Recently, I experienced MAJOR discouragement. I don’t want to get into all the details as of yet—it’s early, but I will divulge in the coming weeks. Just know that it was a heartbreaking experience. I was so deeply disappointed and discouraged that I questioned the goodness of God.
I trusted and relied on God every single step of this situation and had full faith in a certain outcome. That expectation was failed. It hurt. I grieved. I became angry and even bitter at this circumstance. I thought that if God led me to this certain thing, that it will certainly be a success. There was no way He would lead me to failure, right?
Well, I didn’t get the success I had hoped for. The outcome I prayed for and believed for did not come in my timing and way. In my pain, I cried out to God and asked Him where He was and why He failed me.
Perhaps, you had similar prayers. Maybe you got laid off unexpectedly. Maybe you started a business and were hoping things would be better by now. Maybe your business is failing. Maybe you struggle in a marriage or have a sick child. Maybe you have your own illness you’re fighting.
None of these situations are good. None of them are from God either. If God is good always, we can not attribute an evil characteristic to Him. Sickness, poverty, lack, etc. are not from God. Yet, they still exist in the fallen world. And, He sometimes allows us to go through things.
Here are 5 very important things to do to help you overcome discouragement:
- If you are a Christian, you have been given authority over evil. You do not have to accept what life throws at you. It is important to act on that authority. Jesus said to speak to the mountain. He didn’t say pray for the mountain to be removed. He said SPEAK TO IT (Mark 11:23)! Are you acting on your authority (Mat: 28:18)? Are you resisting the enemy (James 4:7)? The mountain may not move instantly but we must persist!
- Let’s say you have acted on your authority and persisted in your prayers, continued to resist the enemy, and the problem is still here. This is where you may need to change your prayer. Yup, sometimes God will allow certain circumstances to remain because His grace is enough (2 Corinth 12:7-10). As much as we all love it when God just gets rid of the problem, He sometimes finds it in our best interest to empower us through the problem. This is when I pray for God to give me the strength to endure.
- Quit striving. Don’t mistaken acting on your authority and resisting the enemy for relying on your own efforts and strength. If your situation has not changed after you have done all that you can do….you stand (Eph 6:13). You don’t work. You stand and rest in the power of God’s grace. When you begin to resist the work God is doing in you through the situation, you will exhaust yourself. Not to mention, drag out this season. You can either allow God to do the work in you that He wants to accomplish, or you can strive against Him.
- Spend time with encouraging people that speak life to you. The last thing you need are negative people that allow you to wallow in self pity. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with friends that are compassionate to my situation but WILL NOT join my pity party. When I send out invitations to join my pity party they are quick to decline.
- I saved this one for last but it is POWERFUL. This is the LAST thing you feel like doing- but it is so effective. You have a choice. You can choose life, or death. You can choose to forgive or resent. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself or move on. You can choose to be a victim or a victor.
The best way to help you make the right choice is to rejoice. Yes, give thanks ALWAYS! Yes, give thanks for the lesson, the work God is doing in you, the far greater and beyond outcome you will get from this. Recall every single blessing you have in life and start praising. It will feel forced and totally fake at first- that is ok. As long as you choose to rejoice, the Holy Spirit will help your heart make it real.
The truth is, we can’t do it on our own. Whenever I tried to forgive, overcome, heal, move on, etc. in my own strength I failed miserably. When I finally surrendered and admitted that I can not do it on my own, that is when the miracle happened. It just happened- because I chose to surrender. Heck, I even had to pray to let go and surrender. I just had to choose to ask for help….and God did the rest.