Do not be Discouraged

By Damilola Olasehinde

It is so easy to be discouraged when life gets tiresome, bills aren’t paid, school gets so difficult, work gets too exhausting, your health deteriorates or future seems bleak. It is so easy. 

A discouraged person is prone to fatigue, hopelessness, despair, depression and bitterness. 
Discouragement stems from past misgivings, present shortcomings and uncertainties about the future. It steals your joy, peace, contentment and zeal. It comes with so many unpleasant thoughts.

The moment you have nothing to rely on or forget your blessings and begin to focus on your circumstances, discouragement sets in. As you become unaware of God’s presence around you begin to forget or doubt the promises of His word, discourages shows up.  

Instead of wallowing in discouragement, yearn to be and remain encouraged.  Be steadfast in your hope in the Lord and let His peace encompass you. Rest in his love and promises for you. God knows your troubles and He cares so much for you that he will not abandon you. 

If you want to stay encouraged, focus on Jesus and His word for your life. When you focus on Jesus, you experience comfort, peace and encouragement. Find Him, focus on Him and his promises, love Him and be steadfast in your faith with Him. 

A snippet of one of my favourite songs says;

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God Still
Hillsong United

Action Point: God did not bring you this far to leave you. No matter the circumstances you find yourself in, be encouraged in the Lord and his word. God will never forsake you.

Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5



Count it all Joy

By Theresa Simba

You have received so many powerful prophecies. God has told you awesome things that He is about to do in your life. You can even see the signs of some of them coming to pass; and you are so excited and expectant about what is coming. 

Suddenly, when that breakthrough seems so close, a huge disappointment or trial comes up and you start wondering where God is. After all, he made his promises clear to you. 

What happened to all the things He said? Why does it look like nothing is happening? Why does He seem so silent? 

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4

Understand that you do not go through challenges to get destroyed. For any greater level, there are greater tests. God will not take you to a level where your faith can not sustain you; but you have to build yourself up to be fit for where He is taking you to. You need to be ready for the blessing so that it does not destroy you. God, in all His mercies, equips us for such situations.

You have to stretch your faith when you are between a rock and a hard place. If everything was comfortable for you, you would not know what you are capable of. When things do not go exactly how you want them to or everything seems to be against you, you have the option to give up or continue trusting that the promise will surely come to pass at the appointed time. 

Through a dream, God revealed to Joseph that he would be a leader despite the fact that he had never held any leadership position before. Nevertheless, along the line, he acquired necessary skills, traits and knowledge while he went through challenges.

His challenges trained and prepared him for his destination. He became a leader in his slave master’s house. When he was falsely accused by his slave master’s wife, he learnt how leaders deal with detractors. While in prison, he understood the importance of being a servant-leader. His living conditions at the time helped him to have compassion and kindness for the paupers of his society.

So be encouraged, challenges ought to stretch you. Your experiences will birth fruits beyond your expectations. Your character has to grow to the level of your expectations. 

Action Point: No experience is wasted. Look for the message in the mess.

Biblical inspiration: James 1: 2-4