Discouragement is a state of lack of zest and confidence, especially because you feel weighed down. It is usually characterized by a feeling of unhappiness, gloominess and lack of confidence and drive to get things done. Discouragement can be triggered by certain factors or events or brought about by other people’s actions or reactions.
A BIBLICAL EXAMPLE OF DISCOURAGEMENT
One day, David and his men returned from battle to find their
wives and children taken captives by Amalekites; and their city burnt with
fire. It was a distressing time as everyone wept for his wife and children
until there was no more strength in them. David was not left out as he wept for
his wives. Moreso, his followers considered stoning him. This is a typical example of discouragement.
CAUSES OF DISCOURAGEMENT
Reasons differ why people commonly get discouraged and heartbroken. Some common reasons for discouragement include:
- Losing a loved one
- Betrayal from those you love and/trust
- Delay in marriage, childbirth or other unmet expectation.
- Broken relationship/Divorce
- Shipwreck/losing business/source of livelihood
- Ill health
- Poverty and unemployment
- Unanswered prayers etc
HOW TO OVERCOME DISCOURAGEMENT
BE DECISIVE: Firstly, be decisive about the situation at hand and choose to do something about it. Don’t remain in that situation of discouragement or slide into depression and worse conditions. It is possible to come out of it no matter how bad it looks. Therefore, resolve to deal decisively with it and overcome the discouragement.
PRAY: David encouraged himself in the Lord and inquired from God whether to go after the raiders. When you feel weighed down, you may not feel like praying, but encourage yourself in the Lord and Lift your eyes to God, from whom your help comes. Keep your heart open in prayers to receive a word, direction/inspiration from God as you pray. Whatever the Lord says to do, go ahead and do it. If your situation requires comfort because your heart was broken, God can heal the brokenhearted and restore calm to every troubled situation.
TAKE ACTION: After David prayed, he rose to the occasion and pursued his adversaries. Take decisive action to deal with the root cause of the discouragement. Wipe your tears and confront the situation by taking the necessary step. In David’s case, he got up from weeping, prayed, took some of his men and pursued the raiders (Amalekites). If they continued to grieve without any decisive step, they probably would not have recovered their loved ones. Seek counsel when necessary from those who can help you. Someone would have gone through what you are going through and overcame discouragement with the help of God. Such a person can encourage you on how they overcame. In addition, find examples of the peculiar situation in the bible to know what God’s word says about it.
GIVE A HAND: When you are down, you can still give a helping hand. Some people are going through worse ordeals than you are. You can look beyond your grief to show mercy, give a smile, share a gift, pray for someone etc. Acts of kindness matter a great deal, no matter how little they are. It is possible to look beyond your pains and care for someone or others while you are discouraged. David and his men found a dying man in the field in their pursuits of the Amalakites. They stopped to give him food and water even in their condition of trying to find their loved ones. They did not neglect the man; they could pause in their chase to reach out. Thankfully, the man they revived with their food and water led them to the raiding Amalekites. He was a servant to an Amalekite who took ill and was abandoned. They reached out to him and he assisted them in return and they recovered their loved ones. Even in discouragement, you can find purpose in it and reach out. It is possible to overcome discouragement and you can.
God bless you!