?

 

You see me.

Now

I see, too.

Clouds on the inside

Clouds on the outside.

I will stand,

And await

Your wind.

 

Delia Talent April 24, 2018

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