Discouragement is a tool the Devil uses to derail your confidence and destroy your life. Discouragement breeds discontent and doubt. It misdirects you, steering you away from the plan God has for you.
Recall the Serpent’s conversation with Eve in the Garden? He shifted Eve’s attention on God’s one prohibition, suggesting God did not actually want what was best for Adam and Eve.
The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 (NET)
He sought to discourage her by suggesting that God, who she thought was for her and for Adam, was really withholding something from them that was good. The Tempter tried to convince her that God was selfish and acting in His own best interest, not theirs. That’s how discouragement seeps in.
We find ourselves feeling like God’s plan for us is too difficult or not in our best interest. Nothing could be further from the Truth.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 (ESV)
Discouraged? Do something about it! Believers, we are not powerless. Here are 10 Powerful Keys Proven to Stop Discouragement from Destroying your Life:
- Start with prayer. God hears you. He knows your pain. Are you willing to hand your burdens over to Him and let Him show you the way? Enunciate your problem out loud and let God take it from there. Recognize you’re powerless over it. It’s got you. Give it over to Him.
- Read, meditate, and memorize Scripture. God’s Word has power. It’s not just words on paper. Find Scripture that addresses what is discouraging you. Read Scripture that reaffirms God’s Love and Hope and purpose for your life. Having lived life on Earth, Jesus fully understands the weight our trials and tribulations bear on us. God’s Word is a powerful tool intended to shield us and an a strong weapon forged for the battles the Lord knows we face in our natural realm.
- Search your soul. It may be time for one of those dark nights of the soul. Be honest. Listen closely. Remember God have us two eyes two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen more than we talk. Don’t forget. The Lord journeys with us. He goes wherever we go. He will not leave us nor forsake us.
- Be still and wait. Don’t rush off. We tend to tell God stuff and then run off without waiting to hear an answer. Who does that? Truthfully, I know I do. Odds are you do too. Give God time to respond. Too often, we’re in a hurry and we enter our conversation with the Lord and drop off a request or concern without sticking around for an answer.
- Network. Connect with other like-minded people passionate about your area of interest. Desire to help the homeless? Then venture beyond your suburban comforts and go where people are doing the work you want to do. Serious about writing? Find writers groups and fellow writers to meet and mingle with. Your faith suffering? Find a local body of believers to speak Truth and Life into your world.
- Fellowship with other believers. There’s a good reason the church exists. It’s to help us stay strong and keep the faith. The church is filled with people who have battled the demons of discouragement and destruction. We are a battle-tested bunch tattooed with scars and wounds that God has healed. He uses His people to help His people. We find comfort in giving comfort to those who like us need comfort. Our hurts are healed so that we may encourage others who need healing. The Body exists to be a blessing.
- Minister to others. One great way to get your mind off your troubles is to focus on someone else by helping them through their trials and tribulations. Our own problems seem like the biggest problem in the world, no matter how significant or insignificant they may actually be.
- Get an accountability partner and mentor. Have someone who will walk with you and hold you accountable. Lean on someone who can guide you and direct you and remind you that God is doing great things in your life. Better yet, become one yourself. Investing in others and having others invest in you will dramatically change your attitude and your perspective.
- Talk to your spouse. God gave them to you for moments like this. Enlist their help. Bend their ear. Ask them to pray for you. They will be happy to do it and probably relieved to know that they can help. Your wife or husband are invested in you. They love you. Like the Lord, they want what is best for you and they walk alongside you as you battle through the challenging times you face. You’re not alone.
- Get off your pity pot. Don’t spend all day feeling sorry for yourself. Once you have done these things, if you still feel down, recognize that you need to vanquish these thoughts that lessen the image of God shining through you. You are not created defeated. You are designed in the victorious image of the Lord. You are the Salt and the Light. Don’t put the lampshade of discouragement over your bright shining light. Don’t filter the salt from your walk. Live in Victory.
Hopefully, you will take the intent of what I’m saying here to heart. Discouragement is a special difficulty designed to sideline you. Don’t let it. Share the Word. Use the gifts God has given you to proclaim the Gospel boldly wherever you go. And remember, God is with you, always.
Go in peace.