“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” Billy Graham
We have all felt deep discouragement from time to time. No one escapes it. In the past few years, it seems discouragement has hit an all-time high. Many are worried about family members, jobs, finances, their children’s education, and most recently, the threats of war. Will it ever end?
Yes, it will. God will have the final say. In the meantime, we must resist the spirit of discouragement.
Discouragement is defined as; to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; usually by an obstruction, opposition or difficulty; to hinder.
This is the agenda of the enemy, to deprive God’s people of courage and hope. Why? He knows the power of hope. God’s hope does not disappoint. (Ro 5:5)
Yet, discouragement is the opposite of God’s instruction for His people, as we see in Joshua 1:9.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So how do we resist discouragement? How do we continue to encourage ourselves in the Lord?
Here are five ways to resist and overcome the spirit of discouragement, once and for all.
- Know His Ways are Higher
Isaiah 55:9 reminds us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s ways are not our ways, neither is He confined to our timing. In times when the enemy is trying to discourage, we must remember this truth. Trust God. If He said it, He will bring it to pass.
Things seldom happen the way or in the time we are expecting. However, they always happen just as God says they will.
We must relinquish our right to understand. He is our God, He will take care of us.
- Take Every Negative or Evil Thought Captive
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:4-5).
Discouragement most often begins with a thought. We must be diligent to cast down every thought that does not agree with God’s Word or what He has said.
James 4:7 tells us to submit to God, resist the devil and he must flee. Resistance must begin in our thoughts. As we refuse to think on anything except what God has said in His Word, the devil and discouragement will have no choice but to leave.
- Speak the Word Over Your Life
Proverbs 18:21 teaches us that life and death are in the power of our tongue.
That is a sobering truth. For this reason, we must watch carefully the words coming out of our mouth.
We have the God-given ability to declare life over ourselves. God has given us so many promises in His word. As we speak these infallible words over ourselves and our family daily, we will see life infiltrate our heart and our surroundings.
His words are the light that dispels all darkness.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).
- Take Time to Worship & Praise
The benefits of a life of praise and worship are limitless. Nothing can encourage the disappointed soul like spending time in the presence of God in worship and praise.
As we draw near to God, He draws near to us. In His presence is fullness of joy.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11.)
When we praise God, the enemy stops in his tracks. We enter into the presence of God where no devil can go. In that place of intimate worship and praise, we are strengthened and filled with joy. Discouragement cannot stay in the heart of a true worshipper of God.
- Live a Life of Thanksgiving
Live a life of giving thanks.
It is impossible for discouragement to remain when we are consistently thankful. David said he encouraged himself in the Lord. One way to do this is by recounting what God has done for us in the past. Remind ourselves that He has been faithful all along, even in the most challenging times.
Discouragement comes when we lose perspective, being thankful returns our focus to God and His enduring faithfulness.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes 5:16-18).
On my worst days, I take a moment and jot down things I am thankful for. Before I know it, my heart is lifted, and my focus is back on God.
Proverbs 13:12-14 says, “Unrelenting disappointment makes the heart sick.” (Message Bible)
I have found this to be true. However, the story doesn’t end there. It goes on to say, “But when the desire comes it is a tree of life.”
God doesn’t stop at disappointment, and neither should we. We must press on in faith. Keep our eyes on God, knowing He will complete what He has begun, and we will eat of that promised tree of life.