“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (Hebrews 10:35)
Have you ever gone through a period of great sadness or discouragement? Perhaps you’re in one right now. Believe me, I’ve been right there with you. I’ve hidden in the cave with Elijah, under the gourd plant with Jonah, and in the dessert with Moses …..
Discouragement comes when there is a gap between what you expect and what you experience; when there is a gap between what you ‘hoped’ would happen and what actually ‘does’ happen.
Discouragement can destroy your passion and undermine your purpose. It can take root because of what others say or didn’t say; a mom who said too much, or a dad who said too little; a friend who you expected encouragment from, but was there for you. Unmet expectations can become the breeding ground for discouragement to multiply and take root …
We certainly see that in Moses’s life. When Moses was forty years old, he expected to be the deliverer for his people. But what he experienced was rejection and regret. Forty years later, when God called him to lead the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt, Moses argued:
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10).
This statement that came out of Moses’s stuttering lips was simply not true. As Stephen reminded us: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22).
Moses had defined himself by his failure and was held hostage by a constant state of discouragement. Oh friend, we need to be so careful to not do the same exact thing ….
Discouragement causes many a believer to pull up a lawn chair in “cul-de-sac Christianity” and simply refuse to venture out to the adventures of faith ….
Because we’ve been hurt, let down, or disappointed; we mumble the words “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” over our hopes and dreams. We fill the gap between what we hope for and what we experience with the false belief that any dreams aren’t even worth the effort anymore ….
What we tend to see as a permanent condition, God sees as a temporary situation. What you see as one of your greatest setbacks might be one of God’s incredible setups for marvelous miracles to occur. If you are meeting resistance in your hopes and dreams, then you’re most likely on the right track. The devil wouldn’t mess with you if you weren’t a menace to his plans and a valuable asset to God.
What the devil really wants to do is to destroy your confidence and steal your joy, and the best time to rob you blind is during a season of disappointment. We all know the scripture, (or we should) about his alterior motives: “the thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10).
Guard your heart. Don’t be caught unaware and allow him to hold you back, trip you up or slow you down. The circumstances are, well, just circumstantial; collateral damage in the real battle to destroy your vision of who you are in Christ Jesus ….
So don’t let the devil win. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus! Let go of debilitating discouragement and take hold of your next assignment! God has an amazing plan for you and He will sustain you …
In closing, I would like to encourage you to take a little time and read (1 Kings 19:1-18). Notice what God say to Elijah when he was hiding because of his discouragement? (Verses 9 and 13). I don’t want to give it away, but notice that God allowed Elijah to rest for a bit? But then it was time to get up and get going ….
The same applies for us, and just as it says in Ecclesiastes; “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (3:1), and the time for your discouragement is passing.
Notice what God said to Elijah to assure him he wasn’t alone. How can you protect your confidence during a time of discouragement? The answer is found in (v. 11).
We must get into the Lord’s presence, and wait on Him. He is ever waiting on us, each one of us, and when we are feeling so weary, or overwhelmed with discouragement, we must get on our knees and wait, listen for that whisper; it will come …. “I will carry you”
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4).
Let us pray ~
Dear God, I’ll admit that sometimes I get so discouraged I feel like I can’t go on. When things don’t go the way I thought they would, I just want to quit. Help me to remember that my greatest setbacks might be one of Your incredible setups for marvelous miracles to occur. Give me the God-confidence that I need to keep moving forward in Your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen