Vaccine Against Discouragement

The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn, 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him.     Isaiah 61:1-3 (HCSB)

We are two weeks into a new year. How many people reading this have already experienced disappointment in their personal life, work, or even in their spiritual life? Yes, we are not living in heaven – yet.

Like many people we make resolutions to do something positive and constructive such as get in better physical shape. Usually a gym membership is bought, running shoes are pulled out of the back of the closet and that torn and beloved sports shirt is dug out of a drawer. There is bottled water and fruit juice in the refrigerator instead of Dr. Pepper. All is well for a week or two and then we catch that first cold. We are in the bed for two days and spend the next seven days struggling to keep going to work. Since breathing through a stuffy nose is difficult, we stop going to the gym. The running shoes are kicked out of the way in the closet and Dr Pepper is back in the frig because we know we need to drink fluids and it just tastes better than water. Resolution nullified. Instead of renewing our gym membership this month, we join the Discouragement Club which is free to anyone who wants to come hang out.

A similar scenario may play out as we attempted to commit ourselves to spending time with God each day in prayer and reading His Word. We joined a study group. We started back to church. And then an illness or work responsibility got us off our commitment schedule and it all became just too hard to juggle with all the many voices who are demanding our attention.

This Scriptures today spoke to my heart because it proclaimed God’s power in my life. I hear God telling me to just be willing to allow Him to direct my days and He will be there with His truth and light in my life. Just get up each morning and admit, “This is a day You made, LORD. I will be glad and I will rejoice in it – with Your help.” I testify that God will will show me how to spend time in His Word (a Bible app on my phone) and provide the time to pray and listen to Him (a car makes an excellent prayer closet). And when my head hits the pillow at night, I will embrace God’s peace that blankets me and occurs somehow beyond my understanding because of His great love for me. Instead of the despair of this world, I live in the mercy and grace of God each day. And with this step of faith, the Holy Spirit blesses me with perseverance which in turn builds spiritual muscles to help me prioritize each day, one day at a time. God is faithful. May I listen and learn from Him today.

Be Still My Soul written by Russ & Tori Taff, sung by The Imperials

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