Christmas is over and we prepare for a New Year to arrive. Winter arrives in some aggressive ways depending on where you live. The days are short and more darkness abounds, both in the sky and in the World.
Our enemy is really good at discouraging us with His lies that consistently pop into our minds.
This Season seems to bring much more hopelessness than others.
As someone who has struggled with depression through the years, I become very alert. I am extremely aware of my weakness to go inward too deeply and keep my eyes on all that is wrong, scary, discouraging, and unknown.
I have learned to pray ahead for these Seasons. I pray that God prepares me. I pray that He helps me keep my eyes on Him and that He continually fans into flames that Hope that is only found in Him.
God is faithful to show me what I can do to live in that Hope, even through the desolate and dark times and Seasons in life.
One thing I do is write down all my blessings. I write down all those things I seem to forget about when I am in a Season of hopelessness. It helps me to see how God has blessed me. I remember His faithfulness to me.
I write down all that I see Him doing in myself, my marriage, my family, and my church. I write down how God has answered prayers, both for myself and for others. This reminds me of the love and Hope I have in Him and the truth that I can trust Him with everything.
I look at these often so the enemy is not able to drag me down. I pray the armor of God over me, my household, and His church.
I look back over the past year and it has been a year of powerful breakthroughs and freedom for me. It has been a year of sadness as I have watched people I love stray from the path God has for them. It has been a year of taking more baby steps toward the unknown plan God has for me, for my family, and for my church family.
As I look ahead I will be hopeful despite the discouragement. I will be hopeful despite what I see around me and I will be intentional to live in the Hope that is only found in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is not always easy and many days it is a very intentional and purposeful way of living. I am incredibly blessed in many ways and God is continually faithful to me.
I pray that you are encouraged and I pray as we go into this New Year and enter a new Winter Season that you will be encouraged by Him.
“Be strong and take heart, all you who HOPE in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
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