Battling discouragement – Part 7
In our earlier series, we said none of us is immune to discouragement in the ministry and in real life. We shall end this series by discussing how to battle discouragement. We had in an earlier edition touched on this, but would be more detailed here.
Daily, we face one temptation or another, but as Paul says, God will always provide a way of escape (1 Cor.10: 13). The apostle Peter adds this word of encouragement for those who face temptations, “then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the Day of Judgment” (II Peter 2:9 NKJV). Similarly, God helps us battle discouragement.
Jesus had a taste of discouragement in Matthew 26:36-48 and John 12:27-28. He overcame by faith, prayer and by focusing on the joy set before him (Heb.12: 2). You battle discouragement by affirming your faith in the word of God. Check out those promises of the Scriptures that pertain to your experiences and problems, then, confess them to yourself, to God and to the devil. That is how to affirm your faith.
Praise and worship is a potent weapon for battling discouragement. Praise and worship disinfect and sanitises the soul. David writes that out of the frustrations that he described as “horrible pit” and “miry clay,” the Lord put a “new song” in his mouth (Psalm 40:1-3). In Psalm 42, when his soul was weighed down by the adversities of life, he found praise as a panacea. In verses 6-10, he listed his frustrations, then in verse 11 he said, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God” (Psalms 42:6-11; Psalm 71: 20-22).
When you face discouragement, that is the time to pray and prevail in prayer like Jacob did (Gen.32: 22-32). Prayer brings relief to your spirit. Some find it very difficult to pray at such moments. But Jesus prayed the more earnestly during His most trying times. He prevailed in prayer at Gethsemane before He went to Golgotha. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44 NKJV).
Don’t isolate yourself during moments of discouragement, rather fellowship with other believers. Fellowship strengthens our faith. Fellowship affords us the opportunity to share our burdens with others and to seek for counsel. Fellowship enables us to build a team of intercessors, who can build a prayer shield around us.
Nothing enlightens and liberates the mind like reading. Reading brings knowledge on how to deal with issues. If you can read the Bible, read stories and read biographies of other people when you face discouragement. That will help to evacuate the mind.
Listen to inspiring sermons when you are emotionally down. Check out for sermons that relate to your emotional needs and listen to them. At a recent meeting where I was speaking from Psalm 71:14, on Hope and Praise, a man who has been so discouraged and was finding it very difficult to pray and praise God received a release, when I read from Job 9:4. The text was like a flash of light to his soul, and he immediately shouted, “I am connected back to God.” Nothing quickens the spirit of men like the written and spoken word of God.
Above all, never give up your confidence when you are in the valley of discouragement, for it has a great reward (Heb.10: 35 36).