Okay here we are…discouragement. It’s a New Year; the Christmas carols and gift giving have stopped. The family gatherings and the giving of thanks are a faint image in our rear view mirror. We have made our resolutions, written down our goals, or maybe been given an illuminating word from God to carry us through the year.
Everything is going according to plan right? Hmm…not so fast! It is absolutely astounding how we can begin a New Year with such optimism and hope only for things to come screeching to a halt as we become smothered by Satan’s secret weapon: Discouragement!
The unexpected upheavals to the comforts we’ve grown accustomed . The health issues that debilitate us at times, or maybe financial hardships that cause us to worry. Discouragement creeps into our mind distracting us from the purpose that God has planned.
I have found that to be the case as find myself struggling to swim upstream in this river of discouragement. At times I feel extreme sadness and helplessness as my parents approach their 50th wedding anniversary. My father’s brilliant mind is under attack from Alzheimer’s while my mother struggles to care for Him with love and God’s grace.
Just last week a recent doctor’s visit led to an recommendation for a necessary and unwanted surgery? Yikes! This year is definitely not off to the start I was hoping for. How can we have victory in Christ when it feels like we are bombarded relentlessly?
I understand as a believer in Christ there will be spiritual warfare but what can we do to keep our minds right for the battle? I’m going to share with you 7 Key Practices that I am committing to doing as I go forward in this battle to defeat discouragement.
1-Prepare your Mind-As we read and meditate on God’s word, our minds are transformed by the Holy Spirit from the old way of thinking and handling difficulties. (Romans 12:2)
2-Profile the Enemy-The devil wants to destroy us as believers. He is not some silly cartoon character in a red suit or someone to be taken lightly. Remember how he is depicted in 1 Peter 5:8.
Be on the alert, your adversary the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
3-Prioritize your Rest-It is so easy with the demands, desires and our daily schedules to put quality rest on the back burner. I consider myself a serious night owl. I feel sharper and have more energy at night. However, without proper sleep and having a tired mind; we become more susceptible to discouragement.
4-Pray without Ceasing-This has been the best weapon in overcoming discouragement. When we maintain an attitude of prayer and remember who we are in Christ; we are encouraged and equipped for anything! Thank Him for the battles He brought you through standing by your side. We need to ask God for wisdom and strength when facing discouragement.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
5-Plan for Stumbles-We do not want to live fearfully but we do need to understand that there will be trials and tests. Satan will continue to attack us as Christians. He wants to destroy our faith, hurt our testimony, and prevent us from sharing God’s word. Jesus warns us to expect these difficulties.
In this world you will have tribulation, but take courage. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
6-Persevere in Everything-It is during difficult times that discouragement can lead us to consider giving up or question if we are doing the right thing. God instructs us to not quit!
And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God has empowered us with the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will and live a life that glorifies Him.” quote=”God has empowered us with the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will and live a life that glorifies Him.”]
7-Praise God in Victory-As we go through the battles; make it a priority to praise God for the victories both big and small.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him. Sing of all His wonders!” 1 Chronicles. 16:9
As we prepare for victory in the battle against Satan to defeat discouragement; it is imperative for us to practice these 7 things. Know that God is with us no matter how intense the battle and we will have complete victory putting our trust in Him!