Monday, February 6, 2012

The Dangers of Discouragement

The dance with discouragement put me on thin ice. The more I entertained those thoughts, the more I spiraled down emotionally. What was the result?

1)  I got into a negative way of viewing past and present events.

2)  My decision-making ability went askew. I felt pressed to make quick decisions without giving them prayer or careful consideration. Full-blown panic mode entered the picture.

3)  Quitting seemed like it would be a welcome relief from pressure. Guess what? We're going to have stressful situations in life whether it's writing or something else.

4)  My problems became bigger in my eyes than God. Writing that sentence made me shudder. How I must have grieved His heart.

5)  All of the blessings dimmed, and I lost sight of how far I'd come on this writing journey.

I'd like to make all sorts of excuses, but the bottom line is I agreed with the temptation of discouragement. Next week, we'll see how God graciously pulled me out of this latest scrape. Yes, as Joyce Meyer often says, "The battlefield is in the mind."

Do you see any other dangers to dancing with thoughts contrary to God's Word?


Loree Huebner said...

I've touched on quitting before, more than one time in the past.

God saw me through, and I found the courage and encouragement to continue in unexpected places.

The mind is a battlefield. We must keep focused on God.

I look forward to your next post!

Karen Lange said...

I can relate. I've found myself in and out of similar places these past few years. Recognizing it is a good step to moving ahead. Thanks, Susan. Looking forward to next week's post!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

My head can be such a mess. Glad God pulled you out and you didn't remain stuck in those discouraging thoughts!
~ Wendy

Brooke @ i blog 4 books said...

Thank you for sharing. I've been wrestling with a bit of discouragement lately and this really hit home with me.

Nancy said...

Thanks for this insight. Entertaining thoughts contrary to God's word can escalate and make it harder to hear God's voice. It's so important for me to stay focused on what God says so that I can stay afloat and then even get something done.
I am enjoying this series.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your honesty, Susan! It's easy to give in to discouragement. So glad you saw the enemy's trap and climbed on out! I often focus on Philippians 4:8 when I'm tempted to despair. Also, knowing that God provides a way of escape EVERY time I'm tempted, is a mighty encouragement! Have a blessed week!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I've noticed those times in my life result in self-centeredness rather than God-centeredness. And I'm usually so consumed in the moment that I don't see it until I look back later. I'm thankful for a God who doesn't give up on us. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Many times when I've wanted to quit, the Lord brings an opportunity my way, and I stay in the race. He is so faithful.

The only other danger I can think of is that when I'm discouraged, I may drag others down with me, due to my negative talk. Sigh.

quietspirit said...

I find comfort in the Psalms when I am discouraged. Read Psalm 42 (esp. verse 5.) Also read Psalm 46 ( all 11 verses.)

Melanie N. Brasher said...

#5 jumped out at me. It's so easy to forget how far the Lord has brought us, isn't it? Thanks for this reminder. Glad the Lord pulled you out of that state. :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Oh, my. I can understand you, friend! Boy, can I ever. That one statement about forgetting how far you've come is true. Always straining for the next great thing can have unintended side effects, can't it?

I'm interested to hear your next post in this series, Susan. All ears, in fact. :) Glad to hear you're pulling out of it and can light the way for others in the same pit!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree - With your recent success, I'm sure you're happy you didn't quit. :)

Hi Karen - Good point. Half the battle is identifying the problem.

Hi Wendy - You and me both!

Hi Brook - I'm so thankful this post helped you.

Hi Nancy - Yes, when we allow thoughts contrary to God's Word, it's like throwing dirt into crystal-clear water. Lots of mud.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria - Yep, the enemy wants to hinder God's plan for our lives. Steering clear of his traps isn't always easy, but God's Word is a light to our path.

Hi Sarah - Oh, yes! I'm thankful He doesn't give up on us when we fail.

Hi Jen - Discouragement is contagious - another good reason to avoid it.

Hi Quiet Spirit - Thank you for those references.

Hi Melanie - Pressing on, I forget to keep my thanksgiving bonnet tied under my chin.

Hi Rhonda - Yes, sometimes we have to stop and listen for that still, small voice.

Susan :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I hate it when that happens. Can't wait to see how you got out of it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathy -

Nice to see you. I'll pop by your place in a bit. :)

Yeah, discouragement is no fun. I'm glad I'm on the other side.


Christine said...

I love your insights. So true that we need to count our blessings to remember his faithfulness. And keep on counting! Praise God you are on the other side now.

Jean Fischer said...

I'm looking forward to next week's post, too, Susan. Staying positive and trusting God's wisdom and timing are so important. The enemy loves to nestle in with discouragement.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Christine - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. If my posts help even one person, it will be worth the struggle I went through.

Hi Jean - I hope everyone is not disappointed in the final installment. Sometimes we look for the spectacular and miss the everyday miracles.

Susan :)

Kathleen said...

You could write on this subject every single day and it wouldn't be too often, or too much! Learning to be content NO MATTER WHAT, and learning to make lemonade out of lemons are huge undertakings, but oh so worthwhile.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

This writing journey requires an abundance of faith and perseverance. I hope the posts encourage folks to press on.

Susan :)