Discouragement is a feeling of despair, a state of being distraught with a loss of sense or enthusiasm, drive or courage. It is a feeling everyone will have at some point in their lifetime.
Discouragement happens in all areas of life. An employee puts in his best to ensure his project achieves success, only to get a damaging response instead of a good appraisal from his manager. A woman’s marital 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; they feel discouraged because they begin to doubt God and can’t see past what they hoped and dreamed.
I have felt discouraged a number of times myself. At first I thought I was putting too much pressure on myself or holding myself to standards that were too high. While we understand that no one on this earth is perfect, we become discouraged either when we don’t meet our own expectations, or when life doesn’t meet our expectations. Or when others don’t meet our expectations, or when God doesn’t meet our expectations. When we become discouraged, we tend to follow certain predictable behavior patterns in an attempt to overcome our discouragement: We compromise, quit, withdraw or escape.
If we look through the Bible, we see discouragement has been a genuine human emotion since the beginning of time. Job lost his family and his possessions, and
his body was covered with boils from head to toe. He had come to a place where
he couldn’t take any more suffering. Jeremiah was a fearless prophet who was so overwhelmed by trouble and affliction, he wished he had died in his mother’s womb. Elijah, once fearless, was running for his life. He believed he was a total failure and grew depressed, asking the Lord to take his life. Peter put a tremendous amount of faith in himself, and when he failed to meet his own expectations, he became discouraged.
As we read throughout the Bible, discouragement is universal, recurring and highly contagious. Jesus does not promise us a perfect life on earth, but He does desire us to have balance in life. He also promises to carry us through the hard times. We will pass through some situations and trials that will incapacitate our joy — and still we’ve been promised victory in this world over them. Remember: The tomb is empty, so expect the unexpected!
Be encouraged no matter what’s going on, He’ll make it alright, but you gotta stay strong. I know right now it’s impossible to see, but God is gonna work it out if you just believe. Remember this one thing while you’re going through, if God delivered Daniel, He’ll do the same for you. Hold on, trouble don’t last always, these trials are just a test, just a test of your faith. So stand strong and dry your weeping eyes, ’cause joy comes in the morning, and everything is gonna be alright.
Don’t give up. Whatever is your saving grace, hold on to it and rely on God to pull you out of your situation. When I’m feeling discouraged, I listen to “Be Encouraged” by William Becton: