“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968), US author and lecturer, blind and deaf from infancy.

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is its length, depth and how long you’re in it for!”

Art Holst (professional speaker)

“Discouragement is by far the biggest known killer of accomplishment known to man.”

R. Ian Seymour

“The devil’s one objective is so to depress God’s people that he can go to the man of the world and say: ‘There are God’s people. Do you want to be like that?’”

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

It is only when we have tried everything in our power and all else has failed; it’s only when God is all we have left that we realise God is all we need.

Don’t stop trying in trying times.

‘FOOTPRINTS’ (edited)

One night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with God, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonged to me the other to God.

When the last scene of my life flashed before us I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at times along the path of life there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of my life. This really bothered me and I questioned God about it.

“God you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way, but I noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints I don’t understand why, in times when I needed you most, you would leave me.”

God replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never, never leave you. During your times of trials and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

Margaret Fishback Powers

‘The Joy of Incompleteness’

If all our life were one broad glare
Of sunlight clear, unclouded:
If all our path were smooth and fair,
By no soft gloom enshrouded;
If all life’s flowers were fully blown
Without the sweet unfolding,
And happiness were rudely thrown
On hands too weak for holding.
Should we not miss the twilight hours,
The gentle haze and sadness?
Should we not long for storms and showers
To break the constant gladness?

If none were sick and none were sad,
What service could we render?
I think if we were always glad
We scarcely could be tender.
Did our beloved never need
Our patient ministration,
Earth would grow cold and miss indeed
Its sweet consolation:
If sorrow never claimed our heart
And every wish were granted
Patience would die, and hope depart;
Life would be disenchanted.

Albert Crowell

“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons we could not learn in any other way.”

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), English writer and Christian teacher

If there were no shadows there would be no sunshine. Think about it.

‘A Prayer to Overcome Discouragement’:

God, I’ve done everything I know

To see my dreams come true.

I’ve had seasons of working hard,

And seasons of ‘letting go and letting God’.

Still, the things I’ve worked for seem as if they’ll never happen.

I feel like Sarah [Abraham’s wife] – as if I’ll never hold the one

thing I long for most.

God, don’t let me miss my destiny.

Don’t let me hope for things that are not part of your plan for my life.

Let me hear your voice guiding me,

Reassuring me and telling me you love me.

Give me a fresh glimpse of your promise to me,

So that I can fight with faith and take hold of it.

Help me to understand the difference

Between what I must go after,

And what I must wait on you for.

When it’s up to me, give me the strength to demolish doubt

And march fearlessly into the new day you’ve prepared for me.

When it’s up to you, give me grace and patience to wait.

Fill me with the joyful anticipation

That accompanies a perfectly-timed present.

Lord, they say that you are never, ever late.

So in these days of waiting, when time seems endless,

Keep me firm in my faith. Don’t let me stop short of my blessing.

Remind me again that I must not throw away my confidence,

For it will be richly rewarded! Amen.

Source: Anonymous

Imagine a beautiful china teacup saying, ‘I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was just a cold, hard lump of clay. One day the potter picked me up and said, “I could do something with this.” Then he started to put pressure on me and change my shape. I said, “What are you doing? That hurts. Stop!” But he said, “Not yet.” Then he put me on a wheel and began to spin me around and around until I shouted, “Let me off.” He replied, “Not yet.” Then he shaped me into a cup and put me in a hot oven. I cried, “Let me out of here, I’m suffocating.” But he looked at me and said, “Not yet,” When he took me out, I thought his work on me was over, but then he started to paint me. I couldn’t believe what he did next. He put me back into the oven, and I said, “I can’t stand this, please let me out!” But he said, “Not yet.” Finally he took me out of the oven and he put me on a shelf where I thought he had forgotten me… Then one day he took me off the shelf and held me up before a mirror. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had become a beautiful teacup that everyone wants to buy and drink from.’

Are there things going on in your life right now that you don’t understand. Stay close to God. Trust him and when you finally arrive at the place God wants you to be, you’ll realise He’s been making you into a vessel that He can use… to bless you and bless others through you.

Source: The UCB Word For Today , 15/11/2008

A rut is like a grave with both ends missing. You can’t get out of it by standing still or by running in either direction – forwards or backwards. The only way of escape is to climb out and get over it.

When you feel discouraged or defeated and you want to give up, remember this saying, “This too will pass.”

Cast all your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 55:22 NIV

‘Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders – he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.’

Psalm 55:22, MSG

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

Thomas Edison (1847-1931).

Don’t be sad that it’s over; be happy that it happened.

“When you’re down in the mouth, consider Jonah – he came out of it all right!”

Thomas Edison (1847-1931), inventor

Be like Jonah, who proved that you can’t keep a good man down.

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”

Attributed to Charles Browner

Hold me close

Let Your love surround me

Bring me near

Draw me to Your side

And as I wait

I’ll rise up like the eagle

And I will soar with You

Your Spirit leads me on

In the power of Your love.

(Lyrics from ‘The Power of Your Love’ by Darlene Zschech)

Behind every shadow there’s a light shining. (Think about it.)

“I shall come out of all trials as gold purified by fire.”

William Carey