Everyone will experience discouragement at some point in life. It will look as different and unique as the fingerprints on your hand, but disappointments will come ….
Dropping your child off at a rehab center instead of a college ….
Signing divorce papers instead of planning an anniversary party ….
Looking for a job rather than getting a raise ….
Cuddling up with a good book rather than cozying up with a good husband ….
Planning a funeral instead of planning a future ….
Counting out food stamps instead of writing out a check …
Moving up in your career rather than rocking a baby in your arms ….
The examples are endless. Yes, everyone will experience broken dreams at some point in their lives.
Discouragement is a temptation “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13). And in dealing with it sometimes we need tenderness and other times we need toughness. But either way, discouragement is not to be tolerated or wallowed in. It’s to be fought against ….
If we let ourselves linger in discouragement, it can be costly. Its sense of defeat and hopelessness sap us of energy and vision. It can consume a lot of time. It can keep us from doing what we need to do because we don’t want to face it. And it can even be contagious, weakening others’ faith as well ….
When we feel discouraged we want comfort, which is right to feel. But the comforts we often turn to are ways to avoid our fears rather than ways to muster our courage to face and overcome them. These comforts are only coping mechanisms that do not resolve the problem, but merely provide a temporary buffer on our feelings. When this happens discouragement simply becomes sinful indulgence in unbelief, no different than indulging in lust or anger or any other sins of unbelief ….
Jesus does not want us to be discouraged. In fact, He commands us not to be. Listen to what Jesus says to His disciples just before what probably was the most discouraging experience of their lives — his brutal death: “Let not your heart be troubled:” (John 14:1).
Note Jesus’s words, “let not.” These are not merely comforting platitudes; they are commands. He knew they would be tempted to fear. Things were going to look very bad, like the whole mission was imploding. What were they to do instead of being afraid? Believe! “ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
In other words, “Don’t let your hearts be ruled by what you see. Let them be ruled by what I promise you.” And that’s what He’s saying to you and me too this very day — “Simply believe and trust me”!!
What’s tempting you to discouragement today? What’s causing you stress? What’s choking the life out of you? Are you having a hard time believing that God really will work for good what looks so bad to you?? (Romans 8:28)
Then it’s time to stand up and fight, not pout or shrink. Think of discouragement as your faith being choked. When you’re choking, it’s not the time to plop down in front of the TV with a plate of comfort food to medicate your melancholy. You need to dislodge the obstruction so you can breathe. You need to fight for life. You may need to get someone to give you the Heimlich, but you need to do something! Don’t just allow discouragements to weigh you down and ultimately defeat you! Stop wallowing in it and rise up!!
The devil wants you defeated. He is a liar who’s only purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to kill the Word in your heart! He wants to steal your joy! He wants to destroy you hope and your faith! Are you going to just lay down and allow that?
Rise up I say with the authority that Jesus gave you. By the power of the Holy Ghost and the blood of the Lamb you were made more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) Go get encouragement; faith-fueled courage. Don’t let discouragement choke you. It’s dislodged by believing the promises. God gave us the Bible so that “through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). It says amazing things like:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37).
Don’t let your heart be ruled by what you see or by what you feel. We walk by faith, not by feelings. Let it be ruled by what Jesus promises you ….
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Let us pray ~
Heavenly Father, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly evil and which can fill our hearts with fears and terror, when we see what is happening in the world around us; but I praise You that You have promised to uphold all Your children with Your righteous right hand when we are faced with all sorts of horrors and dangers, and that no matter what we may have to face in this life, You will always be with us to comfort and sustain us. Thank You Father, that Your plans and purposes for mankind will eventually be fully realized ….
Father we have no clue what personal difficulties any one of us may have to face, but what a comfort to know that You have overcome every form of evil and sin, Satan and even death itself have already been overcome by the blood of Christ Jesus, Who has given us His life everlasting. I thank You that You are a faithful and every-loving God and pray that when the icy fingers of fear start to clasp around our throats, that the warmth of Your love and grace would melt away all our fears as we look to Jesus, our Saviour and friend ….
Oh Lord God, You know me better than anyone else and the deep disappointments that I have been facing and the sadness that fills my heart. Keep me Lord from building up resentments and bitterness and help me not to harbour any hurts or grievances in my heart.
Lord, You have promised to strengthen Your children and to uphold each one with Your righteous right hand. Help me to cling to this truth I pray. Lord I ask that You would heal all the pain in my heart, change my sorrow into joy and transform my disappointments into blessings from You ….
Uphold me Lord day by day, with Your everlasting arms and pour the precious peace that only comes from You into my hurting heart. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient to turn my disappointments into laughter. Refresh my weary soul I pray, and may I be like a tree that has been planted by the flowing rivers of life and may I sink my roots deeply into You Lord Jesus, knowing that my hope is in You alone and may I rest in this truth. Fill me I pray with all hope and joy in believing and may I draw ever closer to You that by the power of the Holy Ghost I may overcome. I ask all this in Jesus mighty name, I pray, Amen ….