"Do you ever get discouraged by God?"
It was a heavy question over breakfast on a Monday morning. I'm all about deep conversations, so go ahead and pour some more coffee and let's chat.
That question has been lingering in my mind since last week.. do I get discouraged by God?
The answer is a little more complex than a simple yes or no. And maybe you're feeling a little discouraged yourself. Maybe what I've learned and what I cling to during the different of seasons of life can help you where you are right now.
The thing is, we all go through it. We all have plans, ideas, hopes and dreams in our minds that don't always turn out like we had hoped, or even turn out at all, and that can leave us feeling a little down. In our over-connected generation, it's easy to see a significant amount of details of most of our friends through one little app. We see, and it's easy to become discouraged with ourselves and where we're at.
He just got a promotion. She just got engaged. They just bought a house. They're having a baby. She just moved to a new state. He has his life together. She works out 3 times a day. The lists we create in our head go on.
Maybe you're hoping for something similar to what she's experiencing, and begin to wonder how come the Lord is providing in those ways for that person and not for you. You've been praying your little heart out for months for x, y, or z, and you've seen it come to pass in others lives, but not your own.
Just hold tight.
You see, He is providing for you. Maybe not in the ways you'd anticipated or hoped for. Maybe not in the timing you wanted. Maybe you don't see it, or even feel any peace in your circumstances. He's protecting you, He's guiding you, He's preparing you.
I forget what podcast it was, but the point has stuck with me since, and is something I remember when patiently (and okay, pretty impatiently sometimes) waiting on God. We want the promise, but we don't want to go through the process to get the promise. However, we must go through the process first, so the Lord can prepare us. If He gave it to us right now, we might not be ready for it.
I'm no expert at overcoming discouragement. 2018 definitely made me stronger in the Lord and trusting Him through anything and taught me more than I wanted to know about it. However, I look back now and am incredibly thankful for those times.
The seasons of pain, confusion, and trial after trial was the Lord shaping me, molding me, preparing me. It doesn't mean I don't get discouraged now, because I do. There are days I have to repeat His truths over and over in my head to keep me from thinking anything other than what He believes and wants for me. Sometimes all I can really muster up are the words "Jesus" in my head because sometimes it is exhausting. There are times I don't have the energy to be optimistic about things, but that's also the time when I remember that my life is not for me.
I'm not here for my selfish reasons to plan things and do things on my own terms- to go here or do this or that because I want to. Whatever I'm doing, wherever I'm at is for the Lord, and because He lives in me, I find the peace, joy, comfort, healing, encouragement, and hope that only He can provide, and in that lies what I need to go on with joy and peace overflowing in my heart. Lean in to that. He's everything this world can't provide to us, and He can fill those spaces of doubt, sadness, heartbreak, disappointment, confusion, and whatever emotion you might be feeling.
For every no, setback, trial, rejection, difficult situation, confusion, or whatever you experience, is not to get you down. Things used to get me down easily, but over time, I realized and began to truly believe that the Lord is working everything together for my good. So though whatever I'm going through in whatever season I'm in might not be the easiest and make me the happiest, I know the Lord is faithful and trust that what He's doing is going to be better than whatever I had in mind, and so I cling to that. So you get told no? Okay, that means there's a better yes coming. Repeat it to yourself until you believe it, because He's doing the same for you.
Keep stepping one foot in front of the other. The things of this world will always disappoint us. We're all human- we all are going to make mistakes, let one another down, cause pain, and say things we don't mean in the heat of the moment. God's right there with you and He will not disappoint- through the discouraging times, through the best of times. He never leaves your side and He's got the perfect plan for you.
He'll work everything together for your good, and He'll give you exactly what you need to get there. The people, the jobs, the right opportunities, He's the best at writing stories, and the story He has written for you is going to be a top seller. Award winning. Best of the best. Believe it, because He created you fearfully and wonderfully and with such great purpose, and when you look back on the chapters of your life, you'll see He was there every step of the way, crafting just the perfect storyline for you.