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~Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In one of my Bible studies, we were challenged to live out the meaning of these verses, starting at home! As we practice doing good and esteeming those in our home more than ourselves, joy enters our hearts and helps us to take our eyes off the discouraging circumstances around us.

This is wonderful therapy for the dear Christian who is weary. I speak for myself, and surely I cannot be the only one, when I say that the longer my eyes and thoughts are focused on the hardships of my life, the less they are focused on Christ and His ministry of love and reconciliation. Why would an unbeliever want Christ if he observes me in my discouraged state? Why would an unbeliever want my Jesus if he observes me being grumpy to my own family? An unbeliever would want my Jesus if I were displaying the Lord’s qualities.

Yes, it is work to become selfless. It’s not easy esteeming another better than myself! But the word of God tells us to. (Philippians 2:3) My natural man within me wants everything to be about me! But it’s not all about me! It’s ALL about Jesus Christ! If we are Christians, we should have this same selfless heart every day. And, as Paul points out, we should have this generous heart especially toward other believers!

May I challenge you today to stop focusing on your day-to-day circumstances and start focusing on Christ’s purpose for us? Find someone in need and take action, Christian! Those in need are all around us. Every day I hear of someone committing suicide, or their house has burned down – such devastating circumstances! Let’s have an impact by starting in our own family. Then reach out – stretch your arms as Christ would have you to do and touch a heart in need today!

Do one thing every single day that will impact someone’s life – even if it is simply a phone call or card – there is a heart in need of encouraging somewhere!!!

~Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

How often do we give thanks for all that God has done throughout the ages, even in our own lives? When I look back at God’s hand in my life, I can’t help but rejoice! In the middle of my darkest hours, my heart has led me to His word and encouraged me. Discouragement happens – there’s no getting around it. However, what we DO with discouragement is the key, amen?  This separates the nominal Christian with the disciple (the disciplined Christian).  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Who knows me better than me? If I allow myself to wallow in self-pity or discouragement, I won’t have the desire to seek the holy things of God. I won’t have the desire to remember what He has done for me. However, if I train myself to recognize discouragement and immediately start praising God, I will see the rain cloud dissipate. A grateful heart and a thankful heart does not have room for discouragement.

What does God say about discouragement? If you search the word of God for the words “discourage, discouraged, discouragement,” you will see that they appear a total of seven times – six in the Old Testament and only once in the New Testament. Numbers 32 reveals exactly what God thinks of discouragement and of those who lead others into it. Some discouraged the children of Israel so much so that those above the age of 20 were not allowed into the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 32:9,11).  Those are serious repercussions for what some think is a small thing.  God obviously does not consider discouraging others a small matter.

Let’s look at the consequences of discouragement.  Discouragement is an insult to God! It tells God that you are not satisfied with His provisions in your life and that you can do better. But let me ask you this: How is that discouragement working out for you? Aren’t you miserable? Furthermore, you are not acting alone.  You’re dragging others down with you – especially your family members for they can see you as you really are. The unsaved who come into contact with you on a daily basis interpret your discouragement as your God’s lack of power. What a horrible testimony to the Living God!

Psalm 30:4 encourages us to sing  and to give thanks!  If you can’t even come up with one thing to be thankful for, I believe you have more serious issues than discouragement.  This type of thinking is selfish and self-centered.  Life is not about you, no matter what you think!  Life is about Christ and what He has given to us and done for us! The first thing we have to be thankful for is salvation!  Even if nothing else ever happened in the Christian’s life, thanking God for his salvation should be enough to keep him busy!  Our time on this earth is so short compared to eternity!  Our lack of thankfulness here will be reflected there! Don’t you see that?

Make full use of all that God has done for you in your “singing”!  You have a roof over your head; you’re not going hungry; you have clothing; you have people who care for you.  There is always something for which to be thankful!  Always!!!  Make a list if you have to – but do it.  Watch that discouragement melt away as you sing praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords!  God is faithful and loves you!  Acknowledge Him and be thankful for all that He has done.

Great is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas O. Chisolm)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As thou has been, thou forever will be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

(Refrain)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

(Refrain)

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!