For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tips for Struggling with Discouragement (Part 3)

During the last two weeks we talked about . . . 

When we get discouraged, it's often because our EFFORTS don't meet up with our EXPECTATIONS. When that happens, we'll either give up or want to give up. 

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton's first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Scott’s Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds.  

In 1913, he planned another expedition, and he ran this ad in the London Times:

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success."

Legend has it 5000 men applied for what Shackleton defined as a great adventure.

The book of Acts is a Believer's call to adventure, call to be worldwide storytellers of Jesus.  The book of Acts also tells readers about real people who went on an adventure. So far we talked about being spiritually self-disciplined and being ready for war because spiritual attacks will come.

3. Be able to handle rejection!

The hard and fast truth is not everyone will be receptive to your story--the testimony of what God has done in your life. (Maybe even the book you wrote.)

That someone rejects the story you've told doesn't make you a failure. Paul and Barnabas faced this big time on their missionary journeys. When they were rejected, they "with joy" went on to someone else. How could they have joy in the midst of the rejection? 

  • Because they were obedient to God. 
  • Because every time they told their story, they RE-LIVED their experience. 
  • Because they knew somewhere out there was someone else just waiting to hear their story.
As Jesus-followers, we are called to tell our story how God changed us . . . how He gave us joy amid the despair . . . and how He turned our sorrow into gladness. Too many times we fall into the stinkin' thinkin' that being a Christian is an easy life. It's not. God never planned it to or He would have zapped us up to Heaven the moment of salvation.

There's a line in The Princess Diaries when Joe the Bodyguard tells Mia: 

"No no has the power to make you feel inferior 
without your permission."

Remove "inferior" and substituted any other emotion you are feeling.

Whatever our goal, we need to re-adjust our expectations while continuing to give our best efforts. Because only when we re-adjust our expectations will we begin to gain victory over Discouragement.

Always be ready to offer a defense, humbly and respectfully, when someone asks why you live in hope. Keep your conscience clear so that those who ridicule your good conduct in the Anointed and say bad things about you will be put to shame. ~1 Peter 3:15 (the Voice)

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