Overcoming the January Blues

Sharon JaynesBalanced Living, Prayer, Praying for Your Child 141 Comments

I’m writing over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today, and thought you might enjoy it too!

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 for 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). 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 told Samuel, “I will show you what to do” (1 Samuel 16:3a, NIV). And “Samuel did what God told him” (1 Samuel 16:4).

That’s what God expects of me and of you today — to take the first step of obedience. He will take care of the rest.

Lord, I’ll admit, 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.

Would you say you’re stuck in discouragement today? What might God have in store for you on the other side of this season?

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

Digging Deeper

Moms and grandmas everywhere are loving my 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 off praying for our kids more powerfully than ever before! Get one copy for yourself and one for a friend!


Mark your calendars now! January 17-21 I’m having a New Year’s Sale at SharonJaynes.com. I’ll have 5 items for 5 days from $1.99-5.99.






© 2024 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 141

  1. NO to moping over any discouragement!

    ABBA is more than enough for me.
    We had nothing until HE redeemed us, right?
    Now, we’re fully LOVED and ACCEPTED by our FATHER,
    WHO BLESSES us to bless others. Indeed, for us, this is so much MORE than enough.

    When has God blessed you BEYOND what you have ever imagined?
    How has HE shown you that HE’S MORE THAN ENOUGH?

    1. I am moving forward!
      Thank you!! I have been struggling lately. It seems like I think I’m coming out of it and then something else happens and I fall back. And when I try to do something it ends up being so much more complicated than it should be.

  2. Good Morning Sharon, Thank you for sharing. Each morning I look at your Praying Wives Club prayer (on Facebook), as part of my morning devotions. I have gotten so much from these prayers for my husband and others in my family. I am saddened that there have been no prayers posted since January 9. Today is January 16. I pray all is well with you, and that soon the prayers will return? I have shared The Praying Wives Club posts with my daughter, and friends. Thank you and God bless your heart for this and so much more,

  3. Sharon this past fall I did the most amazing study with six women I had never met.
    You were mentioned in one of the chapters.
    Lysa TerKeurst What happens when women move forward in faith.

    The group of many different religions and ages bonded forever and will be doing another study, I think its called 20/20 in February.

    We came away with the word REMAIN (from John) to get us through anything.❤🙏

    1. I am moving forward. Waiting for my assignment as I have no clue, no passion as to what is next. Please direct me in Jesus name. Amen.

  4. I’m moving forward! Thank you Sharon for this reminder this morning, that although life can be overwhelming and scary at times, and I feel like hiding my head under the covers and staying there until spring. I know God nudges me gently and says keep moving, there are still things left to do.
    I am on a visitation team with my church to visit our shut ins, and those visits bring so many blessings to me. Getting to know those who are lonely and sharing our stories with each other.
    It keeps them connected to their church and church family. God Bless you and your ministry and all the ladies through this ministry💟

  5. I’m willing, just at a loss as to how. No real tragedy, just disappointed. I assumed life would go differently because I believed I had picked up my cross and followed Christ. I know my walk hasn’t been perfect but I had still hoped.

  6. I’m moving forward!
    “I press on toward the mark for the prize of the upward calling in Christ Jesus.”-
    Philippians 3:14

  7. I am moviing forward from 55 years of a difficult marriage. I have been trying that long to get through it, but then I think of Sarah and Abraham and God’s faithfulness. Please pray for me.

  8. You are such a blessed to many because of your gift if sharing wise words to others. I am glad that I can read and learn from your devotionals. Thank you so much! 🌺

  9. I am moving forward after almost being stuck three-years .I am 83yrs old, after leaving my home it has been extremely hard for me.
    I thank God for using you to break the chain.

  10. This was very appropriate for me today. Thank-you. I have been so discouraged with where I am at as opposed to where I wanted to be. It is a new day!

  11. I am moving forward! I do believe that God is trying to protect me from those folks in my family who not believers and are unable to give grace.

  12. I’m moving forward & will pray for the person who broke my heart. Lord, lead me and keep my heart chasing after your will in my life.

  13. I love that you said: “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.” I get so caught up in feeling guilty for what I’m not, blaming myself…and need these reminders that everything isn’t necessarily my fault! God is moving, helping me to move or not move as the case may be; God can work in and through all. I can move forward when I recognize that; recognize that life may not look like what I expect myself to make it look like….but that is OKAY. Trusting that God is being God “even” in and through my life.

  14. I’ve started to think that hardships are a blessing from a loving God to keep us close to him….so that we don’t wander away and forsake him like Saul did.

  15. I’m moving forward‼️ Abba I ask You for Your wisdom and understanding to help me navigate this new path. Thank You, that You go before me making my crooked places straight, and You are my rear guard protecting me from my past. I declare no weapons formed against me will prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment I shall prove to be in the wrong – for this is my heritage

  16. A little over 28 years ago I walked away from a bad marriage. I chose to finally put God first in my life and have been moving forward every day with my Lord & Savior since then. Love you Ladies & GOD LOVES YOU ✝️🙏❤️

  17. Wow, this is exactly what I am dealing with in this season of my life. It seems like one blow after another and there are days that I sit and mope to the point of tears. This is not what my husband and i expected in this chapter of our lives but it is what we have. Only the peace of God keeps me grounded and helps be strong. Thats FAITH!

  18. Thank you for this timely reminder, Sharon! Reading your devotion & the sincere comments that follow always blesses me. These precious sisters open their hearts & pour out their requests like water before the Lord. He hears & meets every one right where they are.
    So glad my daughter introduced me to you yrs ago. Keep serving for our Great King Jesus!

  19. Thanks Sharon for the encouragement words of God. I was sitting here moping about my health and financial issues. Thank God for speaking through you!

  20. Thanks Sharon for the encouragement words of God. I was sitting here moping about my health and financial issues. Thank God for speaking through you! I am moving forward

  21. I’m moving forward. At 54 I became a widow in 2022. I am doing well, but have my moments. January is his birthday month. It is because of the Lord’s mercy I am not consumed. I’m grateful for making it a little over a year on my own. God is my constant friend. My children are supportive as well. To God be the Glory. I have my speed bumps that catch me off guard. However, I continue to move forward. Thank you Sharon for your dedication to help other women.

  22. I’m moving forward, God surrounding me❣️ Today we lost a dear friend who always moved forward in spite of a life of one obstacle after another …….. she knew God and trusted Him. ALWAYS moving forward🙏

  23. Have this quote in my phone so I don’t get stuck.
    7/20/17 by John Piper: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the loses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that He’s given you.”

  24. I’m moving forward!! Thank you so very much Sharon for all your hard work of putting these resources together that help spread the TRUTH for GOD so other sisters can hear, learn, and be encouraged. The timing of all of this is perfect!!… God’s timing.
    Thank you.

  25. This message was just what I needed this morning. I’m taking it to “heart” and moving on. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. You have blessed me so many times.

  26. I’m moving forward. I was discouraged at the beginning of the year but I became encouraged. My Pastor spoke to us about this, this morning. He spoke of distraction, deception, discouragement and suggestion. He then encouraged us to stay focused on God. With God’s help I’ve been able to move forward without looking back on mistakes and procrastination.

  27. I pray with all of us!
    God we choose to not get stuck & we desire to move forward. Please Lord send your Holy Spirit quickly to revive us and guide us!

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