No matter our age, we all go through discouragement at some point in our lives. Things just don’t always go our way. But how can we cope when we get a disappointing test result, even though we worked sooooo hard for it? Or what do we do when we tried hard not to fall into a temptation of some kind but ended up falling for it? And what is our reaction when we expect our best friend to stick up for us but they don’t end up doing it?
Life has a funny way of teaching us that people can let us down, and circumstances can change direction unexpectedly.
I remember one particular incident, in my teenage years, when I studied really hard for one of my maths GCSE modules and ended up failing it, not just a little bit of a fail…a major fail. I got a U!
I later realised that my calculator was on the wrong setting, making all my answers incorrect! I wasn’t only discouraged, I was angry. I remember complaining to God about this. However, I ended up re-doing the test and managed to get a really good grade.
Do you know where I’m going with this story? Well, I believe that God let me go through this to teach me to trust in Him and to be humble. It’s true that disappointments suck but I also believe that God knows exactly what He’s doing and allows certain unpleasant situations to occur in order for us to draw closer to Him and strengthen our faith.
Discouragement is not an unfamiliar topic in the Bible. Many times we see people of God getting discouraged. We could take Job as an example. Tragedy struck him and his family. He lost everything. His wealth, children and health! What an awful trial and Job, as expected, was deeply discouraged, but we also see that he didn’t give up on God and he waited patiently for God’s move in his life. The bible tells us that God actually ended up rewarding Job after all he had been through; ‘The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before’ – Job 42:10-12.
If you need a bit of help overcoming discouragement, why don’t you try these following steps:
- Become familiar with God’s Word! The bible is filled with verses that can boost our moral! Here’s a great one: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
- Participate in your church’s activities. It’s always great to be surrounded with other lovely people who can encourage us (both in words and prayers) and bring a smile to our face! “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” – 1 Thessallonians 5:11
- Trust that God has got our back and believe that His will be done in our lives. Here’s a great verse: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28
Being discouraged is natural but with God’s help and his people, we can be encouraged.