Feeling discouraged? Our friend Fran is having some discouraging times. Jesus showed her how offering a sacrifice of praise—praising God with her mouth even though she didn’t feel like it—would help her defeat discouragement. As she began to do that, it helped.

Do you have to live or work with people who are discouragers? If you’re around discouragers a lot, they can really discourage you. This is one eye-opening lesson Fran has to learn.

Today she is working hard trying to catch up. The last couple of days, as she was fighting discouragement, she really wasn’t motivated to work very hard, so now she’s paying the price. But she notices that hard work helps her forget the discouragement.

In the midst of her busy day, another coworker interrupts her. “Hey, Fran,” Bill says, “did you hear the latest rumor? The company’s up for sale and we’ll probably be swallowed up by some giant holding company who’ll let half the people go.”

“Oh, Bill, you’re always coming up with rumors that aren’t true and just getting everybody upset,” Fran says, trying to dismiss him. But Bill is not easily dismissed. “I was right about the layoffs last year, wasn’t I?” Fran has to admit he got that one right. “And I’m right about this, too, Fran. Believe me, I’ve got good sources.”

And on and on Bill goes about all the horrors that await them because of this potential buyout. The more he talks, the more discouraged Fran feels. By the time he leaves, she’s ready to give up again.

“I’ve got to learn to ignore Bill,” she says to herself. “He’s a very discouraging person who never has anything positive to say.”

Again, Fran talks to herself: “You just can’t afford to let discouraging people bring you down. Remember when Jairus asked Jesus to come heal his daughter, and his friends met them half-way to say never mind, she was dead already. Jesus told Jairus to ignore what they said and just believe. So, there are times when you must learn to ignore the discouraging people who tell you everything’s bad,” Fran reminds herself. This was something they talked about recently in her Bible study group, and the Spirit of God brought it to her mind just now.

Are there some discouraging people around you? Avoid them; ignore them; tune them out. Certainly, we should never behave in rude ways, but we must protect our minds from the discouragement that others would heap upon us. That’s an important step in defeating discouragement.