RENEWAL Devotional: Dealing with Discouragement
Written by: Lydia D’Ross, Renewal Program Outreach Chaplain and ordained minister
Where does the root of discouragement come from? Everyone experiences it at some point, even those of us in the ministry. You may have felt discouraged from time to time and you may be feeling discouraged right now. Some of us have already broken our 2015 new year’s resolutions, such as dieting. We may feel discouraged because we really wanted to get this year off to a good start. So what causes discouragement? Discouragement can lead to stuck places and a vicious cycle of becoming disappointed with ourselves. For example, you promised yourself that you would walk every day for 30 minutes. You feel discouraged at the end of the day that you were not able to find that 30 minutes to meet your goal. A more attainable goal might be to start with 10 minutes. Find a partner who will hold you accountable. Before you know it, you will be exercising 10 then 20 minutes, reaching your 30 minute goal several times a week.
How do we deal with discouragement? First, don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t tackle something big right away. Instead, try to break it up into smaller pieces. Discouragement does not mean you’re doing something bad, it just means that there may be another way to deal with the situation. Keep trying different approaches, like prayer, find scriptures or parables that deal with discouragement in order to encourage yourself. Discouragement is a feeling that can be treated with a dose of hope and inspiration. It is one of the reasons King David overcame his many disappointments. As a way to encourage himself, he wrote the book of Psalms with 39 verses or different ways. You can use this as a tool today to encourage yourself.
There is hope for a better tomorrow!