I have many reasons to be discouraged. I have just come through a long and difficult season, and I’m still going through it. You may be able to relate to this as well. God certainly understands and His heart hurts for the discouraging times we go through.
But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where God tells me to be discouraged. I find many places, almost on every page, where He gives hope for encouragement. It’s not easy to stay encouraged sometimes. But God does not call us to be discouraged.
How do we stay encouraged during difficult seasons? Ephesians 2:4-10 gives a much-needed perspective. If my vision of what’s going on around me leads me to discouragement, I need to widen the lens. I need to readjust my vision to accommodate what is going on, so I can be encouraged.
When things seem to fall apart, I need to remember that Christ holds all things together and is drawing every person to Himself (Colossians 1:17; John 12:32). I may see a small glimpse of that picture and it looks like a destructive whirlwind. I need to widen the lens and set my vision on Jesus. The bigger picture looks very different!
Ephesians 2 tells us we are seated in heavenly places with Jesus. Our lens of every moment in life must be set from that location. From our view, seated in heavenly places with Jesus, there is no discouragement. There is only God’s unending love for us, and the ways He allows us to participate with Him as He redeems and restores in the lives of His people.
Will you join me in allowing God to re-set our lenses? Ask Him to help you see as He sees, and to see how you fit into His beautiful picture of what He is doing in the world. Take some quiet time with God right now, and let Him adjust your lens. Let Him encourage you, even in your most difficult moments. God bless you.
This song, “Heavenly Places” by Amber Brooks, based on Ephesians 2:6, always reminds me of the encouragement and bigger picture I have in Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-10 (NASB)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.