By Ngozi Nwoke 

Are you discouraged with the state of things around you now, especially your progress at this time of the year? The year is drawing close to the end, many people are still struggling to have a better life than what they had at the beginning of the year. It is truly disheartening and energy draining, but there is still hope; the year is not over yet. Discouragement and God don’t go together. This article encourages you to take hold of hope coupled with joy and combat discouragement to emerge triumphant.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant – Job 14:7-9 (NKJV).
But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion – Ecclesiastes 9: 4 (NKJV).
Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation – Isaiah 12:3 (NKJV).
You may have started the year with excitement, enthusiasm and with great plans for a better year, and you have put in more effort in your work; however, right now you’re seeing nothing close to your earlier expectations. You are discouraged, sad and tired. I have good news for you – as long as you are alive, you still have a chance to end this year in a grand style.
The situation around you notwithstanding, there is still hope for a change. Everything may look gloomy and impossible, everyone may say this year is over and your case is closed, don’t allow them to discourage you. That may be their opinion but it’s not God’s verdict for you!
When God (who created the whole universe in six days) is with you, anything is possible within the remaining weeks of this year. All things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Take hold of a spark of hope and joy and launch out an attack against the discouraging circumstances around you, and they will give way. It is not over until you win.
What should you do now?
Build up your hope on God’s word. Combat discouragement with it. The Lord has promised to watch over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). His words will never fail. Encourage yourself in the efficacy of God’s love for you. His thoughts for you are of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and an expected end. He said that if our earthly fathers could give us good things, how much more will He give good things to them that ask Him (Matthew 7:1). He is a good Father.
If the enemy can’t keep you sad, he can’t keep you down. Choose to be joyful in spite of the discouragement and be with God. It is with joy that you will draw water out of the well of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). It takes joy to see and access the way of escape that God is showing you. A broken heart will not recognize opportunities as they pass by.
You may say that you have done all that and more but nothing changed. I will still encourage you not to let go of your hope even if it’s just a spark of it. Your faith can’t work without hope and God can’t reach you without your faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6).
There is hope for a tree that even when there is no sign of life that at the scent of water it will bud and produce fruits (Job 14:7-9). Remain hopeful and have faith, so that you can recognize the scent of water as God sends it your way.
A case study
David was discouraged and distressed when his men wanted to stone him. Their families have been carried away as captives by the Amalekites. But he encouraged himself in the Lord and enquired of God of what to do. God showed him and he recovered all (1 Samuel 30:1-19).
In a final note and very importantly, no matter what, make a decision that you will not lose hope and that you will remain joyful. This will put discouragement away from you. It will allow you to think and listen well for the Lord’s direction. Remember, the year is not over yet!
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, counselor and author of “Peace Money Can’t Buy” and “The Man Jesus”. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God’s love and christian living for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? Subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com

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