Discouragement seems to be in the air. I’m not sure why. It’s not mid-winter when widespread melancholy can be blamed on the gray sunless sky. Recently, however, nearly every day I’ve seen evidence of discouragement in someone that has crossed my path--in person or online or on the phone: a discouraging tale or a discouraged tone in their voice or words or some action (or inaction) that betrays underlying discouragement. I’ve struggled with some discouragement myself.
One person asked me to write out some verses on a card for him. I did this for him once before during a particularly difficult time and the message of the verse on the card seemed to bring some relief. Relief is needed again. It can sound trite to pull a verse out of Scripture to “hang on to” during a tough time. In reality, however, it is never trite to remind yourself of a truth that is obscured by discouragement or fear or loneliness or whatever.
So before putting these cards into a stamped envelope and sending them on their way to my friend, I think I’ll write them out here also. The words may help other discouraged someone’s who happen upon this site. Besides, I could benefit from a bit more time in their presence.
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.”
“My soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion';
therefore, I will wait for him.”
“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.”
None of these verses have been pulled blindly from a concordance under the topic “Cheer Up” or “Buck Up.” All have earned their right to be on a card now for my friend because each has already proven their worth by spending time on a frequently viewed and handled card in my own pocket at some time or other.