Have you been believing for something for a long time? You look around and everyone seems to have it going on? You know you’re destined for so much more, but the picture of your preferred future (vision) is dimming.
Instead of focusing on the promise we shift our eyes to the circumstances and drift into discouragement. Our dispirited heart has lost its enthusiasm and is left in a weakened state. Discouragement is a spiritual attack of the enemy used to get you to quit on what God has called you to do.
Satan is keenly aware we need courage to accomplish our mission, so he brings "dis" couragement. You hear a voice whisper, “nothing is happening.” Here’s the good news. The devil comes to steal your purpose so if it “wasn’t working” he wouldn’t care. So, it’ a sure sign … it is working!
Scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
God placed those desires in your heart. Don't let them die as ghosts on your deathbed. Here are three ways to stir up the fire and stop discouragement:
1. Stir Yourself Up
Don’t wait around from someone to encourage you. Be like David, and stir yourself up. In 1 Samuel 30 David and his army are devastated by the Amalekites. His town was burned, his wives are gone, and all the children have been taken captive. His soldiers wept until they had no tears left. Sound familiar? There was no one available to encourage him, in fact, his army was talking about stoning him.
But Scripture says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” How? We must surmise that David took his harp and retreated to a peaceful place where he sang songs of praise. Not lamenting “why me Lord” songs, but songs remembering past victories over the lion, the bear, and Goliath.
Praise lifts us out of discouragement and into a place of encouragement. Scripture reminds us , "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Stir up your joy, and you will recover your strength. David recovered everything from the Amalekites. Nothing was missing, and he took all their flocks and herds too. God doesn’t just restore what has been taken, but He makes sure the enemy pays dearly. Stir up the Praise!
2. Stir Up Your Gift
I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle[a] the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you. 1 Timothy 1:6 TPT
Like any fire, it needs to be stoked. You have a gift, start using it, and feel the embers of passion start sparking again.
Passion brings the "oomph" that casts a vision for your life. Every Easter I am overcome with emotion watching the Passion of the Christ, depicting the last hours of Jesus' life. This time is referred to as "The Passion" because of the example of Jesus sacrifice and suffering. One would never submit themselves to such savagery, humiliation, and separation with God ... without passion.
Passion is the force of persistence and makes the mundane seem like necessary steps on the path of perpetual growth. Passion brings staying power, when everyone says, "it's time to quit." Jesus saw that His sacrifice would give us the reason to get up in the morning. Stir up your gift!
3. Stir Up Your Faith
Faith comes by hearing the word of God, and the devil is always trying to steal it from our heart. If you want to stir up your faith you have to do something. So grab a faith-producing book, find soul-sizzling Scriptures and plaster them all over your house as reminders, listen to faith-filled podcasts (https://anchor.fm/crystal14) and go for a walk. You’re probably already on YouTube, take a break from your obsession with makeup tutorials and check out an encouraging message.
Stop discouragement and put some fire in your desire when you stir up your praise, stir up your gift, and stir up your faith!
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