Discouragement can hit even the most resilient believer. It comes in all shapes and colors. Frustration when you feel like you can’t keep up. Disappointment when you feel your friends have let you down. Worry when you feel like your kids aren’t behaving. Anxiety when you can’t figure out the plan moving forward. Ah, we’ve all been there. There are definite moments when discouragement clouds our optimism. In those moments, one of the key ways we can rebound with hope is to nurture our souls in the promises of God.
Take a promise from scripture. Circle the promise in your Bible and date it. Write it on an index card and memorize the promise. Take a few moments each day to pray that promise back to God. As you go through your day, return to the promise often, reminding yourself that not one of God’s promises has ever failed. The fulfillment of His promises may not look like what you expected it to look like, but you can count on His promise. As you choose to praise God by faith for His promises, I believe you will experience renewed hope, joy, and faith.
Here are three promises from the Prophet Isaiah that I go to when discouragement hits. Each of these has brought great encouragement when I’ve felt discouraged. My prayer for you is that as you claim these as your own, God will revive your joy and strengthen your faith.
3 Promises to Cling to When You Feel Discouraged
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31). I think it’s safe to assume that we’re all a little weary from all that’s happened in the past few years. Right? We’re sick of hearing about COVID numbers rising. We’re exhausted from the political rhetoric, and we’re tired of negative news reports! We’re weary! Yet, tucked in this promise from Isaiah, is the certainty that if we anchor our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will rise with renewed energy and passion. Take this promise and use it as a prayer of praise back to God. Thank Him that you can root your hope in Him and that, as you do, you will rise up with renewed strength.
So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). In these uncertain days, God’s presence is with you. He extends His righteous right hand to you and offers His comfort to you in the journey. A good practice for these days is to set the alarm on your phone and, every two hours, stop and remind yourself that “Jesus is with me in this mess.” No matter how chaotic your life might feel right now, the presence of Christ is right there with you. Train your soul to stop, breathe, and remember: His presence is with you.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth” (Isaiah 42:16). Friend, the truth is, none of us have walked this path before. It’s a way we don’t know. It reminds me of a steep mountain I once hiked with my husband Steve. We were on a narrow, winding path with a steep cliff off to one side. Not a fan of heights, I felt terrified. But Steve went ahead of me and cleared rocks off the path so that I wouldn’t stumble and fall. It’s the same with the Lord. He is already in tomorrow. I have observed that many are filled with dread during this season, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Relax. It’s going to be okay. God is already in tomorrow. He will guide you as you step along the unfamiliar path.
Why don’t you write each of these promises on an index card? Post them where you will see them frequently. Memorize them. Rehearse them often in your mind and take a few moments to pray each one. As you do, I believe your hope will be renewed, your joy will be restored, and your faith will be refreshed!
On September 1st, I will be launching The Connected Mom podcast through the Saddleback Church podcasting network!