Battling Discouragement

by Brandon Ware

Jeremiah 15:20

Someone has defined ‘discouragement’ as dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. When we become discouraged, it usually because we have forgotten God’s faithfulness.

If you’ve ever battled discouragement, know that you are in good company. Many of God’s chosen servants faced their share of it. Moses became so discouraged that he questioned God’s call of him. Joshua was ready to quit and leave the Promised Land. Elijah collapsed under a broom tree. In Jeremiah 15, we read of the dejection and discouragement that the prophet Jeremiah experienced. He faced a difficult calling. One minute he was affirming God’s faithfulness to His people, and the next minute he was crying out with pain because of the difficulty of his work. Yet in the midst of his discouragement, the Lord promised to make him a ‘fortified wall’ and give him victory over all his enemies. You see, Jeremiah had to learn to walk by faith. Walking by faith means we obey God’s Word no matter how we feel, no matter what we see, and no matter what others might say. God never promised His servant an easy job, but He did promise him all that he needed to do His work faithfully.

Perhaps you’ve heard this expression before, “God never puts more on us than we can bear.” Well, it is simply not true. What we are called to isn’t dependent upon our strength, but on His. Sometimes, God leads us into impossible situations where we don’t have any answers and all we can do is pray. But the impossibility of a task doesn’t have to be a cause of discouragement for those who trust in an omnipotent God. Trust Him, and leave the situation in His hands. Ask the Lord to help you identify what often triggers discouragement in your life. The emotions that accompany it can be powerful indeed, but God is greater still. Discouragement is always an opportunity for you to clarify where your confidence and strength is really found. Remember, we walk by faith and not by feelings.

For more, read Jeremiah 15:10-21Psalm 46:1-11

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