Charles Stanley begins Chapter 9 (“Despair: Finding the Light of Hope in the Darkest Hour”) of Emotions by noting that despair is a constant battle we all must choose to fight. As Dr. Stanley often says: “Disappointments are inevitable, but discouragement is a choice.” The devastating times in our lives stretch everything we know and believe. What makes such disappointments even worse is that joy always seems outside our reach and that we have no hope of taking hold of it.
Yet we must look beyond our painful circumstances, beyond what we experience with our senses. In reality, trusting Jesus is our only option, because the consequences of discouragement are so great. Dr. Stanley discusses four such consequences. The first one is discussed today.
1. A negative inward focus. Dr. Stanley emphasizes that despair causes us to turn inward because we’re dwelling on whatever is disheartening us. Our mind searches for reasons for our pain, finding them in our faults, limitations, and sins. In the process, we lose all perspective on our situation and how our situation compares with the suffering of others.
Today’s question: What characteristics of despair, as described above, resonate most with you? What have you found most effective in counteracting them? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The consequences of despair- Part 2”
Special note: Thanksgiving Short Meditation, “Weekends with Mickey”, will post on Monday