Maybe the doors weren’t kicked open, and discouragement crept in.
You wonder why the lost opportunity when the dream seemed so real? Maybe you even prayed for those open doors, yet they remained locked solid like a clam more than determined to hide its pearly riches.
As disappointment builds, the familiar chatter often crescendos, too. Why not me, Lord? What’s wrong with me? When we face this, we are in a battle to overcome discouragement. But hang on. There’s hope.
What Is Discouragement?
According to author Andy Andrews, inner dialogue may play a part as well. I agree.
I have wrestled with this hope problem often. It has even caused me to question why a woman of faith like myself battled like this. Perhaps something was wrong with my faith? Or, with me? Maybe you’ve thought similarly?
If we consider our own situations when discouragement reigns, is hopelessness threaded within? Often, we place our stock in an outcome, a person, or even self. And hope placed in people and things will inevitably land flat at some point or another. It’ll leave us void, empty, and short of true hope.
Examples of Discouragement in the Bible
Multiple times in the Bible, God or godly leaders offer this encouragement: “Don’t be discouraged.”
This leads to a ponderable question:
Why was discouragement mentioned if it wasn’t a very real threat?
Could it be that God knew people would battle discouragement? After all, the Israelites faced this emotional upheaval time and time again during their journey. Joshua was right there leading them through the muck and mire of life’s heaviness. Their handling of adversity literally made a difference between life and death.
Here are three verses that offer examples of discouragement in the Bible or the call to be aware of it. Read a little before and after each one for greater context and reinforcement in the fight. Keep ’em close to repeat, declare, and memorize.
- Josh. 1:9
- Deut. 1:21
- Deut. 31:8
Cause of Discouragement
Lingering disappointment due to shortcomings, comparison, evaporated dreams, etc. can birth discouragement. So can the actions and words of others or a promotion or even ministry that never came to fruition. But we have a choice over the matter.
Could it be that we’re placing our eggs in the wrong basket? That maybe Jesus offers more?
Gratitude can be a powerful weapon when this battle’s waged–for Jesus and all He’s done. For tiny glimpses of hope amid the trial. Grab your free gratitude journal and Bible reading plan in the Subscriber Library.
Effects of Discouragement
Discouragement affects people and faith in a variety of ways. Some of us…
- Give up hope
- Give up on relationships with others
- Put down ourselves–or place too high of importance in our abiltiy
- Lose hope in God
- Falter in faith
- Fall into depression as a result of lingering discouragement
How to Deal with Discouragement
How do you deal with discouragement? Do you…
- Stare or glare at the problem?
- Walk away?
- Press in?
- Draw closer to God?
- Strengthen in faith?
God gave us weapons to combat discouragement, including a sword that’s useful both offensively and defensively. The Bible is this tool that swipes so effectively at the lies and deception poured upon us with those unexpected or unwanted outcomes. It helps us take those thoughts captive. Read up on related verses.
Use a concordance to study discouragement or dive in with print or online Bible study tools to help better understand Bible verses, words, or passages. Pray them. Memorize them. Digest and live on them.
Encouraging Words for the Discouraged
God hears us. Those prayers are pertinent. Remember to cry out to the Lord. Psalm 66 provides words to soak in, to pray back to Him, to stand firm on.
Here’s another Bible verse to consider to boost your faith and fight well against discouragement.
How to Overcome Discouragement
Overcome discouragement with a focused dose of a good four-letter word: hope. Jesus offers it.
Study some of the scriptures and suggestions above. They’re free. So is simply spending time in prayer, asking for wisdom and simply listening.
Consider a Bible study to help you in this endeavor, too. Grab this digital Bible study called Shake Off Discouragement: Placing Hope Where It Belongs. Several options are available including the printable Bible study, access to videos to study along with me, and add-ons like Bible coloring pages (great for widows and shut-ins as well as children), bookmarks, and printable Bible verse cards for memorization.
Find a full listing of KristiWoods.net Bible studies here.
Whether it’s through the suggestions in this post or through other means the Lord brings your way, I pray you find help in Him to overcome discouragement. Because the enemy has nothing on the children of God. And the promises of the Almighty are more than trustworthy.