DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT AND SADNESS #1

Life is full of ups and downs. None of us can escape them and that includes people of faith. However, how we respond can make a difference between being marooned on an island of despair or sailing freely on the ocean of life.

Many things can make us sad or discouraged. Shattered dreams, stagnation, ill health, broken relationships, material loss, bereavement, and lots more. We may go from grieving to feeling abandoned and unloved by God and people in our lives. We may even feel that all hope is lost and life is not worth living anymore.

I do not for one moment underestimate the gravity of what you’re going or have gone through. I do not even deny that you have a right to feel bad. After all, there are so many bad things that happen which we didn’t ask for. We’ve likely lived right and haven’t hurt anybody before.

However, I wish that you go through what I have to say because I sincerely believe that you need to and can come out of the funk you’re in right now. That applies even if where you are now is a result of your own mistakes. But you would need to make things right with God if you’re going to fully benefit from what I’m about to share with you.

I want you to know that I don’t intend to spout scriptures which you are probably familiar with at you without properly contextualising them empathetically. What I want to do is to present to you the things that God taught me by His Spirit (some of it certainly from His word) over the years in my personal battles with the dumps.

In order to avoid making the discussion clumsy, let us start with some vital things you should take into account with respect to your state of mind. In the next instalment of the article, we’ll look at specific ways you can confront the blues enfolding you.

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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR STATE OF MIND
1. Know that you deserve to be happy. God loves you so much and has made every provision for your salvation, healing and deliverance from all manner of tough situations. He is not only interested in your keeping His word, He is interested in your overall well-being as well.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” – 3 John 1:2

This is God’s desire for you. So work with Him on it. Even if you’re going through a negative season that seems to be divinely ordained. I believe that God is offering you His grace as He did to Paul in a similar situation and note His assurance about how far that grace will go.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

2. And just in case, you are still feeling unworthy of happiness, God goes ahead and gives it as a directive that you be happy. And who should He choose to do this but His servant David who was hounded from cave to mountain to desert by King Saul for many years even though he had been anointed king over Israel and the apostle Paul who, by his own admission, had a thorn in the flesh!

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” – Psalm 32:11

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” –
Philippians 4:4


3. Know that a prolonged stay in the dumps can be injurious to your health. Without going into the science of it, common sense tells us that skipping meals or stuffing oneself with comfort food, staying in a dark room, crying constantly, and entertaining thoughts of hurting oneself or others – the things that people often do when they are in a funk – can harm the person involved physically and psychologically. The Bible puts it this way:

“Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 (Good News Translation)

So while you’re entitled to some anger, grief or whatever other emotions you need to process your negative experience, there comes a time when you ought to accept the comfort of the Holy Spirit and people around you for your own good. If you are in tune with the Holy Spirit, you’ll know the right time.

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We see this in the life of David in 2 Samuel 12:16-23. God had struck the child David sired through his illicit affair with Bathsheba with sickness and David was deeply distressed. He refused food, lay on the floor and implored God to spare the child’s life but after seven days, it died.

When David found out what had happened, he arose, cleaned himself up, went to the house of the Lord and worshipped. Then he came back home, ate and comforted Bathsheba. His servants had been hiding the fact that the child had died thinking he might do “something desperate” (that is, “do himself harm”), having prayed so hard that it might live but David knew where to draw the line (v. 18 – NIV, NASB).

Notice that David’s inability to change the mind of God on the matter did not produce bitterness or resentment in his heart towards God. Some of us are bearing the consequences of our mistakes and blaming God for watching us suffer. Our attitude, rather than bring relief, shuts us off from the divine comfort and grace that could be ours in our predicament.

4. Know that the melancholy state you’re in, whatever it’s cause, is not all-powerful. You can beat it, it doesn’t have to dominate your life and become your trademark. You may not turn into a giggly, chirpy sort, but you don’t have to spread gloom either or keep everyone on tenterhooks concerning your psychological state.

If, however, you have been diagnosed with clinical depression or other forms of mood disorders, stay on the treatment and believe God to see you through. And I pray that the healing virtue of God will locate and soothe your heart and soul today in Jesus’ name.

The foregoing are some of the truths that God gradually inculcated in me that gave birth to my trademark smile. This replaced the severe expression I wore in the past that made me look worse than my circumstances warranted. May your joy be born today if you are constantly down, may it flourish and overtake you, may it confound the things confronting you that think you’ll never escape their grip and may you look toward the future with hope in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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The scriptures used in this article are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible unless otherwise stated.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

75 comments

  • Chidiebere merlin

    9ice one

  • Nwankwo Anita

    nice write up.thanks for the words of encouragement mam.

  • Ekwueme victor obiora

    thanks to our creator who desires that we have peace of mind always no matter the situation. that’s why, blessed are the happy in spirit/ pure in heart for they shall see God. we should not be discouraged rather reflect to the quote; tomorrow holds a promise.nice one ma

  • elijah amogu

    i call this man’s escape from the storm. keeping doing the work ma.

