We face discouragement from time to time, and sometimes it overwhelms us to the point of giving up. We are not immune to discouragement as Christians, but God is there to help us overcome it.
There are different ways we can overcome discouragement – choosing to be thankful, forgiving others and ourselves, encouraging ourselves with the Word of God, not dwelling on the past, learning how to deal with disappointments, embracing our unique paths in life, embracing the testimonies of others, or praying.
Discouragement can set in due to a number of reasons, many of which are beyond our control. In this article, we will identify some of those reasons and how to overcome discouragement.
Why Do We Need to Overcome Discouragement?
- Discouragement Leaves us Feeling Down
Discouragement leaves us feeling down, and we have a hard time putting a smile on our faces. It is not God’s will for us to be burdened by feelings of discouragement because they negatively affect our faith in Him. Jesus invites us to go to Him with our heavy burdens, and He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28).
- Discouragement Leaves Negative Outlook on Life
Instead of being overcome by discouragement, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him give you rest. When you are discouraged, you will not have a positive outlook on life, and you can easily become pessimistic.
- Discouragement Leaves our Feelings Restless
It is hard to believe that anything good can happen in your life when you are facing discouragement because of a particular issue. God not only gives you rest from discouragement, but He also encourages you and gives you hope.
Difficult seasons in our lives will leave us feeling discouraged, but we have a Heavenly Father we can turn to for help. He has given us many promises in His Word to encourage us and rekindle the dying fire of our faith. By meditating on the Word of God, you will find refuge from discouragement.
- Discouragement Fills us with Unbelief
When you are discouraged, you will find it hard to believe God for anything. Discouragement fills us with unbelief because we are not sure that the Lord will come through for us.
The invalid who was at the pool of Bethesda had been sick for thirty-eight years, and when Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well, he gave Him an excuse. He said that when the water is stirred, there is no one to put him into the pool (John 5:7). His prolonged illness had left him discouraged.
We have to overcome discouragement so that we can grow in our faith. We cannot please God if we have no faith. That’s why we have to do what it takes to keep it intact. Turn to God today and let Him lift off the discouragement that is weighing you down.
Why Do We Get Discouraged?
1. When we Feel Inadequate
Discouragement can set in when you feel that you cannot achieve a particular goal or get a certain job. We feel discouraged because our efforts have not yielded the results we want, and trying again seems out of the question.
When something seems to be out of reach, we get discouraged and choose to forget about it and focus on something else. This is how we sometimes give up on our dreams and settle for less than we deserve.
2. When God Disappoints us
When we pray, we expect that God will give us the answers we desire, and when that doesn’t happen, we become discouraged and may even give up on praying altogether.
We sometimes imagine that God has forgotten about us or doesn’t care about what we are praying for, and we fall into a period of discouragement. We feel that God has disappointed us, and we become discouraged.
3. When Things don’t Go our Way
It’s human nature to want things to go your way, and for every piece of the puzzle to fall into place.
When things don’t turn out as we expect, we get discouraged and find it hard to move on. Life sometimes throws us a curve ball – it catches us by surprise and leaves us not knowing what to do. Our efforts seem like they are in vain, and we give up because of the discouragement that starts to weigh us down.
4. When we Have Suffered a Long Time
When we go through long periods of suffering, we get discouraged because we cannot see a way out of our troubles. By then, we have lost hope that God will move in our situation, and we settle into unbelief and lose hope.
Prolonged suffering discourages us because of the pain we experience, and we have to endure it with no way out. During such seasons, we find it hard believing that God has our best interests at heart.
5. When we Compare Ourselves to Others
As human beings, we are prone to compare ourselves with others and get discouraged when we haven’t achieved what others have.
We begin to feel like we are behind everyone else, and we forget that each of us has our own path in life.
Comparing ourselves to others who have achieved the success we dream of can discourage us because we entertain self-defeating thoughts that sabotage us.
There are many reasons why we get discouraged. You can identify what in your life is discouraging you today.
It is possible to overcome discouragement. It does not have to leave us feeling defeated in life. By turning to God and His Word, we can eliminate discouragement from our hearts.
We have to remind ourselves that in everything we do or encounter in life, God is with us. He tells us not to be discouraged because He is always with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9).
How Do We Overcome Discouragement?
1. Encourage yourself with God’s Word
God gave us His Word so that we can live a victorious Christian life. This does not mean that we will not face challenges or circumstances that will cause us to feel discouraged. Our lives will be full of ups and downs, but we can encourage ourselves with God’s Word.
