Originally published Monday, 13 October 2014.
I don’t know where you are at this point in your life, but I am praying for you in advance that you don’t become so discouraged to the point when you want to give up the fight. I want to encourage you today, “Don’t do it!” Don’t let discouragement stop you from being all that God wants you to be.
Trust me. I know that sometimes life can hit you hard, tests and trials come out of nowhere, and people can do or say things that will cause you to think and say, “Is it worth it?!” But I want to tell you, “Yes! It’s worth it! Go through the pain. Go through the disappointments. Go through the fiery trials. Go through the harsh words.” Because God has a plan for it all. It’s all a part of His will. It’s all a part of your destiny. And most importantly, it’s worth heaven.
The enemy brings discouragement when God is trying to do great things in our lives. And God allows it. Tests and trials are going to come, but know that they are meant to make us stronger in character and train us to be more effective for advancing the kingdom of heaven. James 1:2-4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (NLT) Meditate on this one!
Jesus also tells us in John 16:33, “…Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Know that Jesus sees the big picture, we only see in part. So even though we must go through tough things in this life, it’s great to know that through Christ we are victorious, and we’re not alone in the process.
I want to share something that happened to me once. And I’m going to be pretty transparent…
One evening, I became very discouraged. It was something that someone had said to me that was pretty discouraging and harsh. It actually hurt me to the point that caused me to question the promises of God for my life. And I’d never been there before. But it happened. I was officially discouraged.
So I cried out to God about it. I told him where I was, and that it hurt. Sure, I knew the Scriptures, but at that particular time, I was slowly allowing the enemy to weigh me down with doubt, because of what someone else had told me.
After I cried out to Him, I climbed into bed and fell asleep and the Lord gave me a dream that night. He gave me a dream where I was attacked by a barrage of fireballs. But as I ran through this courtyard to dodge each one, none of them touched me. And as I ran, Isaiah 43:2 rose up inside of me that says, “…When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” And shortly thereafter, I woke up. I’ll never forget that dream. And I’ll never forget that verse.
The next day, I asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind if I took a ride. He was okay with it. So I took a long drive and talked to God about what was happening in my life. And when I got to Barnes & Noble to do my devotion, the Lord led me to a book entitled, “Taking Your Life Back One Thought at a Time…Letting Go of Your Past, Enjoying Your Present, and Looking Forward to the Future,” by Annie Chapman. This book was life-changing!
I realized that day, that the battle was in my mind. I was allowing the enemy to wage war there. That day in Barnes & Noble was what I call, “A God-moment”! As I spent the day in that bookstore, the Lord met me in my personal devotion, through His Word, a new book, and He helped me to encourage myself in Him, while forgiving the person who had hurt me.
By the time I packed up to leave, I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was strengthened and ENCOURAGED! My joy was restored! And it wasn’t that my circumstance had changed. But it was more about my mind being renewed. God led me on a pathway to overcoming discouragement. And now I know what it feels like to be discouraged. And that’s why I’m writing to you about this today.
Again, I know what it feels like to be discouraged. I know what it feels like when it seems like you just can’t take another step or another beating in this spiritual fight. But I want to encourage you today to encourage yourself in the Lord. Speak His Word over your situation. And cry out to Him. And when you do, He will be there to help you. I know it.
I’ll encourage you as I encourage myself with these words...“Hold onto God’s promises. Guard your mind and your heart in these last days. Don’t grow weary in well doing, because in due season, you will reap, if you faint not. (Ref. Galatians 6:9) And lastly, don’t let discouragement stop you.”
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out.
*Thanks for reading! I hope and pray that you’ve been enlightened from this post. Feel absolutely free to leave a comment or for questions you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will respond promptly. Also, tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts! Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye) and share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!