  • Oweka Chioma Sandra

    I deserve love. I am allergic to sadness and foul play.

  • okonkwo benita chidimma

    inspirational piece. thank you

  • Nwafor Godsgift

    hmmmm. am truly encouraged. more grace

  • Emerald

    You make it sound so easy. There are times when you are still disturbed that the noise in your mind is louder than the music in your ear phone. Its just unexplainable. Being steadfast is one of the most challenging things to do… There is always that one problem that brings you down… Hmm

    • Edith Ohaja

      I did point out that people often go through excruciating things and have good reasons to feel down. You may want to read the second segment to get the complete picture. Thanks!

  • This reminds me of Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good, like medicine,
    But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Thanks for this encouragement today! 😀

    • Edith Ohaja

      That’s the scrioture I used for the feature picture. The Good News Translation puts it in such a plain way, it’s just awesome!

  • Loved it, Edith. Very well said! It’s very hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, but God always brings us through it. We need to keep remembering that for the next time trouble hits!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Thank you, Gloria! I’m glad our God is forever faithful. God’s grace in your ministry and may His boundless blessings be with your family too in Jesus’ name.

  • Jeremiah Chioma

    truly guidance can be found for every situation in the bible

  • Jeremiah Chioma

    tres bien

  • Ifebe june sobechukwu

    Very inspirational…. I feel like am floating in his grace

  • Stephen Rosemary

    Wonderful piece for all to read.

  • EZEMA CHIDINMA GLORIA

    A good one, I love it.

  • Rose Jonathan

    In all my troubles, afflictions, discouragement and sadness, one thing keeps me going. It is that He who knew me even when I was formless is able to take good care of me.

  • Amadi victoria chinwendu

    i feel alive once more. A big thanks

  • Luke Chinyere Esther

    thank you for this wonderful piece

  • ajibo lovelyn onyedikachi

    very inspiring musing ma

  • itodo mary

    i feel blessed by this work

  • Asogwa Emmanuel C.

    happiness is a worthy life

  • Rejoice in the lord always even in the pull of thorns, strengthen out ur voice to God listening ear, just like paul and Silas in the bible.

  • Ekechukwu Nkechi Esther

    very encouraging.thank you ma

  • more power to your elbow ma.

  • Osmond

    Nice write up
    Through faith in God, we will be able to pass through the ups and down of life

  • DIM CHIKODIRI VIVIAN

    What an interesting one. Good job

  • And some points in my life I feel like darker days and nights are all I see, then I hide my joy, my happiness my dreams in my shells but one thing I never stopped doing is believing, one thing I consoled my self with was hope, I always believed that since I have life, there is always hope and that made me stronger, that made me hungry, hungry for salvation, to make my dreams reality, most of all it gave me peace of mind, it gave me joy, that joking that can never be driven away even if the biggest rain drops fall from my eyes, and one thing I will never let go of is the hands of my father, my creator, my strength, my hope, my love, my lord and my God. Aunty Edith please don’t stop the good work, you keep waking that part of me that I have failed to see. I DESERVE HAPPINESS

    • Edith Ohaja

      Yes, my dear, we all do! And Jesus has paid the price by bearing our pain and sorrows on the cross. Bless you, Amarachi!

  • Chukwuma Nkemjika

    Am encouraged… Let’s see happiness as sm tin that’s inevitable, so let’s always strive to be happy in any situation we may c ourselves in.

  • ononso akwueke

    No wonder you are always so positive and cheerful, ma.

  • Oluchi Ekeruche

    This is a very inspirational piece. The best post for depressed people

  • Oge

    I bless God for the opportunity to read this. I have been so sad for a while… Ma, thanks! May God bless you and endow you with more wisdom.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen. Praise God you were blessed by this. May the Lord uplift your spirits constantly and meet your needs in Jesus’ name.

  • EZEORAH CYNTHIA SOMTOCHUKWU.

    Very inspirational piece. i recommend this not only for the depressed but for everyone so that when they come to face such depressions later, it could guide them.

  • IHEANYI ELIZABETH UGOCHI

    Being cheerful keeps one healthy indeed. I’m a witness. whenever I was upset, I refused eating anything and the consequence was very severe on me, but after reading this work I think I will change and learn how to be always cheerful.

  • UGWUOKE BLESSING NNEDINSO

    Happiness kills depression. People should always seek for things that will bring them happiness in order to be in a good state of mind.

  • Nice piece. Everyone deserves to be happy. Do not let your past or present bring you down. Rise above discouragement and sadness because there is a brighter future.

  • Obioma

    This is quite encouraging and soul lifting. God bless you Ma’am. More of it.

  • Edith, you so thoroughly addressed the complicated topic, and with love and grace as well; I believe surely the Holy Spirit was your helper and guide. May God use this article of wisdom, mightily !!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen, my dear sister! That is my prayer all the time, that God uses these words He gives to bless many. Hope you and your family are fine and school is going well. Abundant grace be yours in Jesus’ name.

