Dealing With Discouragement

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We can't avoid disappointments, but we can prevent them from discouraging us.

Psalm 42:1-8

How can we conquer discouragement? Let me suggest nine specific tips: 

  1. Look within. Examine yourself for the underlying cause. 
  1. Admit that you are discouraged. This is something that’s easy to avoid, ignore, or lie about, but denial doesn’t help you grow. 
  1. Identify precisely what you are discouraged about. Name it—then face it. 
  1. Recall the nature of discouragement. Disappointments will come and go, but discouragement is a response, and we can respond in other ways. 
  1. Begin meditating frequently on Scripture. God’s truth can help you accurately evaluate what you feel. 
  1. Take your area of discouragement to God in prayer. Ask Him to reveal what He wants to teach you in this area of your life. 
  1. Focus on the Lord, not your situation. Ask Him to help you see this disappointment and its lessons from His perspective. 
  1. View the cause as coming from the Lord. If we understand that He allows disappointments, we can find meaning in trouble. 
  1. Confess three things: The Father is with me in the pain; He’s in control of my life and has allowed this for a reason; He is a good God, who will not let this disappointment be in vain. Try speaking these truths out loud. 

Discouragement may sound harmless enough, but don’t underestimate its power. By keeping watch, you can avoid its deadly trap. So write down these nine steps on an index card, and then review the list whenever disappointments start to consume your thinking.

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