Discouragement – The Facts
Everyone will have their share of discouragement at some point in their lifetime. However, our approach to managing our discouragement will distinguish us from others.
The dictionary defines discouragement as follows; “a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage.”
Discouragement happens in all areas of life. An employee puts in his best to ensure his department achieves success, only to get a damaging response instead of a good appraisal from his superior. A woman’s marriage dreams end when her husband is unfaithful. She truly feels the pangs of discouragement. A couple suffers their second miscarriage while trying to create a family. These people all deal with discouragement differently, but some may become so discouraged, so distressed and as a result may attempt to take their own lives.
Discouragement – The Signs
The following are some signs of discouragement:
- Sleeplessness -- the mind and soul is full of worry.
- Restlessness -- Absent mindedness sets in and weariness results.
- Complacency -- Loss of interest in food even though you might not have eaten for hours.
- Negative Thoughts – The ultimate of this are thoughts of suicide.
Discouragement – The Solutions
The question becomes: Why does discouragement plague so many of us?
If we look through the Bible, we see that discouragement has been in existence from Genesis (the beginning of all things) and can be found in many people throughout the Bible. The Devil has learned to attack the minds of people, making them discouraged and ultimately depressed. It is his goal to entrap people and discourage them.
But, Jesus Christ came to deliver us from this onslaught of mind-attacks. Jesus recognized the things that often lead to discouragement -- coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness) (Mark 7:18-23). Jesus told us to keep our minds and hearts clean and to remove those negative influences from our minds. He desires that we have perfect peace.
Jesus does not promise us a perfect life on earth, but He does desire us to have a balance in life and He promises to carry us through the hard times. We will pass through some situations and trials that want incapacitate our joy. And still we’ve been promised victory in this world over them!
Discouragement – Focus on these things
Cry out to God and tell Him of your pain -- Psalm 69:1-2 says, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.” (See also: Psalm 51:1-18, Psalm 32:3-8)
Give God your anxiety -- 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (See also Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 6:33-34.)
Ask Him for peace – John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (See also: Isaiah 26:3-4, Philippians 4:6-8).
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