Forgiveness is a fruit of life in Christ. This is a distinguishing mark of all who are in Christ, which is why the Lord teaches us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12). With this in mind, think with...
The Christmas season is a time when many people feel discouraged. Whether from the reminder of the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a broken heart, broken friendships, or marriages on the verge of collapse, this season is challenging. Although some call this time of the year “the season of joy,” Christmas can often be tough for a wide variety of reasons.
In this article, we will consider some ways to face discouragement during the holidays (and every day) by finding hope in Christ alone.
Fight Discouragement with the Gospel
The gospel is not only the power of God but the very fuel by which Christians can face life’s challenges.
I’ve found spending significant time being quiet in prayer with God, preaching the truth about the person and work of Christ to myself, to be very helpful to address this challenge in my own life. Battling discouragement with the gospel is another way of applying the reality of who I am in Christ.
Share Your Struggle with Other Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Please realize you don’t fight discouragement alone. The Bible teaches that “in the abundance of counselors, there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). The more you realize that you are not alone in the Christian life and that we desperately need each other, the better.
The Christian life is meant to be lived in community with God’s people. Having godly friends in my local church to pray for and encourage me has helped me a lot in my fight against discouragement and depression.
As Christians, we are called to one another, which isn’t easy as some people face intense periods of discouragement. Wherever you are today, you have a great need of Christ. Christ desires more than ever to meet you right where you are for, He cares for you.
As Christians, we have One in Jesus who calls us His friend (John 15:15). He doesn’t leave us to ourselves; instead, He promises never to forsake us for He is our very present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1; Hebrews 13:5).
Such biblical truth also helps me to realize that each day is new, and each day has an end. And very slowly over a lot of years gone by the Lord continues to massage these truths deeper and deeper into my life. And the deeper they go, the more joy-inducing they are. There is so much joy to be had in the Lord, since, He loves His people so much.
Read Scripture Daily
Another strategy for fighting anxiety and depression is to read and meditate on the Word of God regularly. In the Psalms, we frequently see David down in the dumps and then exulting in the Lord who alone is His rock and refuge (Psalm 18:2; 62:6; 71:3) and present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1).
By reading the Scriptures, we come to see that many others in the Bible have faced issues with anxiety and depression such as David (2 Samuel 12:15-23; 18:33), Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Jonah (Jonah 4:3, 9), Job (Job 2:9; 3:11, 3:26; 10:1; 30:15-17), Moses (Exodus 32:32), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14, 18) to name a few.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed and crushed on every side. You may even wonder where the Lord is in the midst of all that’s going on in your life. What you need to understand is that the Lord has not abandoned or left you; instead, He is for and with you.
After all, His promise in Hebrews 13:5 is never to leave you nor forsake you. The promises of God are tied to His holy unchanging character. God has fully disclosed Himself in the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is why you and I need to be in the Scriptures for it’s there we daily learn about men and women who have faced the very problems that we have with the help of the LORD.
Battling Discouragement is Spiritual Warfare.
Some of you struggle with discouragement because a battle is being waged, requiring you to take up the full armor of God. Rather than succumbing to the lies of Satan, you need to stand firm in the grace of God and take hold of the “nowness” of the gospel that is your identity as adopted sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:31-39; Ephesians 1).
Battling discouragement is hard, but preaching the gospel, applying the truth of who you are in Christ, living in the community, as well as knowing when and how you get discouraged are keys in the fight against discouragement.
As you begin to see Jesus as your supreme treasure each moment of each day, you’ll start to fight the fog of discouragement. Instead of feeling all alone, you’ll start to see yourself as part of the family of God. You’ll also begin to learn that others in the church are facing the same fight as you are.
This Christmas season, we all need one another, but supremely we need to know that Jesus is all we need, and He is for us and to begin to walk alongside one another with the help of His grace.