Ponder A Little (Blog)
|Posted on February 2, 2019 at 1:05 AM|
None of us are immune to times of discouragement. It’s a common poison that quickly weakens our faith in God. It is perhaps Satan’s favourite tool because even mature Christians can easily succumb to its temptation. Well known pastors even admit to struggling with discouragement when their idealism and enthusiasm is not shared by the church leaders and members around them.
Our Bibles tell us of great men of God who became discouraged. Job, Elijah, Peter and Jeremiah each became discouraged with people, life’s circumstances, themselves and even God. And these men did what each of us tend to do. They gave in to their feelings and for a time felt sorry for themselves.
But God does not want us to give in. Instead, God commands us, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, Believe in God, Believe in Me” (John 14:1). God wants us to fight back with faith. Discouragement can have a positive outcome if we allow it to strengthen our faith.
Here are some helpful steps:
1. Honestly and fully express your hurt feelings to God in prayer.
2. Examine your thoughts because it is always our thoughts that lead to our feelings and sometimes what we tell ourselves is not true. Both Elijah and Jeremiah were discouraged by faulty thinking (1Kings 19, Lam. 3).
3. Seek God’s eternal perspective for your discouraging situation. Believe that He has a plan and knows what He is doing. Job had no idea what was going on between God and Satan in regards to his circumstances. And sometimes we will never know either. But God expects us to still trust Him and believe in His eternal goodness. This is where the fire truly refines us and makes our faith strong and mature.
4. Soothe your soul with the Word of God. Meditate on and claim God’s promises. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
5. Keep serving God. When we get discouraged we tend to withdraw. But there is healing in service. When we give we are blessed. Elijah was told by God to get back to work and ministry soon after asking God to let him die (1 Kings 19).
Life is not always fair or fun! But we are not alone! Jesus is walking beside us and He has experienced every hardship and discouragement we have ever known (Heb. 4:14-16). 1 Peter 5:7 says to, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you”. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
When you are down, look up and see Jesus!