Have you ever been discouraged?
Do you know that almost everyone has had at least one experience of being discouraged?
John finished with a Lower Second-Class honours (2:2) from his University, he was sceptical and afraid that he may not find a job with a 2:2. He trusted God to help him, however, 95% of the job applications that he made was unsuccessful. His friends and parents discouraged him, they told him to apply for non-graduate jobs, however, John refused as he believed if he had applied for non-graduate jobs, he may struggle to switch to a graduate job afterwards. John was determined that God was going to make a way for him.
One of his friends told him about a graduate job opening, however his friend told him that he would need to lie in his CV, he would need to include fake experiences that he did not have. John vehemently refused and his friend deserted him.
John continued to trust God and he purposed in his heart not to sin against God neither did he want to cut corners. While he waited on God for his dream graduate job, John undertook a non-paid work experience role for about 2 years and he also completed online professional courses.
To everyone's amazement, John obtained a high paying job at an international Oil and Gas company after 2 years of trusting God for a Graduate Job. The salary that he was offered was beyond his imagination; apart from his salary, he was offered a company car, a company house and other luxurious benefits.
While John was discouraged along the way, he never gave up, he stood on God's promises and he also ensured that he prepared himself for the promise that he was waiting for.
Origin of Discouragement
- Discouragement stems from different things, it could be due to lack of hope, someone disapproving of what we are doing or about to do, not seeing results of what we are doing.
-Discouragement comes when people disappoint us, when someone lets us down, when someone mocks our creativity, when someone puts us down despite the effort we had put in undertaking a task.
- Discouragement may come when we have prayed to God and we are waiting for the manifestation of the prayers that we have prayed.
Is Discouragement the Will of God for Christians?
Discouragement is not from God, it is from the works of Satan. Satan's mission is to STKD (Steal, Kill and Destroy), his plan is to kill people's joy, to destroy the good things in people's lives, to prevent them from believing in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, for people to think the false freedom/fun they are enjoying is the true freedom, not realising that Satan is keeping them in bondage.
God said in Isaiah 26:3 that He would keep His children in Perfect Peace and He encouraged us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might ( Ephesians 6:10).
God's plan is to give His children a hope and a bright future. Therefore, it is not His plan for His children to feel discouraged.
Discouragement makes individuals to come off-track from God's plan for their lives. Hence, God has admonished Christian to fix their eyes on Him, trust in Him and He would direct their paths right. (Do you know that God does not make mistakes?)
How to Overcome Discouragement
1) Watch out for any form of discouragement. It can come from anyone. In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah was determined to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and he trusted in God to help him. However, it happened that Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were going to be rebuilt, they laughed at Nehemiah and they despised him (Nehemiah 2:9-20). However, Nehemiah and his people were not discouraged, he ensured that the walls were rebuilt despite continuous discouragement from Sanballat and his cohorts.
2) Refuse to respond to discouragement and trust God to accomplish His Will in Your Life. David was discouraged by King Saul, he was told that he was such a young boy and that he would not be able to defeat Goliath despite the fact that it was David that put himself forward. However, David reminded King Saul of how God had helped him to kill lions and bears when he tendered his father's sheep.
3) Hold on to the promises of God and His promises for your life: God said that the trying of our faith works patience (James 1:3). When we hold on to God's promises, it shows that we have faith in Him and we believe that He will make a way, albeit we don't need to know how but just trust in Him. God said He is pleased with those who trust in Him and He would never put them to shame.
4) Put yourself on guard: Guard your heart. The Bible says in Luke 6:45 that "A Good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." What do you feed your hearts with? Do you feed your hearts with good or bad treasures? Do you feed your hearts with the Word of God? With music that glorifies God? Do you guard what you read? What you watch? What you hear and what you listen to?
5) Encourage yourself in the Lord. Remember the great things God had done for you and look forward to what He would do. Start confessing it, prepare yourself for it and look forward to the amazing promises. Do not wallow in depression.
6) Persist in the face of opposition. The enemies are not usually idle, they constantly want the children of God to be discouraged and to give up. God wants us to endure. He Himself endured the sufferings and the cross, despising the shame because of the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). This suggests that when we endure sufferings until the end, we will experience unspeakable joy. No wonder the Bible says that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
7) Remember that discouragement is a feeling and you have a choice to not be discouraged. Don't discourage yourself in life. God has commanded His children not to be discouraged. The book of Joshua 1:9 states that: "Have I not commanded you? be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
- Myss Lafunky
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