Persevering Through Discouragement

    As we all know, in this lifetime, we often will face times of discouragement. Maybe for you it’s discouragement caused by rejection, maybe it’s caused by not getting a job you were hoping for, or maybe you’ve set goals and haven’t hit them, causing discouragement in yourself. Whatever it be, we will experience some sort of discouragement in our life. Though there is no blueprint for living out a perfect, problem free life, God does give us a blueprint on how to deal with these situations that come. Today we will discuss what God’s word says and learn different ways that we can face the discouragement that comes in a Christ-like way.

     Before we try to change something, we must first understand what exactly it is that we are wanting to change. If you break down the word “discourage”, it’s root, “dis” translates to “away”, so when we say that we’re discouraged, we’re essentially saying that our courage has been taken away. This is a dangerous place to be in, because oftentimes when we are without courage, we don’t feel the strength nor desire to operate in obedience to God. Simply put, our discouragement can cause us to walk outside of God’s Will for our life. This is why it is so important to understand how to respond when discouragement comes our way.

     You may know the story of Abraham, the “Father of many nations”, and his wife, Sarah, who was barren for many years starting in Genesis 15. In case you don’t, I’ll paraphrase. God had made a promise to Abraham that he would have many descendants, however because of Sarah’s inability to bear children, they didn’t see how this could be possible. They were discouraged. Out of their discouragement, they were disobedient and tried to take matters into their own hands. Abraham had a child with Sarah’s servant, at her command, but as you could imagine caused many issues later down the road. Not too long after, God, staying true to his promise, allowed for Sarah to have a child by Abraham. Despite their disobedience, God was still faithful, and He still is today. What’s your barren place? Which area of your life are you trying to “play God”? 

     God is calling us today to persevere through our discouragement. To persevere is to keep at something in spite of the difficulties, to understand that what’s on the other side is much greater than we are experiencing right now. Deuteronomy 31:8 says “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will never fail you nor abandon you.” This is a promise from God. When we can operate on this promise, we can trust that no matter our circumstances, God is still working and if we let Him, can use any situation for good. 

     Looking back at the story of Abraham and Sarah, they were discouraged because they lacked trust. How many times has God promised us something, but because it’s not coming when or how we think it will, we start doubting what God said. Our own expectations can often cause us to fall into discouragement. God’s ways are higher, and His promises never fail. When we can get to a place of fully knowing that we can get to a place of having full Faith in Him despite what we may see. Faith fuels our courage, and faith simply means to believe in God’s promises. I encourage us today to let go of our expectations, let go of our discouragement, and step into the promises of God. He sees, He hears, He knows, and though we may not see it YET, have faith, because He will never fail.

-Kenyon France