Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Things That Cause Discouragement

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14

Things That Cause Discouragement

What causes us to lose hope and become discouraged? We could all give a long list real fast today. It doesn’t take but a few seconds of scrolling through social media or listening to the latest breaking news to steal our hope these days. But as Christians shouldn’t we know better? Shouldn’t we always have hope if we believe in God? And if we do believe in God, why do we feel so heavy with the hopelessness we see all around us? 

Satan is constantly nipping at our heels with anything that will tear us down. He is the father of lies and the king of discouragement. If he can steal our hope, gain control of our minds, and put fear in our hearts, he disables us for God’s purposes. He cannot own us, but he will cripple us and take us out of the battle if he can, even if it is for a short time.

So how can we take care so that we don’t allow this to happen? What are you looking to that is causing the discouragement you feel and where are you trying to find encouragement? 

Circumstances – Perhaps the biggest thing in our lives that causes us to be discouraged is our circumstances. They are momentary and they change, none of it is permanent. But they can crush us honestly. The circumstances we create for ourselves may be worse than the circumstances we have no control over. You made your bed – now you have to lie in it makes for eternity here on earth. We may have to endure circumstances that another person inflicted upon us. We look at the circumstances in the world and we certainly see hopelessness all around us. Focusing on our circumstances will almost always guarantee discouragement.  

News/Social Media – Again, we find very little on the news and even social media that brings encouragement to our hearts these days. There are some influencers on social media that bring encouraging words, but we have to be careful of the comparison trap, which definitely can cause us to be discouraged about what our own life lacks. 

Other People – We must always be careful with our words. Even without intending to, we can spread discouragement, hate, and discrimination to those around us. 

Feelings – Feelings are a very vulnerable thing for us to trust. They can betray us quickly and send us down a deep dark hole that leads to a tunnel of discouragement, hopelessness, and depression. Give your feelings to God. Ask Him to help you navigate your feelings and still trust what you know over what you are feeling.

Failures – Some cannot get past their failures. They may feel like this: "I feel hopeless, not because I don’t think God is powerful enough, but because of me – the hopeless mess I have made of my life. Why would God help me? I can’t see over my own mess to try to focus on Him." 

Being Alone – We never feel more discouraged than we do when we feel like no one cares, or there were people that cared at one time, but we have worn out their care for us. This leaves us alone and discouraged and that is a bad place to be. God knew we needed community and fellowship. Get around other Christians to be lifted up and encouraged.

Looking around, at what we see before us, will only cause us to feel defeated. It is what we cannot see that wins our battles. He has power over the wind and the raging sea – He can handle our problems. They are important to Him because He loves us, but they are not the insurmountable mountains to Him that they are to us. 

Discouragement does not come from God, but He is the only cure for it. With the hope and encouragement, we get from God, in His power we can rise above any circumstance and endure any situation.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:5

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