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The Keys to Breaking the Cycle of Discouragement

Psalm 42

Trying to keep fresh material written for my blog is not always easy. I have a lot of ideas, but often those ideas take a while to flesh out to create a decent blog post. I recently uncovered some old blog posts I had written several years ago. They got deleted from this blog when I thought I would be focusing on organization and time management.

I hope you don’t mind that I’ve resurrected these posts and brought them up to date. The one I have chosen for today was originally written almost 6 years ago to the day. The “something” I talk about in this post is something I’m still  waiting on and having to exercise patience with. Personally, I needed the reminders in this post. I hope it will be of help to you, too.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5-6a

I have to confess this is not one of my better days being a Christian. I’m being very stubborn about something, and that is making me miserable. My soul is downcast because I am tired of waiting. Now, what I’m waiting on is really not that important. It truly is a petty issue. However, in my life, it’s a big deal to me.

I’m finding out though that being stubborn makes my soul become discouraged. And when my soul is discouraged, nothing works out right in my life. Thus begins the cycle of discouragement, things going wrong, discouragement, etc…you get the picture. If I’m not careful, that discouragement can turn into depression. That’s definitely not something I want in my life.

So, this morning as I was having my quiet time, I remembered the focus verses from Psalms. I know the way I’m feeling is wrong and certainly not beneficial to me or God. I am trying my best to do what the last half of the verses say… put my hope in God and praise Him.

It’s hard to praise God sometimes when life isn’t going your way. The last thing you want to do is to put your hope in someone when everyone else has disappointed you. And praise? Who feels like doing that when their life is falling down around them? That’s how I feel today.

However, God gave me another reminder from His Word.  Philippians 4:6 gives us this command:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Two phrases stand out to me—in everything and with thanksgiving. No matter what we’re going through God wants us to pray about everything and give thanks to Him in every circumstance of our lives. What’s the benefit of that? Well, the next verse in Philippians says this:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

That is what I want! I want peace in my situation and my heart and mind guarded so that I don’t become discouraged when things aren’t going my way.

I challenge you (and myself) to remember these two keys to break the cycle of discouragement and take all your cares and burdens to God. Praise Him for what He has already done in your life and what He is going to do. He will give you peace and guard you from discouraging and depressing thoughts. Praise His name today!

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