Living out your life’s purpose requires everything you have to give- and then some. While living a purposeful life is fulfilling and meaningful, it is also filled with challenges and difficulties. It’s work to live purposefully- a lot of work. There have been many moments where I have been so worn down that I just could not see myself going any more. After all, there is only so much discouragement one can take.
What do you do when you’ve reached the point where you just don’t have anything left?
1. Look to the Word. God’s Word is alive and active. In our moments where we need a sweet whisper of love and encouragement you can often find it in his Word. There have been numerous times where I randomly read stories or scriptures that help me to articulate my grief and emotions to God in prayer. The Psalms are a great place to turn for comfort when you are going through difficulty. It’s ok to express disappointment, confusion, discouragement and heartbreak to God. He actually wants you to articulate those feelings to Him. Don’t be afraid that you are being disrespectful and ungrateful when you come to Him and get real with Him. It is for your own good that you come to Him for healing and help.
2.Seek Understanding. In my moments of weariness I often call out to God and ask Him to help me understand why this stuff is happening in my life. What am I missing? Am I doing something that is allowing the enemy to bring this destruction or trial? Sometimes it’s not anything you have done at all. The scriptures clearly reveal how God will lead you into situations where He knows Satan will get nasty and test you ( Matthew 4:1). Those moments do not feel good at all- but God has a higher purpose for allowing these moments to happen. Press in, depend on Him, and ask Him to give you understanding of why He has allowed this to happen. In my weakest and most weary moments God has often told me that this trial and difficulty I am facing right now is actually the fastest way to get me to where I want to go.
Want to build up a successful ministry or business to reach multitudes in order to advance the kingdom? Sounds like that is in alignment with God’s will – so why is it so freakin hard!? It’s hard because it builds up your strength and endurance. I hate to say this- but Satan knows you are a threat to his domain…do you really think he will ever stop trying to discourage you? The more successful you are- the nastier Satan gets.
Like, David- it is often the everyday life that equips us to slay the giants. It was when David was tending his father’s sheep that he fought a bear and a lion (1 Samual 17:34-35). This experience gave David the strength and confidence to conquer Goliath. By God’s love and grace, He is also equipping you to face and conquer even bigger giants…and challenges and difficulty is how He does it.
3.Share your heart with a trusted friend. Be careful not to speak too much about your situation here. You want to choose one or two close friends that will stop you when you talk too much or begin to speak negatively. But you do need to get real as well. Sharing your discouragement and disappointment will get that out of the darkness. They can intercede for you, encourage you and pray with you. We are not meant to do life alone- we are also not meant to fight alone. In my darkest moments, it was my friends that held me up, or stepped in to fight for me when I have fallen to the ground in utter weariness to keep the enemy from killing me. (Read 2 Samuel 21:15-17).
If you don’t have friends like the one’s David had in the above mentioned scripture- it’s time to pray for some! Those are the friends God loves to bless you with.
4.Rest. Give yourself permission to take a break. Yes, there is much work to be done…and it all seems urgent and important. But what good are you if you are so weary you can’t focus, say anything coherent and you can’t contribute anything worthy because you are far too worn. We are meant to rest. If you need to schedule a weekend of solitude to totally unplug than do that. Use that time to really seek God for His will, wisdom, guidance and provision.
5.Surrender. Give up all control of an outcome. Put it in God’s hands. He will bring it to pass. He will deliver on what He promised.
What about you? What do you do to overcome discouragement?
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