We all face it. We feel it. At different times and in different circumstances, we feel discouraged. Sometimes, we feel it because of a decision you make or someone else makes. Sometimes it is an invisible discouragement from the enemy of our souls. Satan tries to chip away at our joy.
You might be reading this and feeling discouraged. Maybe things you hoped for haven’t happened yet. Maybe you feel like a failure. A mess-up. Someone that can’t seem to figure things out especially when you feel like people around you have.
Everyone in the Bible faced discouragement. As a Pastor, I walk through seasons where I have to make a decision - how will I respond in the face of discouragement?
Here’s a few lessons that I’m learning. I hope they encourage you:
Be authentic with God (Psalm 55:22). Talk to God. Tell Him everything. Don’t leave anything out. He can handle it. He already knows and He can change stuff, even us! You know, it might not be the circumstances, it could be that He wants to give us a new perspective and hope within the circumstances. This is why I journal. I write out my prayers and everything and in a sense, “give it to God.” It helps me to avoid stuffing my discouragement and, instead, cast it to God.
Avoid isolation. Build relationships with others that will draw your attention to the hope that is found in God’s Word. Be vulnerable with a friend that loves Jesus and you. Not everyone has the ability to think beyond themselves to help encourage you. Be real and avoid burying the truth. Allow godly community to help you heal (James 5:16).
Live to please God above all else. You won’t make everyone happy. Remember whose you are and that you live for His glory. Remember, Jesus gives you an identity as His child. Nobody can take that away, not even stupid Satan! You aren’t your past. You aren’t your struggles. You are new in Christ. Live in this identity. Ultimately, I will take an account of my life when I stand before God.
The song, “Do it Again” has been impactful to me and my family lately. We sing it on Sundays at church and in our home and in the car.
Discouragement isn’t final!