November 20, 2012 by Kara Nichols
Do you ever wake up feeling discouraged? That’s me today.
From the outside everything in my life seems to be coming together in new and beautiful ways. But I am still dealing with heartache.
There’s a story told about former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis. A cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. The story goes that he still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa. “I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under by arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. I put my suitcases down, and I looked up at the Tower and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to conquer Chicago.’ “When I looked down, the suitcases were gone.”
Satan is trying to steal my suitcases. He knows I’ve gone through a dramatic transformation and I am heavy in the Spirit of God now. Satan can’t have me back but he will do anything in his power to make my life miserable. Besides, even Billy Graham once said that the Christian life is not a constant high. “I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.'”
I think of King David. “I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. …I groan because of the turmoil of my heart” he says in Psalm 38:6, 8.
The Message version of the Bible is my favorite, check out Psalm 42:5:
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.
Job 11:18 says, “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” And Job faced much worse circumstances than I am. That perks my heart up a little bit — to experience Job’s story and know that I serve the same God.
Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind – -“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A hope and a future. Sounds good to me!
I’d like to say a prayer for those of us who are feeling discouraged today.
You promise us hope and and a future. You say that when we fix our eyes on you, you will put a smile on our faces. I praise your name for all of the wonderful works you have done in our lives and I just ask in your name that you will come be with us today. Comfort our hearts. Soothe our restless souls. Show yourself to us in big and small ways today, Lord.
What you have begun in us cannot be taken away. Satan is powerless in your presence Jesus. The Bible says that you have not given us a spirit of fear but of love and power and of a sound mind. Lord Jesus I ask as we enter in the holiday season, which can be so hard for many of us, that you will comfort us with your tender love. Give us the courage we need to deal with difficult people in our lives. Cover us with hope and blessings from above. Your compassion never fails. Help us be thankful for the bitter times because they make the sweeter that much more sweet. Amen.