Overcoming the January Blues – Encouragement for Today – January 16, 2024

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Sharon JaynesJanuary 16, 2024

Overcoming the January Blues

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"Samuel did what GOD told him." 1 Samuel 16:4a (MSG)

There's something about January that gets me down. While others are setting New Year's resolutions and goals for the months ahead, I tend to feel sorry for myself because some areas of my life aren't where I hoped they'd be by now. My tendency is to give in to discouragement about what I didn't accomplish rather than look ahead to what God has planned.

Maybe you've felt that way before. Perhaps you feel that way right now.

There's a story in 1 Samuel that helps me when I feel stuck in discouragement.

The people of Israel had grown tired of being ruled by God. Disregarding the prophet Samuel's warnings, they chose a king: the tall, dark and handsome Saul (1 Samuel 9:2). And while Saul depended on God for direction in his early days, he eventually took matters into his own hands, ignoring God's commands and initiating his own. As a result, God took the anointing away from Saul and determined to give the kingship to someone else (1 Samuel 15:10-23).

Samuel was so discouraged over Saul's failure that he "cried out to the LORD all that night" (1 Samuel 15:11, NIV). He was disappointed in Saul and maybe also sorry for himself.

Then one day, God said, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?" (1 Samuel 16:1a, NIV).

I love Eugene Peterson's paraphrase in The Message Bible: "So, how long are you going to mope over Saul?" (1 Samuel 16:1a).

God may be asking you and me the same question: How long will we mope because life hasn't turned out like we thought it would?

I don't mean to make little of any of the painful or discouraging situations in your life. I've had them too. But here's what I know today: No matter how painful the circumstances of life may be, God never intends for us to get stuck in discouragement - to put down tent pegs and camp out there.

God went on to say to Samuel: "Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king" (1 Samuel 16:1b-c, NIV).

At some point in our moping about, God may come to us, too, and say, It's time to get up and get going. Your life is not over. The story has more chapters to be written! Let go of your discouragement to take hold of your next assignment.

God said He would show Samuel what to do, and "Samuel did what GOD told him" (1 Samuel 16:4a).

That's what God wants for us today - to take the first step of obedience. He will take care of the rest.

Lord, I'll admit that sometimes I mope when I'm discouraged. Today, I am deciding to grieve my losses in a healthy way but not linger in moping. When life doesn't turn out like I hoped, I will see it as Your provision or protection. I trust in Your sovereignty for my life, even when I don't understand. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Moms and grandmas everywhere are loving Sharon's latest book, Praying for Your Child from Head to Toe: A 30-Day Guide to Powerful and Effective Scripture-Based Prayers. Let's start the year by praying for our kids more powerfully than ever before!


Click over to Sharon's website for her library of FREE resources, such as "20 Lies and the Truth that Replaces Them for Moms" and "10 Verses to Help You Trust God in Difficult Times."


1 Samuel 16:12c-13a, "Then the LORD said, ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the one.' So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David" (NIV).

Would you say you're stuck in discouragement today? First Samuel 16:12-13 tells us the result of Samuel moving past discouragement. What do you think God is telling you to do?

If you're willing to take the first step of faith to move forward, leave a comment saying, "I'm moving forward."

© 2024 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28106