We all face setbacks now and then, and sometimes they may be pretty disheartening. But there is a way to obtain strength to overcome discouragement.
At what was to be his Last Supper with his followers, Christ Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." n1
n1 John 16:33.
A short time later, his disciples were faced with what must have seemed like the most terrible setback possible -- their Master had been crucified. They must have wondered how they could ever continue the work he had been doing. But Jesus rose from the grave and presented them with clear proof that he had indeed conquered the world.
Jesus' statement is equally true today. We may face challenges, but we can "be of good cheer" because the Christ, the spiritual idea of God, is still with us, enabling all who seek it to overcome the world.
How can we know this? Before Jesus left them, he promised his followers another Comforter, one that would remain with them forever. n2 They experienced this outpouring of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, and it gave them the strength and joy they needed to overcome the many trials they faced in preaching the gospel.
n2 See 14:16.
This Comforter was perceived by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, as divine law, and she elucidated that law in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.m Through her deep study of the Bible and through divine inspiration, she realized that this law is present now to comfort and save mankind.
The heart of this Science is divine Love. And it is Love that enables us to overcome both discouragement and the setbacks that seem to cause it. "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way," n3 writes Mrs. Eddy.
n3 Science and Health,m p. 454.
Through our discernment of God's character as Love itself and of our own as His expression, we are able to accomplish what is required and to purify our motives for pursuing our goals. As we turn more completely to God for guidance, we receive inspiration to overcome difficulties.
the Bible tells us, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." n4 God is near to all who express Him in loving. Spiritually based love can have a profound impact on challenges we face. We can make a conscious effort to love all who are involved in any situation, to be grateful for their contributions, however small, and to know them in their true being as God's offspring.
n4 I John 4:16.
We can look for Christly qualities even in our opponents, because the more we love, the more we will be able to see solutions for everyone. Love is a unifying force.
Discouragement, depression, resentment, are destructive feelings because they do not come from God. They make achieving right goals more difficult. But God-derived love nourishes protects, and strengthens us. It gives us spiritual discernment to make the right decisions and enables us to see the good in others while at the same time providing the wisdom to choose the right associates.
There may be times when such loving seems impossible. Of course, no one should try to love evil or suffering. But everything good around us, everything beautiful, is in reality evidence of God's presence with us. He ism good, and this consciousness of His goodness helps us also to be more conscious of the solution to our problem.
At times we may have to look hard for evidence of good, but we can start with gratitude for small things, like a friendly neighbor, a beautiful sky, a needed piece of equipment. Gradually, this looking for good becomes habitual, and the more one looks for good, the more one sees.
When we live divine Love, even at the darkest hour and in the smallest degree , we can find our way out of the mental swamp of discouragement. Even now, the Christ, Truth, that Jesus demonstrated is with us, declaring, "Be of good cheer"! The Christ-power behind that joyful command will lead us to the right answer and out of the darkness. DAILY BIBLE VERSE He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15