If we’re not careful setbacks and discouragements in life will begin to define our spirit.
When maturity gives way to melancholy it easily leads to an overall disincentive or loss of motivation and diminished hope. A deflated kind of resignation soon becomes cynicism and bitterness.
A clouded perspective can easily turn into a dark and negative outlook that expects the worst from life. And pessimism and bitterness are both infectious and defiling (see, Hebrews 12:15). They spread to others in destructive ways.
The way out
We must come to terms with the connection between loss of godly optimism and a decreased practice of gratitude. “It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.”
If you’ve lost the vital optimism of life, the path of recovery must include a renewed discipline of gratitude. To shake a spirit of discouragement, we must learn to, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Spirit-filled people are “always giving thanks to God the Father foreverything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20).
Scriptures to encourage you
- Isaiah 40:30-31 – “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
- II Corinthians 4:7-9 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (ESV)
- II Corinthians 4:16-18 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (ESV)
- II Corinthians 12:9-10 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- Romans 12:11-14 – “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (NIV)
- Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
What are you thankful for today?
A song to lift you