Discouragement Is Discouraged
We get discouraged so easily. We get discouraged easily because we have the wrong way of measuring success. Serving God is success. Serving self or serving Satan or serving no one is failure. Success shouldn*t be measured by what we accomplish but by whom we are serving. If we serve God we never fail.
One day our success seems measurable and enjoyable and another day it seems absent. When we measure success by how much we get of what we want or by how much we accomplish of what we want to accomplish we will fail at times.
Psalms 37:4: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
When we delight in the Lord we will delight in His will. If we do not delight in His will we do not truly delight in Him. If we delight in His will, His will shall become the desire of our heart. It doesn*t mean that we get we want. It means that He changes what we want. We then want the same thing that He wants. And then and only then are we guaranteed to get what we want.
We should be discouraged about ourselves and our accomplishments. That is profitable. And we should be encouraged about God and His accomplishments. That is also profitable.
John the Baptist had it right when he spoke about Jesus in John 3:30: He must increase, but I must decrease.
The more important God is in our lives the more encouraged we will be. The less important God is in our lives the more discouraged we will be.
When we get to heaven Jesus will be totally pre-eminent there.
Colossians 1:18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
If we are wise we will desire Him to preeminent here on earth as well as in heaven. When we pray the phrase in the Lord*s Prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we ought to understand that we are praying for Christ*s preeminence on earth.
Submitting ourselves to Christ*s preeminence is never beyond our understanding or ability. We have all heard about prosperous businessmen who started out on a shoestring and became wealthy later. That is the way it works for Christians who serve Christ. They start out with small baby steps and God teaches them to take larger steps when the time is right.
Matthew 25:21: His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
God gives us little things to do and if we are faithful in them He then gives us bigger things to do.
Sometimes when I am going someplace in my car there will be two or more different streets that I can drive on to get there. Occasionally I will ask the Lord which route He wants me to take. He usually gives me a distinct impression about which route I should take. I take that route and I have great peace while I am traveling that route. I believe that since I have obeyed the Lord in small things like that He has given me bigger things to do such as writing these Bible studies.
For me driving on the street I feel the Lord wants me to drive on is just as great a success as writing one of these Bible studies. God may give me things to do that I might consider smaller in the future. Those smaller things will be successes just as much as what seem to me to be big things as long as I am obeying the Lord.
We don*t need to know if God has planned some great grandiose thing for us to do down the road. All we need to know is what He wants us to do today. In fact all we need to know is what He wants us to do this moment. Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of what He wants us to be doing in a year or two or more but we can*t get there without all the little steps from here to there.
King David berated himself for being discouraged. I think we ought to berate ourselves for being discouraged.
Psalms 42:11: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
King David was very discouraged when the Philistines captured all the wives children and property of his little army including his own.
1 Samuel 30:6: And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
David might have been very discouraged in the circumstances surrounding him but he was encouraged in the Lord.
Discouragement is like a heavy burden that will slow us down and weaken us.
Hebrews 12:1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Whatever goes wrong or appears to go wrong in our lives is a smaller matter than God*s power to fix it. We have so many wonderful promises. We need to focus on God and His promises rather than the problems.
The Apostle Paul had many occasions when he might have become discouraged.
2 Corinthians 11:23-33: Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
Acts 13:50-52: But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
And the disciples were filled with joy. It doesn*t sound like they were discouraged at all.
Here are some other quotes and scriptures that might help keep us from discouragement:
Julie Ackerman Link:
When world events cause you to despair, turn off the news and turn to scripture. The end of the story has been written by our holy God. Evil will not prevail.
Our Daily Bread:
Don*t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.
1 John 5:4: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1 John 4:4: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon quotes:
When we have done our utmost in declaring the glory of Jesus, we have felt that words are too poor and mean to set forth our adorable Lord. When we have prayed for His kingdom we have been disgusted with our own prayers; and all the efforts we have put forth in connection with any part of His service have seemed too few, too feeble for us to hope for acceptance.
I Corinthians 15:58: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
2 Peter 1:5-8: And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Care to discuss Discouragement Is Discouraged with Ron?