  • Chigbo Godspromise E

    Whenever I feel discouraged I always remember the promises of God concerning my life and the bible becomes my closest companion.

  • Chika Divine Umunnakwe

    Thank you ma for this encouraging piece. I am enjoying and am benefiting from this article . This steps in this article is helpful to me; I deserved to be happy, sadness brings wound to me and I have the ability and power to control discouragement and sadness. Am blessed reading this great piece.

  • Nwafor Uchechukwu Judith

    These are wonderful healthy tips for our happiness. This is really good, I learnt something!

  • Anyadubalu Oluchi Maryrose

    In this struggle of life, whenever i get discouraged, i grab my Bible and talk to my creator.

  • Ndudu John

    This post is a source of encouragement to many. I hope we are able to surpass negative emotions using the teachings from this great work. Ma, may you continue to glow in that never ending smile and laughter that you always have on you each time our paths cross . Thanks so much for sharing these insights.

  • Okeke Grace Amarachi

    Thank you ma for this words of encouragement.
    God loves me so much and has made every provision for my salvation, He is not only interested in my keeping His word,He is also interested in my over all well being.

  • okechukwu victor

    The problems of life are not stumbling blocks but stepping stones to success beyond our doubts but, there is a need to trust in God.

  • Igbokwe ugochi onyedikachi

    Every time i read your spiritual write-ups, I feel renewed because they are just amazing.

  • Isaac Nwanneka Oyiridiya

    I was taught that to worry is different from thinking.In this vein, I believe we should think more than worrying because thinking entails having breakdown plans to execute unlike worrying that u disturb yourself even when it’s beyond u to solve. We should always run to God because if u have time to worry then u have time to pray. Thank u Ma for this

  • Ezeorah Cynthia Somtochukwu

    Recommend this piece to everyone, very helpful.

  • Kat

    This is a ray of sunshine on the darkest day. I’m surprised I’m only just seeing this post. It truly is wonderful. I’m off to read the accompanying one. Thanks aunty

  • Eze chinyere

    I so love these points. I especially love the point which says that our problems and challenges are not as powerful as we imagine them to be. This serves as an inspiration to many of us. Keep up with the good work ma.

  • Arene Ifeyinwa Ketochukwu

    I love all your points. Everyone deserves to be happy and we should try to be happy no matter what life throws at us.

  • Ezeh Blessing

    Nice write up ma, ups and downs are really inevitable in our lives as human beings, but what matters is how we react to them. No matter what life present to us, we should put it at the back of our minds that our happiness matters a lot to worrying that always leave us with bitter feelings that weigh us down.

  • Ugwu Chiamaka

    Every word you speak comes with it great power and conviction. This is wonderful. It has made me see a lot from a different perspective and I’m certain it will be very useful. God bless you ma.

  • Agu Ginika

    These words can revive a dropping spirit .
    Indeed happiness is a therapy.. .it drives away every unpleasant conditions of our lives. we should not be weighed down by any form of tribulation, but strive to suppress them. We also need the intervention of the Holy Spirit to be able to achieve this.

  • Amaobi Precious

    Thank you Ma for taking the time to put this up. Many times, even when we are trying to be encouraged, the situation persists and always makes itself obvious for us to know it is not going anywhere. But, because God has commanded it and because no situation lasts forever, I believe it will surely be well. Knowing that God wants me happy at all times is enough to lift up my dampened spirit.

  • Ngbede Emmanuel

    Everyone deals with discouragement at some point in their life. It’s part of what makes the human experience rich, the highs and the lows, the good and the bad If we didn’t experience the lows, then we wouldn’t appreciate the highs. Thank you Ma for giving us more steps on how to deal with discouragement.

  • egbo Rita Somtochukwu

    This is an encouragement to those suffering one form of depression or the other. Thank you Ma for listing out in detailed form things to know about your current state of mind. We shouldn’t let sadness weigh us down, we should put it aside and pretend like nothing is happening. God is in control and knows the right time to intervene in our predicament.

  • Nnamani Oluoma Esther

    Every one deals with discouragement. But our reactions to it matters a lot. We should always remember that the discouragement wouldn’t last forever. There is always that light at the end of the tunnel and we should try hard to reach for it.

  • Irawaji Itongikunyiowaji Praise

    Disappoints, sadness is sure to come in life, life is not all joy and happiness. In times of pain and sorrow we should hold on to God because nothing happens under the sun without his will.

  • Ikwuakam Oluchi Francisca

    It is unfortunate that most people feel or think that they only deserve to be sad as life has only made provisions for sadness. Well, thank God for this post, we all deserve to be happy no matter what life throws at us, so let’s get at it and live our happy lives.

  • Richards Orighomisan

    At times when I feel discouraged and like nothing is working I keep on remembering the love God has for me, for indeed He loved me before I was born and He is able to care for me.

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