Dealing With Discouragement
Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
The reality is a major part of life is discouragement. In fact those who suffer with depression often times are very discouraged. Everyone experiences discouragement, both Christian and non-Christian. Discouragement is defined as to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit. When a person becomes discouraged they literally lose hope, drive or will to pursue their hopes and dreams. There are many reasons people get discouraged. You can be discouraged because you are disappointed in people. Disappointed, depressed or discouraged by the failure of one's hopes or expectations. Ever have anyone hurt you so bad, emotionally you thought you’d never recover? Having expectations in someone coming through for you and they don’t? Mother’s can be disappointed in their children for the poor choices that they have made with their lives.
One can experience disappointment or discouragement in life. When we were children, most of us were taught to pursue our hopes and dreams. As we grow further in life, the hopes and dreams tend to dimmer and at times see to be a distant memory.
Job 14:1 (NKJV)
14 “Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.
If you live long enough one thing you will experience is trouble. Other reasons for discouragement is to become weary or wounded emotionally. Weary means feeling or showing tiredness, esp. as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep. A person’s get weary, discouraged after they have been fighting for a long time. My pastor back in Maryland said something very profound. He talked about how when a soldier goes to war, they initially are not tired or warn out. They are full of vigor and strength. After that same soldier has been fighting for a long time that is when the fatigue and weariness begins to come.
I liken it to the spiritual wars that we face in our emotions. Eventually a person gets tired. You get tired of dealing with people, you get tired of trying and you get tired of wanting, wishing and hoping. Have you ever felt like that? I know I have.
When a person gets very discouraged they literally feel like giving up. Depression sets up and they begin to ask themselves, “what is the point?”
When a person gets so discouraged they don’t feel like pressing forward, and hopelessness starts to set in.
Another way in which a person becomes discouraged is when they have been waiting for something much longer than expected. I know I have had great promises spoken over my life, yet there was a time when I got very discouraged because it didn’t come in the time frame I had anticipated. The reality is whatever you are waiting for will take much longer than anticipated. There is an old saying that goes God is never early, He is never late but He is always on time. Look at what the word of God says;
Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)
12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
What does it mean to be heartsick? Heartsick means overwhelmed or undone. Heartsick means, despondent, typically from grief or loss of love.
Heart sick also means, despondent, dejected, depressed, desolate, downcast, forlorn, unhappy, sad, upset, miserable, wretched, woebegone, inconsolable, grieving, grief-stricken, heavy-hearted, and broken-hearted.
Discouragement can be a major stronghold if a person allows. It is like bitterness that we talked about in the previous chapter, if it goes unchecked it will spread like a cancer throughout the whole body and it can have devastating effects on a person’s life.
Discouragement will impact relationships, work performance, an individuals spiritual life and promise for the future.
Discouragement impacts relationships because if a person is discouraged they are hard to live with. When it comes to new relationships or friendships a discouraged person won’t open up, they build walls and tend to isolate for fear of getting hurt. I once had a client say, “I am afraid to trust because I have been so disappointed in the past.” When a person is discouraged in their work, they will be dissatisfied and won’t put forth their best effort.
When a person is discouraged it impacts their spiritual life because they have a distrust in God. If you are discouraged you doubt that God is going to do what He said He would do.
Let us look what has to say about discouragement.
New King James Version (NKJV)
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
As stated if allowed discouragement will prevent a person from experiencing the promises of God.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Matthew 24:35-36 (NKJV)
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Acts 1:7-8 (NKJV)
7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth
For the case of emotional healing a person gets discouraged after experiencing multiple disappointments in life. A person will also get discouraged after going after a goal for so long and having so many obstacles that come in the way. We have talked in group how a person can feel like they can take two steps forward and ten steps back.
The reality is everyone at some point in their life experiences discouragement. The difference between those who win and those who lose is that the one that wins won’t give up.
However we get to the place where we feel like we have no strength or no get up and go to continue go on. You can feel so defeated and without strength to the point where you simply can’t move forward.
So what is the answer? How do you not give up? What is the answer to discouragement?
The answer is again found in Christ. As stated we can do nothing without Him. The reality is satan wants us to give up. He wants us to throw in the towel. He wants to prevent us from walking in all that God would have us to be. The good news is there is an answer to discouragement.
Remember our first scripture, David said “he would have lost all hope, or would be discouraged if he gave up his belief.” He wasn’t believing in a better day, a new circumstance coming forth or a new opportunity. David had determined in his heart that he would believe in God. The reality is even if you have lost all hope in everything and everyone. Don’t lose your hope in God.
David was someone who knew a little something about discouragement because he had so many experiences where he could be discouraged.
Let us look at what else David had to say.
Psalm 27:14 (MSG)
13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.
Psalm 31:4 (NKJV)
4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.
The bible clearly says that God would give us strength. Not only would He give us strength He will strengthen our hearts. When you get weary, worn and on the verge of giving up, you need a strength. Not just any kind of strength but supernatural strength. Here again is a reoccurring theme we need the power of the Holy Spirit, called dunamis power in order to strengthen our heart. It also takes the Holy Spirit to heal our hearts.
I remember after going through a season of non stop struggle and warfare it finally ended. The struggle was finally over the scar were still there. It is very possible to be healed with the scars. It is also very possible to be healed without scars. I remember after sometime of going through I hit another struggle, I lost my job. I frantically began looking for other jobs because I have never gone a significant amount of time without having a job. Mind you I have a great resume, but no matter how or where I sent my resume I wouldn’t get phone calls back. After some time I kept thinking, “what in the world is going on?”. I never forget the Lord spoke to me and said, “I gave you this time to heal your heart.”
Struggle, disappointment and discouragement is really a heart issue. To be able to move forward, forgive, and keep on keeping on you need God to say something similar, “I am going to heal your heart.”
Apart of letting go of many emotional issues including discouragement is the ability to receive. Open your heart and receive the healing God want to give you. He is the only one who can change your struggle into a song.
So we must again seek the face of the father, request that His Holy Spirit endow us and then allow the dunamis power to heal our hearts so we can recover from discouragement.
Samaria M Colbert © 2014
Excert from the book; The Process Of Emotional Healing By Samaria M Colbert