Dear Logos Family,
For many years I have used Rick Warren’s insights into Scripture to help believers find practical solutions to everyday problems. Here are a few principles for overcoming discouragement.
#1 – NEVER FORGET HOW MUCH GOD LOVES YOU.
You know God loves you. But you don’t always feel it in your heart. When you stop feeling the love of God, you’ll get discouraged. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:1 – “We don’t become discouraged, since God has given us this ministry through his mercy.” (GW)
You can’t feel discouraged and feel the love of God at the same time. You have to choose between the two. Some people don’t’ feel God’s love because they think God is angry at them all the time. If that’s the voice you’re hearing, it’s not God. He’s not mad at you; he’s mad about you!
The number one purpose of your life isn’t to love God. It’s to let God love you. When you’re discouraged, focus on that love.
#2 – DON’T FAKE IT.
Be yourself. Don’t pretend you’re not hurting when you are. Be who God made you to be. Nothing is more discouraging than trying to be something you’re not.
God doesn’t bless fakes or phonies. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:2: “We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this (NLT). Fear often keeps us from being vulnerable. We’re afraid people will think less of us if we’re honest about our pain. I’ve found the opposite is true. It is in our weaknesses that we actually help people the most.
#3 – REMEMBER, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
You’re more likely to be discouraged when you’re self-focused. Paul reminds us: “Our message is not about ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:5 The Message). Your walk and your ministry is not about you. It’s about Jesus.
Some days I have to say that to myself 20 times. Whether I’m praised or criticized, I whisper to myself, “It’s not about me. It’s about Jesus.” Discouragement happens when we forget the why. Jesus is the why.
Peace and grace,