How To Rise Above Discouragement

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How To Rise Above Discouragement

John 16:31-33 

“Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Each one of us faces something in our lives that either encourages us or discourages us. We all seek that encouragement and assurance that things will work out correctly but we often come up short. In our minds, we think that things will work out a certain way and when these things don’t it brings discouragement. We have all had discouragement fall upon us personally in our lives at one point or another. When it does, it seems as if you’re all alone and no one cares. Sometimes it seems like you are left to deal with everything all by yourself without the care and support of the ones that we trust so dear. In today’s devotional we will see how we can rise above discouragement.

Discouragement is an internal condition brought on by external circumstances. These particular circumstances can be summed up in a few categories:

  1. Personal – Having to deal with things in our off work time that can cause stress worry or challenges. For instance: financial concerns, relationship concerns and social concerns. 
  2. Professional – These have to deal with work time issues that come up and burden the believer. Things like and extra work load, overtime when you have plans and denied time off requests.

I’m sure that we have all experienced at least one of these categories at least once in our lives. Jesus tells us that we will endure all of this and he reminds us that it will not go away. So the question remains, How do we rise above?

About 20 years ago, I took an airplane trip from LAX to Okinawa, Japan for a military deployment when we experienced severe turbulence while above the Pacific Ocean. The Captain put on the seat belt sign while doing all that he could to break free from the turbulent conditions. The crew and the pilots knew exactly what to do because they had experienced it before but some of the passengers began to worry and show concern on their faces. Some passengers, that had experienced more severe turbulence, looked around and went to sleep after they had buckled their seat belts. Eventually, all passengers were comforted by the Captain’s voice as he came over the PA system and said that the turbulence shouldn’t last much longer. When it was all over, we had spent about and hour of the 23 hour trip in turbulence. From the outside of the plane, things were barely noticeable but in the inside there was chaos and fear. 

We need to remember three things to rise about discouragement and turbulence:

  1. It Doesn’t Last Long – In the grand scheme of things the hour of turbulence was all I really remember of that flight. The other 22 hours were so uneventful that I forgot about them. To often we soon forget about how God has taken care of us, in the past, that we stress our lives away in the present then wonder how He will change the future. Sometimes because the stress seems real at the time we quickly abandon Jesus, our faith and the promises of The Father in order to save ourselves. Notice that Jesus said behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone:” My how quickly are we scattered from Christ when the least little bit of adversity comes. What about you? When the tough times come do you abandon Jesus to save yourselves? Do you withdraw because the price to serve is too high a cost for you to pay? Remember that the trial is just a small bump in the road.

2. It Has To Be Endured – In our lives, we have to endure some pretty wild things. I remember in college I had to endure long and dry lectures about subjects that I would never ever probably see again but it had to be because at that time, that was for me. In our lives we want all good times and no bad times. That, my friend, is impractical, illogical and utterly NOT biblical. The bible says in II Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” So we see that we all will endure trials, temptations, turbulent time and turmoil. Asking God to deliver you from these times will only make you a weak, spoiled and utterly ineffective Christian. How many times have you spoken with someone and they had given you advise about a trial that they had endured that you are currently enduring? How did that make you feel? Did it make you feel like they really understood your struggles? Often, they probably told you how you were thinking and feeling at that very moment. There may have been an instant connect especially when they told you that God walked them through it all. I’m not saying that we have have to seek situations to go through in order to build connections and a testimony but without the bad times, we would never respect the good times. Just remember when the tough times happen, stop and buckle your seat belt. Many Christians don’t buckle their seat belt and end up flying all over the place when the turbulence comes because they don’t have an anchor. Do you have an anchor or do you fly off the seat when trials come? 

3. It Must Be Settled With Trust In The Captain – When the turbulence came, I looked to the Captain for my cues of what I should do. Usually the Captain will see the things that we can’t see. He has a bird’s eye view of what’s ahead because He is in the driver’s seat and I am His passenger. When I have this order in my life, it gives me comfort. It’s only complete chaos when I try to control the situation myself when I am not even qualified.

The Captain gives us:

A. His Warning – The fasten seat belt sign comes on to tell us that things will get rough. He only does that for people on the plane with Him. Those on the ground or even in the next airport have no access to this communication from Him. We have to be close to the Captain in order to receive His warning. Are you close to the Captain?

B. His Voice – When the Captain comes on the PA and says “This is your Captain speaking…” that comforting voice of assurance reminds me that He has everything under control and that I can trust Him. The Captains voice can be heard by those close to Him as well. Too often we want to hear the Captain’s voice when we aren’t even on the plane. Do you hear the Captain’s voice or are you still in the terminal because you don’t trust Him enough to board the plane?

C. His Actions -The Captain takes action to rise above the thing that has caused turbulence in the passenger’s life. You cannot see that the Captain is moving the plane above the turbulence but you can feel that He is responding to the storms in your life. The Captain cares for the safety of the plane, the passengers but he cares for the people on the other side. Those on the other side my need a real connection to someone and this trial may be the thing that God is using to create a bond to another person and possibly lead them to Christ. 

In our lives we all want to see the good times last as long as possible. These good times create comfort, familiarity and establishes our routine which in turn creates safety for many. However, the trials used in our lives can be the fodder that causes others to seek Christ. When we endure the storms in this life we can look at them and say “Jesus delivered me to help you” . Remember that trials don’t last long, you have to endure it and that the Captain knows what He is doing. Join us again as address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.

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