How to stay FULL of God’s Peace, instead of drained in discouragement~

Do you ever battle discouragement in dealing with other people? Do you have some relationships with those in your daily interactions that you find consistently “draining”?

I’m guessing that most of us can answer one or both questions with an unfortunate “yes”. It is possible for two people to love and serve the Lord, yet find it difficult to get along. Praise God, He made each of us with unique quirks and traits! But some of our quirks and traits just don’t mesh well. When that happens, what are we to do?

Of course, life would be much easier if all of the “draining relationships” were removed from our lives. But that’s not how it usually works. Instead, God allows us to remain in some of these relationships, promising to help and equip us to love the one who isn’t always so loveable.  In the end, if we will do it God’s way, we’ll end up calling it a blessing because of all we learned!)

{Disclaimer: I’m referring to those friendships/family members/working relationships that seem to drain us – not those who abuse us. If you are in an abusive relationship – please put some distance between you and the abuser and seek help! Consult with your pastor or a trusted Christian friend to find a Godly Christian counselor near you.}

I don’t know about you, but for me, when I’m at odds with someone – or even think someone is at odds with me, my first reaction is that my insides get all knotted up and my focus turns inward instead of upward. Then I get really discouraged. That’s not how God’s Word tells us to handle those draining and difficult and discouraging situations and relationships.

I was studying for my Sunday School lesson last week in Philippians 4, and noticed something I’d never noticed before: How to be filled by peace instead of drained by discouragement.

Paul begins Philippians chapter 4 by exhorting two women (who were precious workers in the Lord) to get along and to cooperate in harmony with the Lord as they served Him. Have you ever noticed those verses? We usually skip over them and head straight to verse 6 – “Don’t worry about anything, but pray…” God wouldn’t let me skip on ahead to verse 6 – and I’m so glad He didn’t. Because following verses 2-3 about the women getting along, a beautiful plan is laid out for all believers to combat discouragement in whatever difficult or draining situation they face.

How to be filled with God’s peace instead of drained by discouragement (Philippians 4:4-10)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)

1. Determine that you are going to Rejoice in the Lord. In Who God is – and in all He has done for you. Turn your focus off of yourself for a moment and focus on the Lord.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Phil 4:5)

2. Remember that the Lord is near to you and to that situation. In fact, He is aware of every tiny detail, and motive behind each action or thought. He will not leave you, nor will He forsake you (Heb. 13:5). He is near.

3. Decide to Handle yourself in a way that others observing you will see you being gentle and considerate and forbearing – another way to put it: exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in and out of your life.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil 4:6)

4. Don’t fret or stew about it. Instead, cover every part of the situation in prayer – making very specific requests.

5. Thank God. If necessary, make a Thanksgiving list. Search for and find things for which to be thankful in your situation. Ask God to help you, if you can’t come up with anything on your own. He will. Thanking God helps us remember that God is the one in charge. It moves our eyes from ourselves and places them onto Him. This is not something we will naturally do. It is a discipline we must learn. But oh, what a treasure we’ll find when we Thank God for the little things!

6. Tell God what you want. Pour out your heart to Him. You can even go so far as to tell God how you would like the situation to be worked out… it’s ok to do that. However, THEN you must leave it in His very capable hands.

Once you have done these 6 steps, this is the promise:

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)

God’s soul peace will be yours! The Amplified Bible defines peace in this verse by “That tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ – and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot – whatever sort that is” That is heart peace, and it will cover your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

To keep that heart peace in Jesus:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phil 4:8)

7. Make sure that you keep your mind and heart focused on the things about the situation and/or person that are good, right, and admirable. Search for and focus on those things. When your mind slips back into drainage from that person – start at the top of this list and do it again.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:9)

If you will handle your responses to discouraging situations and people in this way, you will have God’s peace. I know from first-hand experience.  The person or situation may not change at all. But I can promise you this: You will change. You’ll notice an inner peace about that situation that you didn’t have before. Rather than focusing on protecting yourself from being drained, you’ll be able to go into that situation filled with God’s peace [“an untroubled, undisturbed well being” according to the Amp Bible], which will gently pour from you onto others.

“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord…” (Phil. 4:10)

Which is what we will do as we determine to let God fill us with Himself instead of letting someone else or something else drain us of our joy!

This necklace is something I bought years ago, and I wear it when I need a tangible reminder to trust the Lord. It is actually true from both directions:

Trust in the Lord leads to God’s Peace ruling which leads to Joy…

OR

Joy in the Lord (rejoicing in Him) leads to God’s Peace which leads to Trusting God to take care of the details.

Joy, Peace, Trust – It’s how we can stay full of the Lord no matter how difficult the drain!

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

Comments

  1. This post was an answer to prayer. I am dealing with this very topic and have been asking God to show me the best way to handle things. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Amen great message here, and I have found through the years what Jesus said " Thy will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee" if we look to him for every need no matter how small or how big, keep our sights focused on things above, he will give us the perfect peace he talks about in Isa 26:3 I have found if I look vertically I am in peace, if I look around me hortizonal, I fall. Very simple really, husgs Barbara

  3. Thank you for sharing these words.
    I always enjoy reading your posts.

  4. The new blog look is great! And what a wonderful teaching here. Really good and timely.

  5. Just me~Bobbie Jo says:

    What a wonderful post! There is someone in my life who is going through something & I really think she needs to read this. I am going to send her the link to your blog. I love when I lack the words to say I can find it with God's leading.

  6. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Jennifer…

    This is such a timely post for me; in particular the truth that "God is near…" is a truth that keeps cropping up for me in a lot of my reading.

    I just think it's the message he wants me to focus on this week, and in doing so, bring peace to all of my life situations, including relationships. If we could take hold of this one truth… the nearness of God… then our hearts would shift in a higher, better direction, don't you think?

    Thanks for sharing. have a great Monday.

    peace~elaine