Discouragement’s Antidote

Miriam Webster’s Definition of DISCOURAGE

: to deprive of courage or confidence : dishearten <was discouraged by repeated failure>
2 a : to hinder by disfavoring <trying to discourage absenteeism>
  b : to dissuade or attempt to dissuade from doing something<tried to discourage her from going>
Waterdrop
Life has a way of delivering a kick in the teeth, depriving us of courage, before we know what’s coming. Are you there? Maybe you’ve been there, or fear going back. That grey, drizzle of defeat, face down in the mud. Too tired, or afraid, or indifferent even to look up. That’s where the enemy of our souls would like to see us stay, gloating that our bellies are full of life’s empty promises and hollow days.

But that’s a lie.

Life, circumstances, people, our own bodies, minds, and emotions can tell us the lie. We believe we’ve fallen out of favor, that blessings just aren’t for us, that knights don’t ride up on white horses and save the day. But it’s all a lie.
“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
Moses had just died, and the Israelites were fresh off of a major time out. The wandering through the dessert type. God had just reinstated his promises, promises he made years ago. Joshua is the new leader on the scene, and he’s faced with a decision; look at the facts and question the probability of a successful take over of the promised land, or believe God and step out in courage.

God is so kind.

In Joshua 1:9 he displays his tenderness in a way only a father could. More than once he tells Joshua, “be courageous, don’t be afraid.” Why? Because he is aware that life is hard, downright scary at times. He knows we’re just people and our eyesight is limited, we only see what’s just in front of us. He knows we’re looking to him for confidence, like a skittery child, we need reassurance.

 

I love that what was true for Joshua is true for us. True for you. When facing the head on, freight train collision of life, God takes the time to reassure his children. How does he do that? By providing a detailed plan of action, by revealing the outcome, by removing the difficulty?

No, he reveals his presence.


His promise is “I will go with you.” Into the operating room, the food stamp line, the divorce court, the cemetery, “I will be with you, don’t be afraid, take courage.” When it keeps raining, and the cloud won’t lift he says, “I will be with you.” When your heart is overwhelmed and you feel so weary he says, “be courageous, don’t believe the lie, I am with you.”

 

If life has disheartened you, or you’ve experienced people’s disfavor, or you’ve failed again, listen with an expectant heart to what God said to Joshua and his people as they went into battle against terrible odds, after rebellion, and weary from years of desert travel. “I am with you.” 

 

The Warrior King does show up, he does sing a victory song, he does rescue. Maybe not in the way we would like, but always in the way that is right.

 

If you are discouraged, and find yourself standing on shaking legs, meditate on these beautiful words.

 

“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

 

There is no antidote to discouragement like meditation on God’s word and times of worship. Let the song of your Savior be a balm to your discouraged heart!

 

beckBeck is passionate about encouraging women to use their influence for other women and has written the ebook Sister to Sister; A Mentor’s Handbook. She is the Director of Online Community for CausePub and is also the founder of Mercy’s Refuge, an outreach to the vulnerable of Serbia. You can connect with her at her blog The Accidental Mama, or on Facebook.

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