Discouragement hits all of us at times. The disappointments and challenges
of life leave us feeling drained and dismayed. We’ve all been there. The question is: how do we bounce back from discouragement?
The Psalmist David is a remarkable example of resilience. Chased by Saul, attacked by enemies, and haunted by his own weaknesses, David cried out, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). David then goes on to give us specific choices that he made to cultivate a resilient heart. These choices are as imperative for you and I today as they were for David in ancient Israel. If we make these four choices consistently, we will be able to victoriously bounce back from the most difficult life circumstances.
Choice #1 – I will thirst for God.
I thirst for you; my whole being longs for you (Psalm 63:1).
When life slams us, it’s easy to run to our coping techniques. We find ourselves crying out, “I need shopping therapy” or “I need a stiff, hard drink.” We don’t like pain, so we automatically run to whatever numbs us. David runs to God instead. When life falls apart, the most natural impulse is to run to our coping mechanisms. Instead, choose intentionally to run to God. Train yourself—the harder the problem, the more time in His presence. As we spend time in His presence, He exchanges our discouragement for hope.
Choice #2 – I will set my thoughts on God.
I think of you through the watches of the night(Psalm 63:6).
Had any sleepless nights lately? Troubled thoughts interrupting your sleep patterns? Set your thoughts on God. The Apostle Paul echoed this principle in Philippians 4, when he wrote, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). As you look at the characteristics listed there, who has all of them? Only God Himself. When you have sleepless nights, set your thoughts on the character traits of God. Praise Him and watch your faith rebound.
Choice #3 – I will sing.
I sing in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 63:7).
Sounds cheesy, I know. But next time you’re discouraged, bust out the tunes. Sing in the shower. Turn on music in your house and watch what happens to your attitude. Try it. When Steve and I were in Finland, a Pastor explained to us that during a tough season in Finland’s history the people began to sing. As they sang, courage rose in their hearts. Some of the most beautiful music was created out of the chaos of that dark season. The same principle holds true in your life and mine. Part of why David, the writer of this Psalm, was so resilient was because he sang.
Choice #4 – I will cling to what I know to be true about God.
I cling to you. Your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63:8).
When discouragement hits, cling to what you know to be true about God. You’ve staked your faith on some of those truths. When you feel discouraged or defeated, remind yourself of why you believed in the first place. What drew you to put your faith and trust in Christ? God back to those foundational principles and remind yourself. Then watch your faith rebound.
Friend, the truth is that we’re all going to have days that feel dark and discouraging, but you can be resilient! Your faith in a God who is good and who loves you will sustain you through the darkest of times. So take courage. Try some of these choices the next time you feel down and see what happens!
I am enjoying a few days with my daughter Keri and her husband Zach in beautiful San Diego. Steve is in Central Asia for a few days meeting with our team.
How you can pray
Please pray for Steve as he continues to lead Reach Beyond. Pray for wisdom.