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Faith Matters: Are you being followed by a dark cloud?

Have you ever felt as if there was a dark cloud following you? In the nicest of weather, it can seem like it is overcast.

Have you ever felt as if there was a dark cloud following you? In the nicest of weather, it can seem like it is overcast. Some people deal with it better than others, but most of us, at some point, deal with discouragement, particularly when things don’t go as they should.

It reminds me of the young man who received training to become a paratrooper. He was given instructions and then told to get in a plane. He was instructed that when told to, he was to jump out of the plane, count to 10 and then pull his ripcord. When he got to the ground, there would be a truck ready to take him back to the base.

The young man’s turn came and he jumped, counted to 10 and pulled his ripcord, but nothing happened.

And so, he decided to pull his emergency ripcord, but it didn’t work either.

The young man rolled his eyes and said, “Oh great! I bet the truck won’t be there either!”

Have you ever felt like that? You’ve tried everything, but nothing works and you find yourself discouraged. There are at least four good reasons for the discouragement we sometimes experience:

1. We’re tired. And when we’re tired things don’t appear as they really are. Sometimes the best thing you can do is go to bed.

2. We get frustrated. Sometimes we have so much piled up in our lives that it gets in the way of progress. If you can, deal with those trivial things that get in the way.

3. We feel we’ve failed. We all do foolish things. So it’s not that you failed, that’s not the issue. Rather it’s how you respond to your failure. Do you give into self–pity? Do you blame others?

4. Sometimes we give into fear. We give into situations saying, “I can’t handle this!” Before this happens, get your eyes off your circumstances and onto someone who can give you hope.

When discouragement threatens you, choose to look past your discouragement and see God. Because God is able to do more in our situation than we could ever imagine. He sees your need and is able to provide what you need in abundance. Sometimes our discouragement comes back when a temptation comes to our lives that seems to much for us to overcome. Know that God is able to help you when you feel tested. Sometimes our discouragement comes when we think we’ve messed up one too many times. God is able and more than willing to forgive you if you will just ask Him to. And along with forgiveness, He will give you a second chance to try again.

Perhaps today your discouragement comes simply because your future seems too much for you to face.

Jude 24 says, “God is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single thought.”

Philippians 1:6 says that God is committed to seeing through all the things He has planned for your life.

Don’t let whatever has brought discouragement into your life cause you to fix your attention on the problem like a deer caught in the glare of headlights. Look past that cause of discouragement and focus instead on God who can overcome anything in your life if you will choose to trust Him. When you have a problem that’s leaking with discouragement your first thought should be, “How can I get this problem to Jesus?”

The answer? Just talk to Him in prayer, using your own words. He hears, He understands and He has a solution waiting in the wings, ready to be applied to your life.

Are you discouraged today? Choose to look past you’re discouragement and focus on God. He has the power to help you see the sun again!

This Faith Matters column was provided by Tri-Community Baptist Church in Beiseker.

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