Ugh! Seriously? Are you kidding me? Again? I can’t do this anymore. I’m so tired. How much more can I take before I give up? Is it really worth it?
Any of these sound familiar. Well, for most us, they do. These are questions and thoughts that we have all had when we feel discouraged.
Discouragement is an absolutely normal part of life. Look at King David, he had everything he owned stolen from him by the Amalekites during a raid, including his wife and children. Look at the Prophet Elijah, after killing hundreds or false prophets during a confrontation, he hid in a cave because the evil queen Jezebel issued a death threat against him. What about Jesus, his own disciples abandoned him during the hardest moments of his life. Yeap, it happens to everyone.The defining characteristic though, is how we react to discouragement.
Discouragement is an absolutely normal part of life.
So, I’m writing this to you. To the one who has felt like perhaps it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it to sacrifice everything for the Lord anymore.
You decide to take a leap of faith, and trust that Jesus will have your back, and that’s when everything starts going downhill. You finally choose to go for that one dream that Jesus placed in your heart, and it seems like the doors of opportunity won’t open.
You don’t get that one scholarship that would allow you to continue school this semester. Maybe, the people that promised to be with you until the end, in the good and the bad, are nowhere to be seen. Or perhaps, those applications that you sent in, keep getting denied.
Well, let me tell you; it’s going to be alright. If you are like me, this is the point in the story where discouragement begins to creep up on your heart like a shadow. It slowly begins to spread over your heart until it’s so heavy that you give into it.
The word discouragement can have two meanings. I want to go over these two meanings because there is something to be learned here. See, discouragement is not so much a feeling but rather a tool. It is a tool that our enemy likes to use to stop the purposes of God that have been placed in our hands. If we learn to see discouragement for what it is, then we will no longer be deceived.
If we learn to see discouragement for what it is, then we will no longer be deceived.
First of all, discouragement is “a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.” It’s what happens when things don’t go as we expected. It’s when our efforts don’t yield results, and we begin to loose enthusiasm for what we want to accomplish. This is the definition that most of us understand. Discouragement is a feeling; but wait, there is more.
Discouragement is also “an attempt to prevent something by showing disapproval or creating difficulties; deterrent.” This is the definition that I really want to emphasize.
See dear friend, the enemy likes to use discouragement in this sense. He likes to use his influence over the hearts of others, to deter what the Lord is using us to do.
Maybe you are writing an amazing article that you are so excited to post. You know that this article will impact the lives of so many young women. Excitedly you type the words as they pour out of your heart. Then it’s time to post, but wait! There is no Wi-Fi and the hotspot on your cell phone is so, slow that the computer won’t work. Literally, you drive to the nearest Starbucks and it’s so full that you can’t even get out of the car. Then, you try going to the public library, but it’s too late, it’s closed. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like the biggest opposition in the world. But it happens to me all the time!
Whether it’s the laptop suddenly not wanting to work, or my flash drive getting lost with all of my work, or not having any signal for the internet; these things get to us. Worst, it’s when others tell us that our dreams are too big, or that there aren’t enough resources. It’s frustrating!
Fortunately, I have some good news. God has promised us that if we would be faithful until the end, He will give us a reward. Look at this bible verse:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23, ESV)
If God has promised you something, he is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19, ESV). He is God, and He sticks to His words. He promises us protection, provision, and blessing. If we are loyal to His words, He will fulfill them.
God promises us protection, provision, and blessing.
If you have been facing discouragement lately, whether it is at work, ministry, or life; know that God is watching. His eyes are on you to strengthen you in this journey (2 Chronicles 16:9, ESV).
Dear sister, God is rooting you forward. This is just temporary; this season will pass.
A few weeks ago I was speaking with a few friends, and I shared this biblical analogy with them. It is found in John 16:21. Jesus is speaking about when He will have to be crucified, but that he will return. I believe that this can also be applied to our season of discouragement.
When a woman is having labor pains, she is not happy. She is miserable. Fortunately, when she sees her baby’s face, she forgets all about what she had to suffer.
The same thing happens with discouragement, if we stick with the plans of God, at the end we will be so glad we stuck with his promises. If we would stay loyal through the pain, we will see the glory of God at the end.
If we would stay loyal through the pain, we will see the glory of God at the end.
The journey is tough, but it is worth it. Remember that joy comes in the morning, but you must get through the night.
By Carla Lopez