What Is The Answer for Discouragement?#John Williams | February 21, 2019
Although it does not happen very often, occasionally I am asked to address a specific topic. Today that topic is “Discouragement.” The definition of discouragement, according to the “Google dictionary is “a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.”
It would appear that all three of these words: confidence, enthusiasm, and dispiritedness have everything to do with one’s personal perspective or the way you perceive your current circumstances or world. We all hold our own self-image. Sometimes there are situations that negatively impact our lives that may cause us to question, even doubt ourselves. I believe that this happens because we tend to be self-focused. It’s during those times that perhaps we need to change our perspective.
Looking back about seventy-seven years ago when Myanmar was called Burma, Japan declared war on the Netherlands and lands troops in Mindanao, The Philippines. World war II was in full swing as the U.S. Army, First Armor Division lands in Europe in Northern Ireland. The Germans are making their successful advance into Stalingrad, Russia. This was a time of great uncertainty and despair. Yet, there were clear challenges that we as a country had to face and did so together. There was likely not much time to focus on oneself but on all of the sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers at war and the desire that they return home safely. Many of those who went to war were less than twenty-five years old. During such a tumultuous time, do you think that there was a reason for discouragement? If so, how did they handle it individually? How did they handle it as a country?
In the Bible, 1 Samuel 30, David (the same David in the story “David and Goliath), and his army, about 600 men, returned home only to find that their arch enemy, the Amalekites had attacked and burned the cities Ziklag and Negev. They had not killed anyone but had taken their women and everyone captive. David and his men wept aloud at what could be the possible treatment of their loved ones. They were discouraged. David’s men were so discouraged they looked for someone to blame. They were bitter in spirit and were speaking of even stoning David!
Isn’t it amazing the kind of negative thoughts we think when we’re discouraged? We can become so emotionally flooded or feel hopeless, that we think of doing irrational things like harming ourselves or perhaps someone else. If that is you, kindly make a commitment right now that you will NOT do ANYTHING for the next ten minutes. During this time or afterward, consider contacting a trusted friend, a Pastor, even a 911 operator, or anyone who can help you. Know that what you are feeling right now is temporary and there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
Our hero David, in the midst of the worst situation anyone can possibly imagine, turns to God. He prays and asks Him for guidance which God provides. David and his men follow God’s guidance and they recover their wives, children and all that was lost and additionally plundered the Amalekites.
When you become discouraged, it could be caused by something as simple as information that you don’t currently know yet. Your perspective is incorrect because perhaps there is a side of your situation that you are not currently seeing. I would encourage you to do like David. Pray. Prayer can give you access to ideas, comfort, strategies and a host of supernatural resources that you would not otherwise have. Ask the God of Heaven, for better information, guidance, and insight into your current situation. Allow Him to give you a new perspective.
In the 1940’s the United States, Europe and a number of other countries had great needs before them that caused them to pray. At the risk of sounding simplistic, I can say from experience, that seeking God’s help through prayer has helped me in my 56 years on this Earth. He knows all things and specifically those things that concern you. Are you discouraged? Pray or ask someone who knows how to pray to pray for you. Receiving an encouraging word from another person is also one of the ways that God can help us when we’re discouraged. If you do not know anyone, please contact me. I will be your prayer partner, and we will and ask God’s help for you together.