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In taking a moment to ponder God’s perfect nature, it should dawn on us that this incredible reality has to be true! God’s perfection does not allow for degrees of love. The only issue is whether you are a child of His or not. And if you are His adopted child through Jesus Christ, then you are loved with all the fullness of His love. In Him there is no second-class love, no leftover love, or no occasional love permissible in God’s perfected nature. Think about that again! God’s extravagant love for me is no less than that which Jesus experiences. And God our Father, always the great Initiator, is constantly desirous of showing and expressing the reality of that love to me —in my heart, mind, and soul. That reality is foundational to any period of life, but especially when unemployed!
From “Dealing with Discouragement”
Discouragement is very real and frequent during the job-search process. Like loneliness and anxiety, discouragement can suddenly arrive on the scene day or night, in quiet or active moments, and often when you least expect it. Sometimes it’s understandable when it arrives. Other times it seems unrelated to where “you’re at” mentally and emotionally. Sometimes it’s like a gnawing feeling at the fringes of your consciousness; other times it can seem more like an ever-present cloud of gloom. One thing is certain; discouragement is definitely not something you deal with once and for all during the job-search journey. It was this “diverse” nature of discouragement that caused frequent journal entries, such as the following:
It may seem contradictory, but discouragement can be used by God for our benefit! It is one way He gets our attention. Discouragement can also be one of the ways God uses to protect us from heading in a direction that is not in our best interest. In Hosea 2 God says to the nation of Israel that He will “block her path” and “wall her in so that she cannot find her way” (v. 6) when she starts to “chase” (v. 7) the wrong things in life. The psalmist expresses the same idea in 139:5, “You hem me in behind and before.” Discouragement can be used by God to “hem” and “wall” us in for our own best interests.
Discouragement can also be used by God to get us moving again, albeit in another direction. It can be the first stage of new growth “which yields its fruit in season” (Ps. 1:3). An old friend repeatedly says that “there are ditches on both sides of every road.” We are people who so easily lose our sense of balance in life, constantly careening toward a ditch on one side or another! And when we are veering too close to a ditch in some aspect of our life, God can steer (restore) us back to life in the “balanced” middle by using discouragement to lead us back (to Himself). Seeing beneficial outcomes of discouragement in this way can free us up to “appreciate” the positive side of discouragement as we are reminded again of our need to look to Him for guidance, that is, “Lord, what are You trying to tell me?”
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