God encourages us as we read His Word, and He gives us hope that our difficult situations will get better. He knows that the discouragement we face affects our faith negatively and does everything He can to encourage us. Psalm 10:17 tells us that the Lord hears the desire of the afflicted and encourages them.
Read God’s Word daily and allow Him to encourage you with His promises so that you will have the strength to move on from the things that are discouraging you. Instead of turning to other things to forget about your feelings of discouragement, turn to God, and let Him uplift you and restore your joy.
2. Don’t Dwell on the Past
When we focus on our past and the failures we have encountered – we get discouraged because we feel like we cannot move on from those difficulties we experienced.
By learning from the past and then leaving it behind, we will be more successful in what we do today. By allowing past events to discourage us, we miss the things that God wants to do in our lives today.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
The past has nothing new to offer us, and we can look forward to the present that God wants to give us. We don’t have to remain in a state of discouragement because of failures or mistakes we made in the past. Look out for what God wants to do in your life today.
3. Learn How to Deal with Disappointment
If we want to overcome discouragement, we have to learn how to deal with it the right way.
The best way to equip ourselves to handle discouragement is to turn to the Word of God and look for relevant Scriptures that will help us. Read the stories of those who faced discouragement in the Bible and find out how they overcame it.
The Israelites were discouraged because of their journey through the wilderness and they desired to go back to Egypt. They complained to Moses and because of their complaints, Israelites brought punishment on themselves. The good thing was they repented. When they realized their mistake – they turned away from their sin, and God healed them (Numbers 21:4-9).
When we see how others have handled discouragement, we will apply the same principles to our lives.
4. Don’t Try to Control Outcomes
When we try to control outcomes in our lives, we get discouraged when we do not succeed.
Many times we pray and then want to help God bring the answer to pass. And if our desired outcome does not manifest – what do we do? We become discouraged.
Because of our insecurities of who we are, we will try to control the lives of others or circumstances – this will leave us discouraged because it is impossible.
In 2 Chronicles 20:17, we learn that we need to be still and see the salvation of the Lord. We have to give God room to give us the results we desire in any given situation to avoid becoming discouraged when we don’t get what we want.
5. Listen to Praise and Worship Songs
When we keep our minds focused on God and His goodness, we will manage to overcome discouragement. Music that glorifies God ushers us into His presence where we find joy.
Psalm 21:6 says, “You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.”
It’s hard to dwell in discouragement when you are praising and worshipping God because your heart will rejoice in Him. He is the one who can give you the breakthrough you need.
When King David faced discouraging situations, He praised God because he knew that his salvation was found in God. Next time you feel discouraged, you can listen to some praise and worship songs and keep your eyes on your Heavenly Father.
6. Embrace your Unique Path in Life
God created you a unique person, and your journey in life is not like anybody else’s. Our paths may cross at some point, but it does not mean that we are going in the same direction. For this reason, we must focus on where God is taking us and not compare ourselves with others.
God created you for a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5), and your focus should be on fulfilling it and not feeling intimidated by what others are doing.
When you are busy focusing on what others are doing, you get distracted from the work that God has given you to do while on earth.
Embrace your unique path in life, and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged when you have not succeeded like others have.
7. Listen to Encouraging Testimonies
Sometimes we have to encourage ourselves with the testimonies of other people. When they share their struggles, we get encouraged because we know that there is hope for us. This eliminates the discouragement that keeps us bound to situations that have a solution.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to encourage one another, and build each other up.
When we listen to the testimonies of others who have overcome discouragement, we will feel encouraged and have the strength to face each day. You can look for encouraging testimonies online and trust that God can deliver you like He did those you are listening to.
Prayer is an avenue where we talk to God and pour out our hearts to Him. He is a loving Father who hears and answers our prayers.
Instead of being anxious, pray and let God know the things that are discouraging you (Philippians 4:6). His peace will guard your heart and mind, and this will leave no room for discouragement.
Whenever you don’t know how to deal with anything, pray about it and trust that God will come to your rescue. By praying, you are inviting Him to intervene in your situation and deliver you. Every time you feel discouraged, pray about it instead of feeling down.
There are many ways to deal with discouragement, and the above are just a few examples.
You can overcome discouragement when you look for Biblical ways to deal with it.
Pray for the wisdom to know how to overcome the discouragement you feel because God is always ready to help you.
Encourage yourself every day in the Lord, and draw your strength from Him. Trust Him when He says that you should not be discouraged because He is always with you.
Are you facing discouragement right now?
Are you feeding your problem day in and day out? Do you want to be free? I hope you will be encouraged by this word.
Shalom & Blessings,