How To Encourage When Facing Discouraging Times

Photo Credit: Words for the Heart

This is a hard one for many couples.  Especially if the discouraging times are affecting you both.  But.  We mustn’t forget the third person in our marriage – the Lord.  He is capable of lifting our spirits out of the mire and setting our feet and hope on solid ground.

Encouragement for us in our marriage often is without words:

  • It’s a hug – not a quick one, but a long embrace with whispers of  “It will be okay,” that help us get through the day.
  • It’s doing little things, like fixing a favorite treat or completing a chore on their list and surprising them with it.
  • It’s turning your iPod to their favorite worship song and handing them the earphones to listen and worship as they fall asleep.

But it can also involve communication, but in a caring “others focused” sort of way:

  • It’s listening and asking questions to help them understand exactly what it is that is discouraging them.  Sometimes it’s not what you think at first glance.  Talking about it can help discover if this is so.
  • It’s praying out loud on behalf of your spouse.  As they hear your faith for the situation, their faith is encouraged as well.
  • It’s helping them remember to keep pressing forward; it’s speaking the Truth to them with a loving reminder that this too will pass, even when it feels as if it won’t.

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  For,

“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

Habrews 10:36-39

On the Words From The Heart blog, Pastor Bernie Federman encourages his congregation with these apt words:

We can easily get distracted into believing that if we serve God, then everything will be easy and void of problems and discouragement. I cannot tell you how often people have said to me, “I am discouraged, so I cannot move with God’s plan” – “I am discouraged so I am leaving my marriage, my job, my church”…and the list goes on and on. The Hebrews writer tells us that when we do the will of God, we need to keep enduring and persevere. There will be times that obedience will be attended by discouragement.

But the righteous will live by faith… not by feeling.

In discouragement it is easy to shrink back. When you get battle weary and combat fatigue sets in (or raising a family fatigue) you will want to shrink back… shrink back from our calling, our responsibility, and our ministries. Shrink back into discouragement that leads to more of what causes our discouragement and our fatigue.

We need to remember that it is OK to get a break from the rigor, but not from the responsibility. From the pain but not the calling. From the tiredness but not from the assignment that God has called us to.  When discouraged, get a break and a breath, but do not give up.

What must be our reward is that we obey, not that we get results.

Our joy must be found not in results, but in knowing that God is taking delight in us. Then, and only then, will we one day, receive what was promised.

We love this quote!  Our joy cannot be found in results.  Our joy is in Christ alone.

Are you discouraged in your marriage?  Please realize that there is hope for you.  God has promised to help us, and His help is all we need.  We must cry out to Him and then listen for His lead.

How does God and/or your spouse encourage you in discouraging times?

This is a song that always draws our heart to God when we need it most.  Enjoy!

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5 Responses to How To Encourage When Facing Discouraging Times

  1. Denise says:

    I needed to be reminded today not to let my joy be in results, but in the fact that God delights in me. Thank you for this post.


    • Debi Walter says:

      Thanks for commenting Denise. It’s encouraging to us to know others are facing similar difficulties and finding their help in God who never changes. I pray you’ll be out of the difficulty soon!


  2. Pastor Bernie says:

    Great post and enjoyed looking around your blog. Praying for all on the East Coast with the storms and Irene brewing. Thanks for your kind comments and for using something I shared with my congregation. Be encouraged as your thoughtfulness encouraged my heart.


    • Debi Walter says:

      Thank you, Pastor Bernie. Have a wonderful weekend! We’re happy to have sent Irene on her way! 🙂
      Tom and Debi


  3. Pingback: Continuing my Pursuit… « After the Ecstasy, the Laundry . . .

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