I remember a number of years ago I faced a time of great discouragement in my life. I didn’t feel negative and I never lost my trust in the Lord, but I was seriously disappointed and discouraged with a situation in my life. I think that discouragement is the most natural human response to some of the challenging situations that come our way. I certainly do not believe that this emotion is a sin. I am sure each one of us has been in that place of discouragement on a number of occasions in our lives.
The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 30:1-6 of a time in David’s life when he faced discouragement. I find it comforting to read about men and women who faced similar situations to what I face today and who continued serving God with fervor and passion. Psalm 42 is a Psalm that reveals another time of disappointment in David’s life – it is apparent he encountered times of distress on many occasions.
So what do we need to understand about discouragement?
· Realize that everyone faces discouragement at some time: I have never met a person who has not faced some situation in their life that has brought on some deep disappointment and discouragement.
· Understand you may get discouraged more than once: I wish discouragement were one-time events. But if you read the Bible you discover that many of the biblical characters faced discouragement over and again.
· Remember that discouragement will pass: You will not remain discouraged forever. It is not a lasting plight, you will move through your discouragement into a new day!
So how should we respond to discouragement?
· Turn to God: The best thing you can do in your time of discouragement is seek the Lord’s help. When David and his warriors were away and their town was ransacked it says, “[David] Strengthened himself in the Lord His God.” What wisdom there is in that verse! Put your complete trust in the Lord and believe that He will bring this season to an end. More importantly, believe that He will walk with you through your season of discouragement.
· Take time to rest: Sometimes discouragement is enhanced when we are physically and emotionally exhausted. Try and find time to relax, to spend moments with the Lord and regain strength and focus.
· Don’t wallow in your discouragement: Don’t give in to your discouragement – fight it. Resist it with all your might.
If you are experiencing a season of discouragement, then I encourage you to take a few moments to reflect on what I have written.
· Don’t share your discouragement with friends because it only reinforces the situation you are distressed about. You can find one trustworthy friend to share with, but ask them to be firm with you and not allow you to wallow in your discouragement.
· Don’t sit about moping, get active and busy and involve yourself in daily activities.
· Don’t give up because this season will come to an end.
I understand that some people reading my post may be in a place of deep discouragement. My advice to you would be to do what David did and go to the Lord. Seek His help. You can be honest with God and open your heart to Him. His ear is attentive and He will listen to your cry for help. And remember even though it may seem dark and hazy now you will come through your time of discouragement. Hold on through the night because the dawn is coming!
I am and always will be
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus