DON’T LET DISCOURAGEMENT BE YOUR DOWNFALL

Lately, we’ve had a lot that we could be discouraged about. So today I want to talk to you about what to do when you get discouraged. One of the main tools the devil uses to keep you from fulfilling God’s plan for your life is discouragement. He orchestrates circumstances that are designed to make you give up. Don’t fall for it! As author Wilie Jollie said, “A setback is a set up for a comeback!” If you have experienced a discouraging setback, here are some strategies for overcoming the discouragement the enemy sends your way:

  1. Pull away and spend time alone with God. When you get discouraged, that’s your cue to go into your prayer closet, close the door, and allow the Lord to minister to you. Pour our your complaint before Him (Psalm 142:2). Go to the Word find applicable scriptures and let Him speak life back into you. Ask Him to give you a new strategy if the one you have been using has not worked. Be determined that you won’t come out of the secret place until you get encouraged.
  2. Encourage yourself. I Samuel 30:6 says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” Psalm 43:5 says David said to himself when he felt discouraged, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God!”  So when you are discouraged that’s the time to rehearse past victories and engage in some strong self-talk! Grab yourself up in your own collar and tell yourself to get it together! Speak the Word of God out loud to counteract the voice of the enemy!
  3. Engage in praise and worship. In 2 Chronicles 20:22-23, praise and worship confused the enemy and caused those armies coming against Judah to fight each other. When the enemy assails you with discouragement, that is the time for you to get mad and fight back!  Use your spiritual weapons and sing songs of praise and worship. And keep on singing until you feel better.
  4. Take your spiritual authority. Just as God has not given us the spirit of fear, He hasn’t given us the spirit of discouragement either. What we may think is the negative emotion of discouragement is actually a spirit of discouragement. Therefore, if there is a spirit behind it, we can take authority over it in Jesus” name! James 4:7 (NIV) says,” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Saints, when the devil pummels you with negative thoughts and attacks you with a spirit of discouragement, you must always wage a counter-attack. Don’t just roll over and take it and let the devil have his way with you!  You know the Word!  You must be like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky and refuse to throw in the towel. Remember you are not in this by yourself. God says you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. 

The last time you got discouraged How did you come out of it? Please leave a comment below.

Image above courtesy of Tiverylucky via Freedigitalphotos.com

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EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS FOR CHRIST FOLLOWERS!
We must be mindful of the fact that the personal relationship we have with God on a daily basis is possible only because Jesus was born to die. I encourage you to celebrate Christmas all year long and prepare to make a deliberate effort to keep Christ firmly anchored at the center of your family’s Christmas holiday beforehand. Get your copy of my latest book Keeping Christ in Christmas: Thought-Provoking Ideas for Making Jesus the Center of Your Child’s Christmas Holiday at Amazon.com or purchase copies for those you know and love with small children! Help the Revolution that began in 2020 to continue in 2021 and beyond!

HOW TO DEAL WITH LONELINESS

Happy New Year to you! Now is the time to thank and praise God for letting us see another year! Hallelujah! No matter what happened during 2020, if you are reading this, at least you can say, “I’m still here!”

During the pandemic, we have had to practice social distancing. We have not been able to see our friends and loved ones as often as we would like. Because of the isolation, loneliness has set in for many. Even King David suffered from loneliness at times. He writes in Psalm 102:7 “I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.”

I remember one Saturday night when I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was sooo lonely. I had graduated from Oral Roberts University, but everyone I hung out with was still in school. They had no time for me, and I completely understood it, but it didn’t hurt any less. That evening, there was no one was available to talk to, not even my family members. So I just turned on the worship music, danced before the Lord, and worshiped Him like I had lost my mind. To my amazement, that loneliness broke off me! I had a breakthrough at that moment. That’s when I saw that although everyone had abandoned me, God had not abandoned me, and I had survived an emotional firestorm!

So what are some other ways we can deal with loneliness? I think that if we have the right perspective during the inevitable bouts with one of the enemies of our souls we will fare much better. Therefore, I’d like to share the following thoughts about loneliness with you today:

  1. God orchestrates lonely times for a reason. He is in control of when they start and when they end because He is the “Master Chess Player” Who moves people on and off the “board” of our lives. If He allows the loneliness to set in, we need to ask, “God, what are You trying to accomplish in my life?” I personally believe that loneliness is God’s way of calling us into deeper fellowship with Him.
  2. We need to know who we are in Christ so that we won’t wrongly interpret the loneliness. No matter who comes and goes in your life, whether you have people around you or not, you must know that nothing affects your identity in Christ. Do not allow the devil to deceive you into losing the awareness that you are righteous, accepted, approved, blessed, and highly favored by God in Christ Jesus.
  3. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we find ourselves. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:12, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”  God said He will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He will not sentence you to isolation forever. In due time, fellowship with others will be restored.

So if you are feeling lonely today, don’t despair. God knows you are a relational being, and He will not let the lonely time last one minute longer than required to accomplish His divine will in your life. Therefore,  embrace the loneliness by spending more time with God. Get a journal and write down thoughts that come to your mind and let God speak to you. Finally, continue to reach out to others as the Holy Spirit leads until your change comes. Remember I Peter 1:25 says, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” That means loneliness cannot last forever because everything is subject to change except the Word of God.

How do you deal with loneliness? Please leave a comment below.

Image above courtesy of Katherine Evans via Freedigitalphotos.com

View this email in your browser
EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS FOR CHRIST FOLLOWERS!
We must be mindful of the fact that the personal relationship we have with God on a daily basis is possible only because Jesus was born to die. I encourage you to celebrate Christmas all year long and prepare to make a deliberate effort to keep Christ firmly anchored at the center of your family’s Christmas holiday beforehand. Get your copy of my latest book Keeping Christ in Christmas: Thought-Provoking Ideas for Making Jesus the Center of Your Child’s Christmas Holiday at Amazon.com or purchase copies for those you know and love with small children! Help the Revolution that began in 2020 to continue in 2021 and beyond!