How to Transform Discouraged Feelings into Firm Faith [Guest Post]

Please welcome my friend Beth from Messy Marriage. Every time I read her words I am encouraged, inspired, and shouting, “Amen!” After you read her post here, I hope you’ll leave a comment and then check out her truth-filled blog!


 

What do you do when you’re in a difficult moment? Do you want to know how to transform discouraged feelings into firm faith? Try the Psalm 77 approach. #discouraged #sad #discouragement #Biblicaltruths #spiritualgrowth #thriving #messymarriage #relationships #feelings

There was a time when you might have accused me of being easily discouraged, rather than firm in my faith. And you would have been right in your estimation of me. Of course, I would have denied that you were really seeing into my heart or soul. I might have even defended my faithfulness by pointing out all the “religious” things I was doing . . . And in my prideful view at the time, doing quite well! Thank you very much!

The truth of the situation was that I had more emotional “dips and dives” than your neighborhood’s public pool on a hot day in July.

This was all due to the challenges of early motherhood, the stresses of a messy marriage, and the instability of my low self-esteem. Any number of difficult circumstances could send my emotions careening into a ditch of devastation and despair.

Fast-forward some twenty odd years later and I still face those same temptations—occasionally letting them get me down, but typically not for very long.

What am I doing differently now that seemed to elude me in my youth?

Once I tell you, you’re probably going to feel like my answer is trite and cliché. But even if it is, it still works. And best of all, it’s biblical—which is why it works!

Allow me to tell you a story before I reveal what I do in discouraging moments.

Recently, my husband and I began to discuss something rather mundane as I was driving him to an appointment. When out of the blue, our discussion began to escalate into an argument. Thankfully, we were able to set our disagreement aside until after we had taken the opportunity to calm down, pray and regain our sanity—discussing it further much later in the day.

But I will tell you, after I dropped my husband off and drove away to my next destination, I was overwhelmed with anger and discouragement. Not only that, but that brief encounter threatened to color the rest of my day an ugly shade of gray.

That was until I took the “Psalm 77” tack of thanking God for all that He had done for me as I drove down the highway. This meant thanking the Lord not just for the things that were obviously good in my life, but also for that difficult and conflicted moment I had just experienced, as well as for the husband who I, unfortunately, wanted to cast as the “difficult one” in said “difficult moment.”

If you know anything about Psalm 77, you’ll see just how discouraged the Psalmist was when he penned that very important text in the Bible. In fact, he almost sounds as if he was whining and complaining until he reached a certain point in the chapter. Listen to the shift in his tone there . . .

Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:10-12 ESV)

For the remainder of the chapter the psalmist regaled the Lord with stories and praises of how faithful and good he found the Lord to be.

Whenever I do this in a discouraged moment, it almost always feels insincere at the outset. I’m tempted to feel like this is just slapping a bandage on a gaping wound. But as I continue—praise-by-praise and thank-You-by-thank-You—I begin to feel the Lord encouraging me. I begin to see just how blessed I am, no matter how disguised those blessings were before I began to hunt them down and capture them in praise.

Is there a discouragement you feel in your life or marriage? Have you made a habit of praising and thanking God for His goodness to you—in the good and the bad of your life? If not, I hope you’ll try the Psalm 77 approach. It’s guaranteed to turn your eyes from what’s threatening you back to the One who delivers you in the midst of those troubles!

Do you want to know how to transform discouraged feelings into firm faith? @BethSteffaniak @KellySinging Click To Tweet
What do you do when you’re in a difficult moment? Do you want to know how to transform discouraged feelings into firm faith? Try the Psalm 77 approach. By Beth SteffaniakBeth and her husband of 30 years are enjoying the early days of an empty-nest. Now, Beth fills up her days with writing, life-coaching, mentoring, as well as speaking at workshops. You can also find more of her writing and insights at messymarriage.com, as well as hanging out on her MM Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. She also offers more than 35 relationship and spiritual resources in a library that is free to subscribers of her blog.

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19 Comments

      1. kellyrbaker says:

        Thanks for joining us, Michele!

  1. It’s so easy to let our disappointments color our whole outlook on everything. But if the Word of God and our faith can’t be applied to those ‘messy’ situations then it isn’t worth much. It’s hard, but we have to learn to apply what we read even and maybe most especially when it tells us we need to change.

    1. Yes, Karen, so true! God’s word not only brings peace and comfort when we lift our concerns to Him, but it also brings conviction and truth to any wayward or painful moment. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend!

    2. kellyrbaker says:

      Yes, Karen, applying the Word is key! And it always works. 🙂

  2. Kelly, Yes and amen to this! (Although it’s much easier said than done in the actual moment of.)
    I find that when I force myself to remember God’s goodness to me, and recall to memory all of the wonderful ways He is FOR me, it definitely helps my “mood.”
    Thanks for this beautiful reminder!

    -Rachel (salt & light) 🙂

    1. Thanks for encouraging us, Rachel! Remembering God’s goodness really does make all the difference!

    2. kellyrbaker says:

      Rachel, I agree it’s easier said than done in the moment. But I love what Beth said in the post, to do it anyway and your feelings follow through. That’s what I’ve learned when forgiving others. The same principle applies with this, too.

  3. Wonderful post, Beth! I so enjoy your transparency about marriage struggles. It really helps me feel not so alone, and to be frank, knowing that you have struggles when married to a pastor helps me feel better too. Blessings to you, friend! Kelly, thanks for opening your space to her here too!

    1. Thank you, Sarah. Yes, that’s what I’m committed to–transparency–so that others can find encouragement from the lessons I’ve learned in my messes along the way. And yes, pastors are just like everyone else–struggling when the heat is on. I’m so “grateful” though that my hubby is quick to apologize and recognize his own part in any conflict we have. That hasn’t always been the case for both of us, but after working through these issues and being honest with God, we’ve learned it is the blessed way! Thanks for coming by and encouraging me and Kelly, my friend!

    2. kellyrbaker says:

      My pleasure, Sarah! I’ve always loved Beth’s posts, and I’m grateful to have her here!

  4. How sweet the insight that the Lord encourages us through our thanksgiving. Isn’t that just like God? To make something that’s all about Him, good for us? Love that. Thanks for sharing today, Beth and Kelly. xoxo

    1. Yes, Brenda! I love the way you put that–that God makes something that’s all about Him, good for us! Great insight! Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend!

      1. kellyrbaker says:

        His attributes continue to blow my mind, Brenda! I’m so glad Beth shared this testimony with us!

  5. Yes! Oh how often I forget how faithful God has been. Remembering ALL those times can sure help bring perspective to my gloomy outlook. Thank you for sharing this Beth.

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Agreed, Valerie! It’s the putting into practice, right? Great to see you here!

  6. Hi Kelly … I’ve seen you around here and there and it’s so very good to arrive at your home today. I’m a big ‘Beth fan,’ too and I’m so glad you’ve featured her work.

    Disappointment is often a trap for me, sometimes over matters quite small. As always, the Psalms gives us the antidote, points us to the only One who has the comfort and answers we’re seeking.

    Bless you both …

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      It’s a pleasure to have you visit, Linda! The Psalms are very refreshing to read. Full of emotion, yes, but I love the realness. But like you said, they always point to the One who has the comfort and answers we’re seeking. Be blessed!

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