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Over the last 6 months I’ve been trying to lose weight and made good progress.  However, this morning I went and weighed myself.  I was actually up one pound from the day before.  Now I wouldn’t have thought much about this but I’m currently in a fast and so yesterday I actually ate no solid food.  Not only that but it was my mother’s birthday so part of the price of my fast was that I sat in a nice restuarant with my family and watched them eat halibut, shrimp and other great food while I ate nothing.  Then we went home and I watched the family devour a chocolate/cookie  dough ice cream cake from Coldstones.  Once again I ate nothing.  So my reward for excruciating self control was one pound of weight gain–that’s discouraging.  But on the scale of discouragement it’s still miniscule.  What about the faithful spouse who has a husband with a porn addiction?  Or the person struggling in a wheel chair day after day, year after year?  Or the single mom who faces another bill that she doesn’t have the money for?  Discouragement is one of our most difficult companions.  Here’s a list of some of things I have found helpful when dealing with discouragment.

1.  Assess and often lower my expectations.  To expect the car ALWAYS to run and the children to ALWAYS behave is probably not realistic.

2. Count my blessings.  What are the many good things that God has given me in my life?

3.  Think about heaven.  Life here is not heaven, as matter of fact it’s designed in part to help us to desire heaven.

4.  Pray.

5.  Share my frustrations and troubles with a friend. Life is to be lived with others.

I hope your find these suggestions helpful WHEN you get discouraged.

Under His Mercy,

Derek Dickinson, Minister

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