Moments of Discouragement
By Benjamin Liles
Since my last post on the 11th of this month I admit my heart's been heavy. I know I'm not the only one who feels discouraged, down in heart, or as the Lord put it to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your [face] fallen?" (Genesis 4:6). A lot of the time we get busy and when the day comes to a close, or even the week does, we find that as our energy returns we feel a sense of hopelessness.
Now I'm not saying Cain had a bad day. Nor did he just throw a fit of rage against Abel. For Cain I imagine his overall look was on the jealous side. We're told "Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering" (Genesis 4:4). No, I'm not talking about getting angry at not being accepted, although there are times we feel abandoned or without hope as some one else looks better for what they do.
Rather I'm talking about a culmination of events. It could be your week started bad. You had great hopes for the project you were going to start on. From there what went wrong did so. No matter how hard you tried to recover nothing worked. Maybe you're facing a moment where you lost something you greatly loved. I'm talking about this kind of discouragement. The kind where you have been hoping and praying for things to look up, and they have been, but for some reason and some way you just simply feel like "How do I do this?"
Here's what's going on in my life to show exactly what I mean. I have put in solid hours writing, praying as best I can as I am able. I have given all of I am to what I enjoy doing: helping others. Last week, toward the end I had an email from UPS asking if I'd like to return to being a driver helper for this latter part of the year (Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest times of sending packages). I was hired on Friday. For the bulk of this past week I have held high hopes I would get the call, being told, "Come in on [such a such day} and receive your uniform." That didn't happen.
I got the call asking, "Would you like to start work this next Monday?" So, naturally I was excited and happy to get back to earning a paycheck from en employer. Come to find out it was more of a call as if to ask if I wanted to fill out an application and wait to be called by UPS' HR department (Human Resources) for an interview to be hired back to work. "I already did that, " I sighed back over the phone to the guy who called me. "I was hired last Friday." I felt let down.
Don't get me wrong I am upbeat and glad I'll work, but hearing a run around like that is kind of like a car that has a slow gas leak and then...you know...the car peters out of gas. This is the kind of discouragement I'm talking about.
Well, I also have to say I tend to stick as close as I can to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. It doesn't matter how things are going. I do what I can to remain by His side, allowing Him to stay on the throne of my heart. Believe me it's not easy. Well, this morning, October 15, 2016 I saw this word, "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who trust in him" (Nahum 1:7). What happens on those days where you trust God to be found good and faithful, but the circumstance looks bad? Nahum says that God is "Good. A Stronghold." David would agree with the statement. He said, "O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (Psalm 30:3, New King James).
So, according to David and Nahum God is:
2) A Stronghold
3) Resurrection - "You brought my soul up from the grave."
4) Keeper of life - "You have kept me alive."
With these two verses alone, and there are many others that speak of God's unending grace and ability to give us longevity, I admit I feel restored. I also took a look for another verse as well: "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God" (! Thessalonians 5:18). It's a reminder, to me, that no matter what the circumstance as long as I remain close to the Lord and thank Him for all things I shouldn't face too much trouble.
Here are a few more verses to help in times when you feel heavy-hearted and downtrodden:
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:35, 37).
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).
Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise. I thank You for your love, Your kindness, Your grace and mercy. I give you thanks in the middle of my troubles. Even though I don't understand why I am going through what I am, I still seek after You. I also lift You up high, praising You for the redemption You gave to me. Nothing is as bad as it seems. I can get through this. You tell me, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). Thank You. In Jesus, I pray. Amen.