Based on my unscientific observations, it seems that discouragement eventually creeps along into everyone’s life at one point or another. From a Christian perspective, we probably ask ourselves is discouragement a sin? I’m thinking (in a non-scientific and non-clinical and non-theological viewpoint) that, discouragement is a normal human emotion/reaction. I think anyone can feel discouraged. Is it wrong to feel discouraged? Well, in the course of human normal emotions, I don’t believe it is. As with all other human emotions such as, love, joy, exuberance, fear, worry, and anger, all humans are capable of feeling these.
The feeling part of discouragement is not wrong. But…the real question should be: How do you react or handle the discouragement?
Yeah, life can be a real bummer sometimes and we DO find ourselves in periods where we are discouraged (unless you live in some Pollyanna-esque state that voids reality). Discouragement comes in both large and small varieties: not being hired after the 35th interview, never being able to come out ahead financially at the end of each month, being unable to master a certain skill after multiple attempts, um….divorce.
Are you feeling discouraged right now? Well, take heart….many of the greatest men and women of faith have also been discouraged. Here are some things that may help:
A fresh encounter with God and His Word. Get into the Word whether you feel like it or not. Jump into the Psalms…or listen to/watch old sermons….listen to the Bible on tape…..read it systematically….just READ IT and EXPOSE yourself to HIS WORD. His Word is just as true and vibrant today as it was thousands of years ago.
Get Back to Work in Ministry (helping others)
We may need a short season of rest, but eventually, we need to get up and get going again. Elijah, after a powerful and amazing mountaintop experience, was ready to give up and die. He stopped focusing on the big picture and began to dwell only on himself. What is YOUR ministry? Any of us would be flipping discouraged if all we did were to sit around all day and focus on our own problems. There is ALWAYS someone to minister to. Always. And….it doesn’t take money to minister. Our physical presence is often times a comfort to those who need some encouragement.
Do you have old tapes in your head that tell you lies? You can’t ever do this because xxxxx. You’ll never be able to xxxxx. You’re not good enough to xxxx. Well, it’s time to destroy the tapes. Look the adversity square in the eye and persevere. SO WHAT that you are the last one to cross the finish line?! You were in the race.
Trust Him for the Big Picture
Remember, we are passing through. This life is temporary!! He is the ultimate Provider. He knows the ending of the story and He sees the much bigger picture that we cannot see. God has this. Trust Him.