the day to refuse to be discouraged.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 NLT
Great joy? How can we ever be expected to find joy in hardship and troubles?
These things generally have a way of tugging us downward and it becomes easy to be discouraged. Many of us have a tendency to turn inward and become sullen and angry. With all of this negativity swirling around us, where do we get the strength to fight the feeling of discouragement?
If we have learned the lessons the Bible has held out to us, we should be able to remind ourselves that troubles will come to all of us. This is simply a fact of life. A strong relationship with God does not always insulate us from the difficulties that all human beings face here on earth. What our relationship with God does do for us is give us the knowledge that our faith can turn the pain or hardship of whatever we are facing into an opportunity to learn and to grow.
We can erase the negativity of being discouraged and replace it with a positive outlook, secure in the knowledge that God is with us, just as He was with David. When the Lord rescued him from all of his enemies and from Saul, David was so thankful he sang, “…my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.” (2 Samuel 22:3a NLT).
Every time we refuse to be discouraged when we are confronted with problems in our lives, our faith is strengthened and our love for God and complete trust in Him is evident not only to Him, but to those around us as well. No one expects us to put on a false face of happiness in the midst of all of our troubles, but a positive outlook, borne out of the knowledge that God will give us all that we need to make it through any situation, will radiate from us and will set a good example for others.
Life is going to deliver each and every one of us some bad news and trying times. This much is a certainty. With a strong relationship with God, we can all remain focused on getting through whatever it is and we can all refuse to be discouraged.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson