I think we’ve all been on the verge of tears before—that moment when you sense the tears are on their way, but they haven’t formed just yet.
But what about being on the verge of discouragement, when you sense that it’s close?
Let me explain what I’m learning:
I woke up feeling “off” today. My mind wandered to the things that upset me yesterday. And I started remembering the past and the times I’d been manipulated by others. Then some of the toxic relationships God has removed from my life came to mind. Throw in a lot of waiting, and BAM! I was on the verge of discouragement.
It’s like teetering. Which way will I go? Fall over into the muck of discouragement, or lean into God who is waiting to catch me?
The choice is mine. No one can make it for me.
I’ve fallen into discouragement before, and I can tell you it’s no fun. It can take days or even weeks to get “unstuck.” Thankfully, God picked me up and wiped the mud from my face every time.
But God doesn’t leave me (or you!) to deal with this teetering all on our own. His Holy Spirit nudges us to focus on Him. A friend may call to encourage us. We may “stumble” on a video about trusting God. We may even get a message from a co-worker about something good coming our way.
Here’s what I think: Satan roams through the earth, looking for someone to devour. One way he can devour is by filling our minds with consuming, discouraging thoughts, rendering us useless for God’s calling in our lives.
The enemy reminds us of our failures and past hurts, and he lies to us by telling us it’s going to happen again. So we build walls around our hearts to keep people out AND to stop ourselves from stepping out and making more mistakes.
These walls bring isolation. Now we’re dealing with discouragement and loneliness. It’s a double whammy.
Satan wants us to “roam” through our minds, SEARCHING for all the trash, so we’ll pick it up. When it’s right there in our hands, we’ll focus on it.
God, on the other hand, tells us in His Word to think about what’s lovely, pure, noble etc. (see Scripture below). He wants us to think about what’s praiseworthy. All of those things point to God! God wants our focus to be on Him and what He’s doing.
A cherished, intimate memory we have with God can keep us from falling into discouragement by keeping our minds fixed on Him.Tweet
So when we’re on the verge of discouragement and our minds are swaying, we have a choice to make:
We can either focus on Satan’s trash, all the littering in our minds, and call it a day. Later, crying ourselves to sleep.
We can cry out to God and say, “Yes, Lord. Pull me in closer to You! Help me to focus on You and all the good You’re doing in my life.”
Which will you choose, my friend?
No more teetering in the middle of this teeter-totter with one foot down and one foot up. I’m getting off of this thing.
I’m leaning into God, grabbing onto His hand, and giggling with anticipation for whatever He has in store for this day.
And I’m expecting JOY. Lots and lots of joy in His presence.
“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’”Job 1:7 NIV.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8 NIV.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”Philippians 4:8 NIV.
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”Psalm 145:3 NIV.