Communication Builds Our Community

Overcoming Discouragement

Today, my grandmother turns 92 years old. Since 1928, she has certainly experienced many changes throughout her life in the United States. I am thankful to God for still having this woman in my life. She continues to pray for and encourage me regardless of the present temporary circumstances I am facing, or that she is facing.

The Word holds true amidst world wars, great depressions, global pandemics, political turmoil, natural disasters, seismic technological changes, the death of loved ones, job losses, house fires, betrayal of friends, broken bones, temper tantrums by small children or aging family members, and just the daily tribulation and brokenness of life. While this upcoming holiday season is shaping up to be a most unique one, may we all be thankful for the blessings He has given us even in this moment of time, and the blessings He is preparing for our future. Here are just a few old stories worth pondering when we feel discouraged:

Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life. He himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers." And he lay down and slept. And an angel touched him and said to him, "Arise and eat." And he ate and drank and lay down again. (The great prophet Elijah; 1 Kings 19)

They feared greatly. And the people cried out to the LORD. They said, "Is it because there are no graves...that you have taken us to die in the wilderness? What have you done? We told you to leave us alone." Then he said to the people, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (Exodus 14)

The LORD said, "The people with you are too many for me to give the enemy into their hand, lest the people boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'... Then the LORD said, "The people are still too many. Take them down to the water." ... And the LORD said with that small number He will save them; let the others go home. (Judges 7)

But she said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything buy death parts me from you. (Ruth)

Then she told the people to reply to him, "Go, gather all the people and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I will also fast as you do. Then I will go, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish." (Esther 4)

But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12)

John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (Jesus)

Christian Ponder has been a resident of Lake Wales since 2001. He enjoys living in Lake Wales with his wife and two children.


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