It’s only natural that we will become discouraged from time to time. Sometimes a series of events throws us into a tailspin. Sometimes it’s as simple as hearing a song on the radio. Whatever the reason, discouragement is a reality we all have to face.
However, we must deal with it quickly or it will derail us from engaging in the mission of Christ. Following Jesus is about maintaining a sense of purpose; discouragement, if allowed to linger, will rob us of our focus.
While I recognize that discouragement is inevitable, we do well to recognize what it really means. When we become discouraged, we are focusing on ourselves. I don’t think I’ve ever been discouraged by Jesus. I’ve only become discouraged when I let my own circumstances overwhelm me and I wish that my life was different or at least a little easier. Jesus never promised easy; in fact He made it pretty clear that it would be the opposite. If we signed up for easy, we were terribly misinformed.
As long as we are following Jesus, we should never wish that our lives were any different. What’s better than living a life devoted to the King of the Universe? Nothing compares to the knowledge that Christ valued me so much that He gave His life in exchange for mine. Why in the world would I want anything different than that? When we take a step back and break it down logically, discouragement becomes a bit silly.
Satan loves to use anything he can to distract us from being a follower of Christ. Discouragement is a prime weapon for him. By getting us to shift our focus ever so slightly, off of God and onto ourselves, he is able to render us useless for the Kingdom. The work of Jesus can only be done when we have our eyes on Him. Once we look away, what we are doing tends to become about our self or our own image or standing. That is exactly what Satan wants; he delights when we seek to glorify ourselves rather than God. At this point, we are fully off mission and must do everything within our power to get back on course.
A person who is wholly devoted to Christ will not face any long term bouts of discouragement because we will see it for what it is. Anything that takes away from living the life we were created to live must be quickly put aside. I use the word mission a lot here, but it is important we understand the gravity with which we must live our lives. The commission and commands of Christ truly is our mission in life; they are God’s will for each and every one who would call Him Lord. We must maintain a laser like focus on our pursuit of Jesus. We must not waver in rendering service to others in ways that bring glory to Him. We must not become discouraged because He has provided us with everything we will need to stand firm and press on in the battle.
Do you encounter discouragement on a regular basis? Recognize that this means you are living life focused on yourself rather than on Jesus. Understand that the feelings you are experiencing come from Satan and are not useful in your life. When discouragement creeps in, immediately repent of your own selfishness and ask God to help you refocus on Him. Ask Him to strengthen your resolve to not succumb to the attacks of the evil one. God will provide you the rest and the comfort you need to get back in the game and move forward. Don’t let discouragement distract you from the will of God; turn your eyes back to Him and resolve to push forward no matter the cost.
Question: What tends to discourage you the most in your walk with Jess? You can leave a comment below.