Discouragement. We all have those times in our lives. Our kids do the opposite of what we'd like. We get a failing grade. We are passed over for a job. Sometimes life just doesn't go the way we had hoped.
During those times, God wants us to trust in his sovereignty. The Bible tells us that his ways are not our ways (boy, do I know that is true!). It also tells us that God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If we truly believe this, then we won't wallow in self-pity, but we will trust that God knows what he is doing.
My grandmother has a plaque in her office that says, "God not only knows where you are going, but he knows what it takes to get you there." None of us are there yet. We are all works in progress. May we remain moldable in the potter's hands and give him complete control over our lives.
I've learned that if I will make a list of all the things I am thankful for during times of discouragement, my focus often shifts from whatever ails me, to one of gratitude. Perhaps this is why I love the Psalms...the authors often start out venting their frustrations, but eventually end in praising God because their focus shifts.
May our eyes stay on the One who never changes. May we cling to him and trust him during times of uncertainty. May our hearts be filled with thanksgiving -- even when our flesh feels otherwise.