Nobody invites discouragement for dinner. But he needs no invitation. He slips past the door with the silence of a cat. Or, he knocks down the door with the rage of a bull. Once inside our head, like a squatter, he refuses to leave. And how we handle his presence will determine our well-being.
How Jesus Dispelled Discouragement
When Jesus announced his impending death, he saw the lifeless look in his disciple’s eyes. On the threshold of his departure, Jesus uttered a sunrise promise. He told them his death wasn’t a final farewell. And he promised a better tomorrow, “I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-2)
I once read about researchers who placed a dozen laboratory mice in a vat of water. As the mice swam in circles the researchers periodically lifted from the water those they had identified with a mark on their head. After briefly lifting the mice they returned them to the water. As the researchers expected, the lifted mice swam longer than the others. This surfaced a question: Did some of the mice die? No. They actually had a mouse-guard on duty who pulled several to safety. Not even an injury. Most suffered fatigue due to the long swim.
Having written that distraction . . .
Here’s another, more important question: why did the lifted mice swim longer? Could it have been . . .
Rest? The researchers doubted that a one second rest mattered.
Strength? The mice were randomly chosen, not according to strength or intelligence.
Finally, the researchers narrowed the answer to a single word:
Lifting the mice infused them with a hope of rescue. And hope empowered them to hold up their heads and keep kicking their legs (were they dog paddling? Can they? I mean, these were mice).
Hope Dispels Discouragement
When discouraged you may feel as helpless as a mouse swimming in a bucket of water. It’s there Jesus offers you a lifeline of hope. He promised you a better tomorrow. No, he guaranteed you a better tomorrow. Reject every discouraging lie and replace it with the Lord’s promise above. Remember, every thought is attached to an emotion and every emotion to a thought. Take every thought captive and make it believe the Lord’s promise.
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