The vicissitudes of life have a way of breeding discouragement in our lives. If this feeling of despair is not handled effectively, it can lead to our detriment. This is because discouragement can cripple us and prevent us from accomplishing our dreams. It has a way of making us want to take a break. Making us want to hit the pause button on life (if one existed) and catch our breath before we continue on the journey of life. Additionally, sometimes to be quite frank, discouragement has a way of making us want to throw in the towel and just calling it a day. It makes us want to hit the stop button and never hit play again, causing all the sounds from the music of life to end.
Discouragement may be defined as the loss of enthusiasm. As we all know enthusiasm comes from the Greek word “entheo” which means “in God.” This simply means that when we are discouraged, we have lost our grip in God. Discouragement shows that God is no longer at the center of our focal point but rather has been replaced by whatever “boisterous winds and waves” that is causing turbulence in our sphere.
Becoming discouraged is very common to all humans, and its causes are too many to mention. Therefore whenever we find ourselves in this state, we should not become alarmed. Instead, we should employ tools that will cause us to break free from this prison and get back into the game of life and enjoy the music.
The Bible tells a story of a woman named Hannah who was barren. She had married the man of her dreams, and he loved her like none other. He would always show her ways of how much he loved her. Yet all this display of affection did not satisfy as she could not bear children. Although, Hannah’s life seemed perfect in regards to love and material needs she had an adversary named Peninnah who would taunt her for being barren. This made Hannah very discouraged, so much in fact that she no longer had an appetite for food. Additionally, nothing her husband said brought any comfort to her. She could have remained in her state and become bitter and become consumed by the “woe is me” syndrome, but she took a different approach. She instead decided to pour herself out to the Lord. At a time when everyone was rejoicing and being merry, she made a sacrifice unto the Lord and pour out the anguish of her soul. This was being done so emphatically that the priest noticed and thought that she was drunk in the temple. However, in the end, we know that the Lord heard her petition and granted her request.
So how do we really push through these dark clouds of discouragement? How do we pick up the pieces of the chips that have fallen and begin to build again? I am in nowise saying that it will be easy but it is very doable. With a little effort, one can push through and encounter astronomical breakthroughs. So how can this be achieved?
- Get Up. Move from the place that you are familiar with. Move from the area of your comfort zone. Often we become so comfortable with being discouraged that we just want to remain in that place. However, coming out is going to require some movement on our part.
- Let go of the crutch. Often we use things and people as a crutch and refuse to let go even when we are able to stand and walk on our own. Releasing the crutch will reveal to us that we are able to do the thing and achieve the goals that we thought would never come to pass. Take baby steps if you must but let go of the crutch.
- Pray. Do not be afraid to pour out the deep anguish and cry bitterly to the Lord. He is God and He will hear when we cry out to Him. There is nothing that is too insignificant or too major to pray about. Prayer should be a part of our lifestyle.
- Ignore the eyes. People will always be looking at you, whether you are doing good or bad. Learn to ignore the eyes and that include the voice. They may have all kinds of negative things to say about you as you are getting our of the discouraged state but press on as the reward is greater.
- Be thankful. Even before you receive that which you are hoping for be thankful. Being thankful even before receiving will show that you are resting in God. He is your father and the One who is more that able to supply all of your needs. Remember gratitude will determine your altitude.