The Most Important Thing to Do When You’re Discouraged

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What do you do when you're discouraged? It can be easy to sit in discouragement but what if there's a better way? What if there's a way to be encouraged and live with joy?

What do you do when you’re discouraged? When your heart is sad?

After the past few years, I think most of us understand the feeling. Everyone’s lives have been affected by the covid crisis in one way or another and many continue to struggle physically, financially, and emotionally.

The writer of Psalm 42 was deeply discouraged. He had been exiled to a land far from Jerusalem and felt the disappointment of no longer being able to worship God at the Temple.

My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be.
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of great celebrations.

Psalm 42:4

I hear from so many of you who are dealing with feelings of discouragement. Some for personal reasons and others simply as a result of watching the news or scrolling through social media.

So, let me ask you once again . . . what do you do when you’re discouraged?

The Psalmist took his discouragement to God and found hope. And we can too.

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise Him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Psalm 42:5

Hope in God is not just a feeling that things will turn out for the best; our hope is the faith and confidence that God always keeps His promises. It is the confident expectation that God is who He says He is and that He does what He says He will do.

God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 

Hebrews 6:18

We celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection yesterday. God promised a Savior and He sent His only Son to be that Savior so that all who believe in Him can be with Him forever. Because of Jesus, we have the evidence of God’s promise and His oath that what He says is the absolute truth.

We can trust every single one of His promises.

Promises like these…

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 (CSB)

This is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

God has graciously given us His Word to tell us the truth about His grace, mercy, and love. When we set our hearts and minds on all that God has done in the past. When we remember all the ways He has already kept so many of His promises already. We can live each day with the hope of Jesus set free from discouragement.

So, like the Psalmist, when you’re discouraged and sad—pause and remember…

 Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember You

Psalm 42:6

Remember God’s promises and all the times He has kept them.

And say…

Each day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing His songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

Psalm 42:8

By God’s grace and with His help we will no longer be discouraged but join with countless others who are able to rejoice in His unfailing love and sing His praise.

What do you do when you're discouraged? It can be easy to sit in discouragement but what if there's a better way? What if there's a way to be encouraged and live with joy?

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Pray When You’re Discouraged

Father, I come before You honestly admitting that I’ve been discouraged. Life can be hard sometimes. So many friends are facing difficult problems. Their hearts are hurting and their minds are anxious. The enemy works overtime to use our circumstances, the news, and social media to distract and discourage us.

But You promise that You are with us. And when I pause to remember . . . I have felt Your presence in my life more times than I can remember. Your Word says that You will never leave me or forsake me. And because I know that You have been with me in the past and I know I trust You to be with me in the present and the future. You are faithful in all You do. You are faithful to keep Your promises.

So, I will hold all of Your promises close to my heart. I will resist the enemy with the Sword of the Spirit using Your Word to make him flee. (James 4:7) I will devote myself to prayer with a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2) And I will lift You up with thanks and praise. (Psalm 106:1)

I give myself to You and I trust that You will give me what I need to fight discouragement and live this day with a thankful joy-filled heart and mind. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

What do you do when you're discouraged? It can be easy to sit in discouragement but what if there's a better way? What if there's a way to be encouraged and live with joy?

So, maybe today, if you’re asked what you do when you’re discouraged, you’ll be able to answer…

  1. I run to God in prayer.
  2. I remember all He has done in the past.
  3. I thank and praise Him for who He is and all He does.
  4. I focus on His promises.
  5. I thank Him for His all-sufficient one-day-at-a-time grace.

May God be with you and encourage you as you place your trust in His unfailing love.

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  1. Amen, Deb! I’m trusting each and every day in the Lord who keeps His promises.
    Glad to be back! Hope you had an amazing Easter.

    1. So, glad you’re back. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. We missed you!

  2. Ana Cordova says:

    What a beautiful topic! Indeed many of us have had several discouraging times in our lives. I speak for my self as I had COVID two years ago and was very sick in the hospital. I caught it at work and had not received any vaccines since my time was not up yet. I am so thankful that God was with me when my family could not be with me. If I did not have faith and trust in God. I probably would have not made it like millions of other people.
    Now I have dedicated my time for our Lord Jesus to love him more so I can give testimony to others about his saving grace, unfailing love, and mercy. Nothing is impossible for him he was able to resurrect from the dead for our sins and his love for us. What more can we ask for. We just have to believe, trust, and be patient he listens to us at his own time and will.
    Blessings to all and hope you had a lovely Easter rejoicing with our Savior!????

    1. Oh, Ana, what an awful experience. You are honoring the Lord by sharing your testimony of the ways He brought you through that time. You’re right! Nothing is impossible for Him. His grace is sufficient for our needs now and eternally. God bless you, my friend!

  3. Kathy Francescon says:

    I know it is late for me to comment, but sitting here reading your post has helped so much to calm my rattled nerves and the noise of this day. God is the only one we can run to for everything and anything and for all things, that we need for encouragement, strength and endurance in all the difficulties of life here on earth. God can calm all our calamities! Thank You dear friend, for comforting me with Your words of love and wisdom this night. Sleep well under the blanket of God’s love and His promises.

    1. It was a hard day, Kathy! The news is disappointing and discouraging. How I pray that more and more people will turn to the Lord. I’m also praying that He will also comfort all who have lost loved ones in these awful tragedies. May our gracious God hold us close and encourage us with His love. Blessings, my friend!

  4. Kathy Francescon says:

    Ana, I am so very sorry to hear your difficult time and having to be in the hospital with covid. It was a terrible time and touched the lives of family and friends and loved ones for everyone. I am thankful that God blessed you to be well again and I will pray for your continued good health and wonderful blessings from our merciful and most gracious Father.
    Sleep well and know that God will always be watching over and caring for you.

  5. Hi Deb thanks for your inspiring words, I always look forward to reading your blog, I was first drawn to it by the name (counting my blessings) I find it to be perfect for me because I have many blessings to be thankful for but sometimes we forget to count them, thank you may God continue to shine his light upon you

    1. Thank you, Pamela. I am so glad you have been blessed by your visits. Thanks for joining the conversation. We look forward to getting to know you better. Blessings!

  6. So needed to hear this today. I chose the word “gratitude “ this year. Maybe I should just start each day remembering how much He has already accomplished in this family. Trying to put on His armor everyday. Thank you for always sharing just the right words to comfort me from Him!

    1. I’m glad, Bonnie. The busyness and craziness are so distracting. I can’t think of a better way to start the day and prepare for the daily battle than with gratitude and putting on His armor. Thank you for your encouragement. God bless you!

  7. Beautifully written, Deb!
    The truth is simply that—beautiful! And so comforting.
    I am most thankful for you and your devotionals that you so regularly share with us. What a blessing you are as a vessel for Him!
    May we each take these truths to heart and hide them there as we draw from their strength!

    1. What kind words of encouragement, Monday! Thank you! I truly appreciate your kindness. God bless you!

  8. Another thing that helps me when I’m discouraged is journaling my thoughts and feelings. And putting on some music that is calming or happy and encouraging. You’ve encouraged me to get in the Word and meditate on those Scriptures and promises. I’m going to jot down those verses in my notebook. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. I agree, Jen. I love journaling my prayers. Thanks so much for visiting and for joining the conversation . . . and for your kind encouragement. God bless you!