Four recommendations for times of discouragement.
Turn to “the father of mercies and the God of all comfort.” He “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (II Corinthians 1:3-4). God chose to put His “treasure in jars of clay to show that the all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (II Corinthians 4:7). We need his comfort and His power.
Remember that we have a Savior who is able to “empathize with our weaknesses” because “he has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin.” Because of Jesus, we are told to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). Our great Savior “is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” He “truly meets our need” (Hebrews 7:25-26).
Reflect on God’s mercy in gifting you with eternal salvation (Romans 5:8; 6:23; 8:28-38; Titus 3:1-7). It’s amazing that God would “demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The payment for our sins is death, but “the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Our great Savior assured us that His “Father’s house has many rooms” and, He said, “I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). This life is not our whole story.
Trace God’s many acts of kindness in the smaller blessings of life. Doing this will honor God and renew joy in your heart. As the smaller blessings take on greater significance, you will find yourself saying, “the Lord’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). It will help lift the cloud of discouragement if I learn to be amazed by “the strange glory of ordinary things” (Clyde Kilby). Practicing this will help us learn to “be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).