Welcome back to Taking Heart series! If you’d like to read the first installment, you can find it here for some quick and practical tools to help you when you’re discouraged.
Here are the final two things I do when I’m overwhelmed and heartsick. I pray they encourage you today and that you remember you’re not alone in this season.
Step 3: Remember
I have heard it said that your memory determines a lot about your Christian life. Our ability to remember who God says He is, what He promises, and what He has already done for us is crucial when we feel like the walls are closing in. Like the Israelites in the desert after Egypt, we can tend to panic and doubt when we forget what God has already done. In the same way, we can trap ourselves in long seasons and trials that God never meant for us. Without a good memory, we go in circles, making our own path. We must train ourselves to recall who God has been, not only in history, but also in our own lives. He is always the same, and he is always faithful. Write your testimony down. Remind yourself of what He’s already done in your story. He has done something good you can relate back to this moment. Borrow someone else’s story, if you have to. I often have to remind myself how many times I’ve seen God redeem things I didn’t understand. My memory always proves to me that He’s the ultimate Leader.
Step 4: Take Heart
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world
you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Collins Dictionary defines it this way: “If you take heart from something, you are encouraged and made to feel optimistic by it.”
So truly, we must be optimistic in trials and even confusion when we remember who Jesus is. He has already overcome whatever we are facing. We know the world holds trouble, and we know the one greater than that trouble.
When we take heart, we allow our adversity to give us hope that God is on the move in our lives. We invite and await Him, assess what we believe, remember who He has been, and once again allow ourselves to be encouraged by the knowledge of who He is in our lives.
The thing about trouble or turmoil is that only within that context do we learn how to take heart. We have an opportunity to remember that we should be fixed on Him when we find ourselves hurting. And to me, that’s what taking heart means. Taking my heart out of the mess and putting it back into His hands where it belongs.
1. What can you practically do to take heart in an area of your life today?