Setbacks...they happen to all of us! It’s important to accept that falling down will happen—and it will probably happen more than once. Whether a major life event throws our lives out of order or a series of mishaps discourage us, what matters most when we get off track is the steps we take next. The next time you find yourself in this situation, remember these four steps that can help you overcome a setback!
1. Don't Get Discouraged
God knows that we can’t handle what we are facing alone, and He never intended for us to carry the burdens of this life. This is why He tells us to come to Him through prayer and tell Him what we have need of. (Philippians 4:6) He promises that when we do come to Him and lay our burdens at His feet, that He will give us His peace in exchange for our troubles as we trust in Him.
In addition to prayer, another way to overcome discouragement is through praise. We can see an example of this in Psalm 42:5 when the psalmist describes that his soul is downcast. He goes on to say that despite how he feels, he decides to wait expectantly for the Lord to turn his circumstances around as he praises His way to victory! Not only does praise bring our attention off of our circumstances, but it shifts our thoughts towards the strength, power, and help we can receive from the Lord.
2. Shift Your Focus
The bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” This scripture demonstrates the direct correlation between your thoughts and the direction that your life will take. Therefore, the first thing we can do when our emotions are taking a turn for the worse is shift our focus. If we start to see ourselves as failures and don't believe we’ll ever reach our goals, then we will eventually become what we believe.
No matter how bad the circumstances are, God has an answer in His Word to help and lift you up out of it! When we experience feelings of defeat, we must go to His word, and speak His promises over ourselves and our lives. When we do this, we are reminding ourselves of what He said we could accomplish through Him. This will take our focus off the negative circumstances and shift our focus on who God created us to be and the awesome plans He has for us!
3. Take Care of Yourself
When we get off track in any area of our lives, our health can be one of the first things to suffer. It’s important that we take time to care for our physical bodies when we are going through a hard time. We can take simple steps to care for our bodies by drinking water, eating healthy, and being active.
Going for a walk, taking a warm bath, or taking a short nap are also great ways to relax our bodies and relieve stress. Taking small steps to care for yourself can improve your emotions, boost your mood, and improve your overall health!
3. Remember How Far You’ve Come
When we deal with setbacks in any area of our lives, it is crucial to remember how far we have come in our journey. Sure, we may not yet be where we’d like to be, and we may even take steps away from our goals at times, but what matters most is that we are no longer where we used to be! If we reflect on our progress rather than on our setbacks, we will be encouraged to press on toward the good things God has in store for us!
If you are facing a setback today, take heart and don't lose heart! Life is a journey, and we all have setbacks along the way. The Lord has great plans for each one of us, and He will see us through every season of life as we trust Him to carry us through.