“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Be not dismayed, for I am with you. I will not fail you or forsake you, wherever you go. Be strong and of good courage.” Deuteronomy 31:6
See also Joshua 1:9 and 2 Chronicles 20:15
Many decades ago, the movie It’s a Wonderful Life was made. For those familiar, the lead character, who has been generous and kind all of his life, encounters circumstances that lead him to consider suicide. His situation becomes known in heaven. Now, bear with me… this is a movie… but maybe it’s not so far off. When angels are discussing the situation, his guardian angel asks, “What’s wrong, is he sick?” The reply is, “No, it’s much worse. He is discouraged.”
Discouragement has been defined as “a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.” Others have said it is a dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future.
This really is an accurate depiction of how discouragement impacts us. Consider that it is closely tied to our views of how we have lived our lives; the mistakes we have made, regrets for the past, and loss of hope for tomorrow.
It can become a barrier to the future that we have been called to, as we become stuck in fear of moving forward, or complaining about our circumstances.
It gives me great hope that the heroes of the faith faced discouragement, in that we can see the outcome of them overcoming it. It really is a decision to hear God’s voice saying, “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.”
I’ve always been encouraged by the promise in Isaiah 40:31, “But they who wait for 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.”
Waiting for the Lord is the key. When we do that, it can remove the dissatisfaction with the past, the distaste for the present, and distrust of the future.
Get courage today.
Lord, today we come before You, asking for the ability to trust You for our past, present, and future. We wait for You to renew our strength. We thank You for basing our confidence in You for all things. Amen.