To be discouraged is to be disheartened. The dictionary describes it as being deprived of courage, hope, or confidence. It may be caused by many different types of variables and show up in multiple forms including disapproval, rejection, and intimidation. It may come by outside forces pressing in, or be the result of an inward turmoil of perception and feelings.
A common characteristic of a person struggling with discouragement is the feeling of not being unable to move forward. For instance, if the person works diligently on a project and their efforts go unrecognized or are criticized they might feel a lack of energy or motivation to continue on. When this takes place, the person’s expectations become disappointed, and their motivation becomes deflated. If this happens repeatedly, they may experience a sense of failure. This can apply to any arena in life.
What many people don’t realize is that discouragement is one of the biggest strategies Satan uses to immobilize a Christian’s contribution in life. It is his way of not only stealing away what could be their best efforts in present times, but ultimately their future as well. Hence, a person who struggles with discouragement often settles for less because doubting and nagging feelings plague them and they wonder–what’s the use?
One of the major downfalls of this struggle is that a person is kept from reaching her full potential. Life, and the opportunities it brings, can subsequently pass them by. This is why it is important if you are a person who recognizes these traits in your own life to seek the help that can only be found by the strengthening of faith.
There is hope! With God’s help a person can have the joy and confidence that belongs to them regardless of disappointments and discouragement. It will, however, take a shoring up of the inner person that is hidden in Christ. This will need to become more and more real, solid, and consistent. It is that holy and tranquil place where a person is safe and discouragement cannot win out. But this will only come by their spirit being fortified by the Holy Spirit.
If you struggle with being immobilized by discouragement, be encouraged by this: there is a faith that defies discouraging situations. In fact, the famous “hall of faith chapter”, Hebrews 11, is filled with saints of old who pressed past circumstances in this victorious hope. You are not alone!
The Psalms describe it like this: “. . . like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:8).
Joy and peace come from learning to walk in the design God has for our thinking. Every day we battle with old thought patterns and emotions that hold us captive. Blue Skies: Beyond The Dark Clouds Of Broken Thinking leads us step by step; taking us deep into truths that set us free to live into a new narrative, one of confidence and purpose—the story we were meant to live.