It is an epidemic. Nothing can stop its rampage. There is none exempted, none spared.
The lack of confidence.
Dejection of spirit.
Lack of motivation.
This is more than just the Monday blues.
The emotional lethargy, the absence of courage and the loss of heart are some of the symptoms of its presence. Victims stumble through in a blur, their minds fighting to keep sanity and their emotions desperate to find its compass.
Discouragement is a mental defeat.
It is like the flu bug. It is always present. No one is immune to it. No prevention keeps us out of its reach. We try to our best to be healthy, but that doesn’t stop us from getting the flu more than once in our lifetime. We know its nature – air-borne and contagious. Given the ideal environment, it thrives and multiplies, a dripping tap, congested pipes, and globules of yellow and green needing to be expelled. At this point, we need back-up. We enlist external help to lay to rest the battle within. Decongestant, antihistamine, linctus and anti-inflammatories. They bring our bodies down to equilibrium, forcing the surrender of foreign troops and restoring control to rightful ones. Our body finds its balance again, slowly but surely it regains its health and fights back to victory.
Discouragement happens just like the common flu. We can prevent it the best we can. But for times when it slips through our defenses, we need to know how to regain our health.
1. Know its nature:
· It is universal. Come to terms with this. You are no exception.
· It is recurring. It will hit you more than once in your lifetime no matter how hard you try to prevent it.
· It is contagious. This epidemic will find someone close enough to infect. If you are wondering why you feel discouraged all the time, look around you. Are those closest to you discouraged? Or is your discouragement affecting them?
2. Know its cause:
· Fatigue – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. It might be a jam-packed schedule, a project that never seems to end, a crying child who refuses to sleep or a time of loss and grief. When we are tired, our immunity is low and our guard is down.
· Frustration – We meet obstacles and distractions. We have problems we cannot solve, an unwise decision that veered us off track, never ending urgent things that take us away from the ever present important.
· Failures – We are human, we make mistakes and do dumb things. Don’t wallow in self-pity. Get up and learn from it!
· Fear – Negative thoughts have a way of secretly creeping up on us. Fear makes you want to run away instead of facing it head on.
3. Know the cure:
· Pray – Call for back-up. Pray for His intervention to end the raging war inside of you. He will defeat the foreign troops and restore control.
· Rest – This includes physical and spiritual rest. Sleep, take shelter in Jesus and learn of Him.
· Re-strategize – Make changes. Re-prioritize. Just don’t quit!
· Remember – Remember God’s goodness in the past, His closeness in the present and His power for the future.
· Resist – We must resist. Fight it!
The flu won’t last forever. Follow the instructions of Jesus, the Great Physician, and you will be back in the pink of health in no time!