Discouragement is no doubt a tool of the enemy to try to prevent us from making progress and from fulfilling our purpose. The meaning of the word “discourage” is “to deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit” (dictionary.com).
Discouragement happens, even to the strongest and best of people. As This Blog post shares, we can either get discouraged with people around us, with life circumstances, with God and even with ourselves.
Job felt discouraged with his wife and friends. They didn’t get it. In the midst of his suffering and questioning God, they tried to be helpful, but they ended up heaping more shame and blame on Job for his afflictions. We, too, can feel let down by our friends and family. They don’t understand what we’re going through or don’t offer to help as we wish they would. Our disappointment can turn to discouragement.
Elijah became discouraged with life’s circumstances. Despite our persistent and fervent prayers, things don’t turn out the way we’d hoped they would. Elijah hoped that after all the miracles the Israelites saw performed on Mount Carmel, Ahab and Jezebel would repent and put God first, but they did not. King Ahab and Jezebel were as stubborn and hard hearted as always, and Elijah felt discouraged, exhausted, and told himself that his entire ministry was a waste (1 Kings 19).
Jeremiah felt angry and discouraged with God when he believed God was against him, and because of that perspective, he temporarily lost hope in God (Lamentations 3). The disciples too felt discouraged after Jesus was crucified, before he rose from the dead. They said, “We were hoping that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They couldn’t see the bigger picture and felt disappointed that Jesus did not fight for his kingdom.
Peter felt discouraged with himself when he realized that he wasn’t as courageous as he thought he was. Jesus had warned him that he would deny him, but Peter’s pride kept him from seeing himself clearly (Matthew 26:31 and 74, 75). We too can feel discouraged and even depressed when we fail to live up to our own or someone else’s expectations.
What to do when the feelings of discouragement come to our lives?
First and foremost: RUN to God’s word – refresh and refill your mind and spirit with the truth!
|Be Strong and Take Heart|
Focus on God and worship God in the midst of what you are going through. You will be encouraged, and God will continually reveal Himself to you.
Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
Psalm 138: 7
2. TRUST AND BELIEVE: HE'S FAITHFUL TO HIS PROMISES
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
II Corinthians 4:8, 9
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
3.- FOCUS ON SOMEONE ELSE: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND BLESS SOMEONE ELSE TODAY!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host shall encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, 0 God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, a Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty: I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
May you be encouraged as you read these Bible Verses, May God Himself minister to you and fill you with His encouragement and peace, May you be unwavering in your trust in Him. May God bless you and continually encourage you, and May your life be an encouragement unto others – Amen
“Don’t be discouraged by life’s difficulties. With hope and determination, you can triumph over any difficulties.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind