Wheelbarrow full of snow at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Fight discouragement with praise


The National Weather Service tells me I have a foot of snow outside at the moment, but one thing I’ve learned living out here is you don’t know exactly how much snow you’ve had until you go out walking in it. From the windows it’s deceptive. Yesterday, I was out walking around when we only had 8 inches, being doubly thankful I have a job that I can work from home, and I managed to end up in a drift of snow that was a lot deeper than I expected it to be. It came up past my knees. Compared to the rest of the landscape, the drift didn’t seem obvious, but it was there, and it slowed me down enormously as I was trying to walk.

Life is kind of like a yard full of snow drifts. You don’t always know how deep they are, and if you aren’t careful you can end up stuck.

I’ve been posting this week about discouragement, and I ran into a verse this morning that really encapsulates everything we need to do to fight discouragement in our lives.

Wheelbarrow full of snow at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Wheelbarrow full of snow at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verses are Isaiah 12:4-5.

In that wonderful day you will sing:
    “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done.
    Let them know how mighty he is!
Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.
    Make known his praise around the world.

I’m going to make this brief because my home office is still freezing in spite of my little electric heater. I’ve been working for fifteen minutes, and my fingers are already going numb. (Please excuse typos if you see them!!)

Discouragement isn’t something that we just have to accept and move on with. We don’t have to live with discouragement, and God has given us all sorts of weapons to use in the fight against it. One of those weapons is truth. Knowing God’s truth will help us face the lies that discouragement whispers to us, but another weapon is praise.

Praise is hard on a good day, let alone on a day when you feel lower than low, but praise is one of the best things to do when you don’t feel like it. Worship takes your eyes off yourself and puts them on God, telling Him how awesome He is, how wonderful He is, and thanking Him for everything He’s done in your life.

Yes, maybe your life sucks right now, but it’s not as bad as it could be. Seriously, think about it. Take your worst moment and you’ll be able to find something positive about it with God’s help. Our lives are never as bad as they could be, and that’s God’s grace.

So in those discouraging moments, those moments where you end up stuck in the snow drifts, step back and praise God. Focus all your energy on telling Him how great He is, on telling others How great He is, instead of how difficult your life is at the moment, and something miraculous will happen. Your situation won’t change, but the way you see it will.

And, if you ask me, life is less about what happens to you and more about how you respond to it. So if you can face difficulty and discouragement with a smile and still keep praising God in the darkness, you’ve won the bigger battle anyway.