Dealing with Discouragement

May 20, 2018

Jeremiah 15:16

 As we approach the summer break I want to encourage you to be refreshed and renewed in your love relationship with your Lord. It seems that our world is a complicated mess which bombards us with negative and discouraging feelings every day. God’s children can become discouraged. People in Bible times dealt with depression too. Elijah said, “I have had enough Lord…Take my life.” (1 Kings 19:4) Job said, “I loathe my very life.” (Job 10:1) David wrote, “My soul is downcast.” (Psalm 42:6) When you are clinically depressed you need to seek professional help.  How do we deal with discouragement and depression?

 Often times we can help ourselves when we are depressed. This kind of depression is when your motivation is drained, your desire to pursue God is gone, your conversations have turned sour, you are blind to your blessings, your enthusiasm is forces, and you feel you are in a daze regarding your future.

 Here are some possible causes you may need to address:

 1                    Sin

 Sin is like a stone in your shoe; you will have no peace until you get it out. No vacation, job change, relationship change, or doctor will heal it. Only the love and the blood of Jesus can heal it. His Word says, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son, purifies (cleanses) us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

 Begin to pray that God will help you identify sin in your life. Once you discover what is wrong and hindering your relationship with God, then you can confess it, and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

 2                    Greed

 King Ahab’s obsession with owning Naboth’s vineyard made him miserable and affected his entire family. (1 Kings 21:4) We live in a materialistic society which tells us more is better and more and more and more is better and better and better. Everyone will one day discover that material things cannot satisfy the soul or bring you peace.

 Are you materialistic?

What can help us overcome materialism?

 3                    Comparisons

 Constantly comparing yourself to others will depress you. The Word says, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves they are not wise." (2 Corinthians 10:12) Why should you compare yourself with others? You were created in the image of God and you are special to Him. Too many people spend their lives trying to impress others when they should spend their time and energy seeking to please God. Seeking to please God and not others will take a lot of stress out of your life!

Who are you living for and who cares about you the most?

Your God, your family, and your friends are more than enough for your well- being.

 4                    Thinking And Speaking Negatively

 The Words says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences." (Proverbs 18:21) “My dear brothers take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19-20) “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 126)

 How do you respond to negative people?

 5                    Fatigue

 Jesus called His disciples aside to rest. Why? Because He knew when fatigue walks in faith walks out. When we are tired we begin to worry about things. Jesus taught His disciples not to worry about what to eat, what to drink, or what to wear. The pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6: 25-33) Stop trying so hard to make life work and start trusting God to provide for your needs. Slow down and enjoy your journey with the Lord.

 6                    Unforgiveness

 When you refuse to forgive someone, you carry them like an albatross around your neck. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray in this manner. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us.” To forgive means to let be, to let go, to let alone, to suffer through, and not be controlled by the wrong that was done.

 So what can we do to overcome depression? Often it starts with prayer and reading God’s Word. Jeremiah, who battled depression, said, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my hearts delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” (Jeremiah 15:16)