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Courageously Cruising through Discouraging Days

They say repetition is a good thing. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that statement. But there are conditions . . . limits. Repeating a difficulty certainly isn’t preferable. And yet, the times in which we live have a repetitive feel to them, don’t they?

With the onset of the pandemic, our days were riddled with extremely difficult and unfamiliar challenges. As time dragged on, we settled into a navigation system, of sorts. Then it seemed we were on an exit route, so we attempted to cruise normal byways as things opened back up. Only to loop back into an obstacle wrought zone.

With the resurgence of cases, it can feel like an emotional ride—as we miss out on certain things . . . again. To re-experience the disappointment of cancellations and changed plans doesn’t make it any easier. Hearts ache at the shattering of another round of expectations in the face of the all-too-familiar unknown.

When change feels like it’s on a continual round-about, we have this hope: our God is immutable. And history is moving forward, even when it feels like we aren’t. God is not surprised by current events. He knows what happens in time, as it travels to His planned destination. A destination we can hope in.

Hope has the power to fuel courage—especially when you’re stuck in a rut. There is encouragement for the journey—to give hope just the boost it needs.

When change hits reverse

Disappointment can be crushing—especially when you thought you were moving out of a difficult situation but then experience a set-back.

Change is acceptable . . . when it’s for the good. However, when we’re moving through positive change but suddenly experience a reversal, it’s easy to get discouraged. However, what has reversed can still gain momentum to turn back around.

Time and again David experienced a reversal, as he waited to take the throne. He waited before the Lord, in hope and trust, for God’s timing to move him forward.

When you feel stalled out

Maybe you’re feeling like we’re not advancing at all. That’s when it helps to remember that God’s plan is moving toward its goal.

We don’t know what the seasons ahead will look like. But we can look to the Lord with confidence in the redemption that is inevitably coming. For God has sworn that His purposes in the One Who is, Who was, and Who is to come (Rev 1:8) will not fail.

When you’re spinning your wheels

Are you overwhelmed by too many activities? Spinning your wheels, but not getting ahead? The key is having reasonable expectations and knowing your limits. Too many demands cause stress. This kind of stress is best managed by resting in the Lord. And asking Him to train your powers of discernment, as well as granting insight into time management.

When you’re grinding gears

Discouragement comes when we try to control too many things beyond our control. We can’t control when this pandemic will end. Or much else for that matter. To stop gears from grinding requires a shift. So does fighting frustration. It requires a shift in focus. Set your sights on the needs of others. On daily blessings. And, by all means, gaze upon the One who does have control.

Many in the great cloud of witnesses experienced the disappointment of reversals, the stress of feeling overwhelmed, or the frustration of being ineffectual. But God was ever-present and faithful—moving His purposes forward. By His all-sufficient power and guidance, they advanced—and He went with them. And disciples can have the courage of their Master to navigate rough roads . . . whenever we allow Him to steer the way.

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