Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get discouraged? You can go along in life and everything seems to be going well and then it hits. It doesn’t take much. Many times, it is a little comment from someone or a thought that derails us. It seems to come out of nowhere.
We may get the thoughts that life is just too tough…or thoughts that living the life for Jesus is just not worth it…or that dealing with all we have to deal with is beyond what we can bear…we may feel that God has given us tasks that are too much or burdens that are too heavy
I think that at some time or another, all of us face discouragement. We all struggle with this life. So, what do we do? How do we go on and continue to do what God has called us to do (or sometimes, just function through another day?)
I want us to look at 3 different scriptures that help us face discouragement
1 – Let’s start with the Old Testament. What do we know about Joshua? If we look at Deuteronomy, we know that Joshua was one of the 12 spies chosen to go over into the Promised Land to check it out and prepare for battle. We know that it was only him and Caleb who came back with reports that God was stronger than anything they had encountered. The people headed the word of everyone else and didn’t go in…God was angry and when they disobediently tried to go, they were defeated. We know that Joshua was the understudy of Moses. Moses was a mighty man of God who was described as a prophet who knew God face to face. I can imagine very scary shoes to fill…only Joshua wasn’t filling Moses’ shoes, he was following God’s direction. We also know that Joshua was chosen to take these whiny, complaining, disobedient people into the Promised Land. I am sure that Joshua was overwhelmed, scared, and possibly discouraged many times with what he was called to do. What did God tell him? We know these scriptures because they are so powerful.
Did you hear it? God told Joshua that He would be with him through it all, He wanted him to be strong and very courageous, and He wanted him to remember and keep God’s Word in front of him at all times. So, that is our step one in overcoming discouragement. We are to remember that God is with us, be strong and courageous because He is with us, and to stay in the Word.
2 – 1 Peter 5:6-7
In this scripture, we remember that when are discouraged, we come to Him with our cares. We give them completely to Him. Pour out your discouragements
before Him. Whatever it is that is weighing you down, give it to Him. Remember that He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He doesn’t want you carrying around a load of disappointments and discouragements. He wants you to come to Him with all you have and give it to Him. He wants you to be honest. He wants you to pour your heart out to Him and be honest. It isn’t like He doesn’t know how you feel already. If we tell Him about our discouragements and fears, we are lifted from them and we have room to know that He really does care for us. How great it is that we can bring it all before Him and pour it out and He still loves us and cares for us.
The choir song really speaks to that. We have decisions we have to make…we feel like we are often squeezed from every side…and we need HIM. Cast your cares upon Him. He does care for you and for me. That is part of that amazing love that we don’t have to understand…just be thankful for.
3 – Colossians 3:16-17
Finally, it is important as we face discouragement that we surround ourselves with people of God. It is critical that we come together as the body of Christ and encourage one another in the faith. This world is too much to face alone. That’s why we are the body of Christ and not the individuals for Christ. We are to come together as His people. I can’t tell you how much a kind word or encouraging thoughts mean in a difficult time. Prayers make a difference…encouragement makes a difference…worship makes a difference…following God makes a difference….when we do it for the glory of God.
As we go through this week, may we not get lost in discouragement, but rather, know that God is with us…be of strong courage…casting our cares upon Him…and encouraging one another.