MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Do you hate the feeling of discouragement? Well, so do I! I can’t stand the invasion of any negative presence in my mind.
- Discouragement can affect our judgment in so many ways: actions, words, decisions to mention just a few. I make it a policy now that if I have been overtaken by discouragement (which happens to us all from time to time) it is not a time to make any sort of decisions until I encourage myself again…or someone comes along that encourages me. Then I can see clearly and think clearly to make a decision that is sound and profitable. I have counselled others numerous times to not make emotional decisions: whether it is at a moment of an extreme joyful state or, at a time of a general state of discouragement…or anger…or confusion…frustration. I think one of the worst emotional decisions that we make as a people is separation from our loved ones. I would say after many years as a lay-counselor that 90% of divorces happen during a state of emotional turmoil. I recall our friend, pastor and counselor (psychologist) (Dr.) Paddy Ducklow many years ago encouraging us with these words, “I know that it feels like everything has been tossed in the air and it will never come down again….but it will. You might FEEL like you can’t take any more, but you can.” His words were true and have sustained us through many trials and testings over the years. Thanks, Paddy!
If you are discouraged today, please know that there is ALWAYS hope for a future. My husband says, “It’s not over ‘til it’s over.” And this is also a powerful truth and encouragement. There have been moments in my life where suddenly all hope seemed to vanish and I was left with a sense of hopelessness. I felt that I would never recover and my life was over as I knew it. BUT…GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANY DISCOURAGEMENT WE FACE. HE IS A GOD OF RECOVERY, GRACE, LOVE, LONG SUFFERING, COMPASSION, MERCY AND ON AND ON….
God always speaks to me to be “strong and courageous” when I feel knocked down. Believe me, I don’t feel like being strong or courageous when I am sitting in the pit of glum. In fact, I would just as well like to give up and quit. BUT! I know from experience to….
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. KJV
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. KJV
And my favorite reminder from my God….
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. KJV
Now…if you are beginning to feel some encouragement and that yukky sense of hopelessness is fading and your mind is clearing and your shoulders are straightening, here are a few tidbits to keep you going and help you completely shed the heaviness of hopelessness…or just get free from the yuks of life:
I have found that each and every time I become discouraged over something God steps in very quickly and speaks encouragement from His Word. Why His encouragement doesn’t just yank me out of me gloomy state, I don’t understand. Somehow it takes His Word PLUS the compassion and mercy of my fellow sojourners to lift me out and send me on my way. I hope that this post is that additional boost to lift you up and send you merrily on your way. SPEAKING OF “MERRILY”! This came to my attention this morning as I was watching 100 Huntly Street. There was a segment on sharing the original definition of the Christmas greeting “Merry” Christmas. It was a wonderful boost and I pass it on to you.
One Hundered Huntley:
The Christmas greeting Merry Christmas originated about 500 years ago with the first Christmas carol. The definition of “merry” is not referring to happy or even joyful, but its usage was to depict “great (ness), might (iness) and strength”. I love this! Amen, brother! I can’t wait to wish the next person I see a merry Christmas! A GREAT Christmas…a Christmas full of might and strength! Amen to all! Even the song “God rest you merry gentlemen” makes more sense. This is a wish for these men to be great, full of might and strength. Awesome!
I decided to take this another step:
13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. KJV
Strong’s Concordance: Merry (vs 13 and 15) here is to be joyful, have wealth, welfare, be loving and be well favoured. But what caught my attention was the word spirit in vs 13:
Strong’s Concordance 7303: a broken spirit = courage (is broken), mind (is broken), breath (is broken)
Wow! That just about says it all. When we feel discouraged our courage is broken, our mind is broken and even our breath is broken (Have you ever noticed when your breathing becomes shallow?). Give this a little thought and you will get the picture.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. KJV
Well, all of us receive a few lemons and some of us a lot of crap. It’s what we do with those lemons and all the crap that defines us. You know to turn lemons in to lemonade, but have you ever used the crap as a rich fertilizer and grow the best darned crop of lusciousness you ever saw! Ha, ha, ha on the devil. Remember…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, brother, sister, father, mother, our children, friends, spouse or neighbor, but against the forces of darkness in this world. GOD IS GREATER AND SO ARE WE! Ephesians 6:12-19
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! (from The Willows Freedom House)