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4 July – Dealing with discouragement!

Have you ever been on fire; so full of enthusiasm and passion for life for what you are doing? Then gradually that fire get’s quenched; and the things of life, of the world around us slowly extinguishes the passion. Then as discouragement sets in we are left disconnected from our purpose.

Most people have experienced discouragement to some degree, but when people experience too much discouragement, it can cause them to suffer from depression and hopelessness.

The bible is full of those who needed encouraging; those whom God sent help and words of encouragement so they would not give up, for them to be of good courage, to not let go of the vision and dream God had placed in their hearts. Abraham, Moses, Joshua and David all needed encouragement at various times in their lives.

The 12 disciples who had spent three years being taught first hand by Jesus, and  witnessed all the miracles, healings, and amazing things Jesus did even became discouraged. When Jesus was arrested and then crucified they were so afraid, confused and discouraged they mostly ended up going back to their old lives as fisherman.

It’s easy when we get discouraged to forget and let go of the things God has spoken to us, the amazing things we’ve seen and heard; Our God encounters. When we become too discouraged we can get to the point where we just let go of it all, and  decide to go back to what we used to think, do and be before God touched our lives.

The disciples nearly forgot what Jesus had imparted into their lives; what He had taught, told and warned them was to come.

John chapters 12-16 recounts Jesus telling the disciples about His death, about His resurrection, about heaven, answered prayer, the Holy Spirit and how they would not be left alone and everything was going to be okay.

However when we get discouraged it’s tempting to throw up our hands, choose to forget all our dreams and God’s words to us, and go back. That’s what the disciples did. They went back to their past lives. But Jesus on rising from the dead, came looking for each of his friends, and gathered them all back together again. He again reminded them of His promises and gave them a renewed purpose and vision.

When Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples didn’t freak out quite so much at Jesus leaving them. This time they remembered what Jesus had said – “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49)

The Holy Spirit’s role was to remind the disciples of Jesus’ words and empower them not to go back to their old lives, but to go forward.

It is still the Holy Spirit’s role and special task to bring the promises of God’s word into practical realisation in our daily lives. It is the Holy Spirit who encourages us whenever we are discouraged, and reminds us of the hope we have in God. We too need the same filling of the Holy Spirit to cloth us with power from heaven, as the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). They were changed, encouraged, strengthened and empowered to carry out their purpose and the plan of God for each of their lives.

The disciples didn’t’ ever go back again. They were carried through every victory, hardship, and disappointment.

We needn’t ever go back again either. Jesus will come looking for each one of us if we do too!  And the same Holy Spirit – who is the indwelling power and presence of God is available to help us just as He helped the first disciples. He is there for all who call upon the name of Jesus, who follow His ways and seek after Him. He is our helper, counsellor, standby and advocate and will empower us to be all that we need to be.

The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17)

Today wait on God. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with power from heaven. That He would replace any discouragement you may feel with His courage, and the strength to keep running your race. 

“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16)

Prayer: Lord thank you for your promises. Holy Spirit would you please fill me with power from heaven to be the person I am called to be. I don’t want to go back to my old life, or to let go of God’s promises through discouragement. But I do want to keep moving ahead into God’s plan and purpose for my life. In Jesus Name Amen.

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