Discouragement can drag us down and hinder us in our walk with God, or it can draw us into a deeper dependence on Him.
In the last post, we looked at sources of discouragement. But once we identify the source, how do we deal with it? Moses gave us a great example of how to deal with discouragement in Exodus 5-6. He was dealing with difficult people, difficult circumstances, and difficult words. It would have been easy to become discouraged, but he did four things that kept him from going down that path.
1. He turned to God. (Exodus 5:22-23)
Moses could have lashed out at the people who were hurting him with their words, but he didn’t. He went straight to God and poured out his heart to Him. He asked God the same question we ask when we find ourselves discouraged – why, God?
2. He remembered who God is. (Exodus 6:1-8)
He remembered who God is and what He had promised. He is the covenant-keeping God, faithful, loving, and sovereign. He will do what He says He will do.
3. He relied on God’s promises. (Exodus 6:4-8)
God gave Moses seven promises, all beginning with “I will.” God will be faithful to His promises, but the journey may look different than what we had expected. When we find ourselves in the midst of discouragement, we need to claim His promises and trust His faithfulness even when we don’t feel one ounce of emotion that those promises are true.
4. He recognized God’s sufficiency. (Exodus 6:9- 7:13).
Moses went back to one of his excuses in the desert – “I am unskilled in speech.” In other words, I’m inadequate. But it’s in those times when we feel inadequate that God can show us His sufficiency.
Our tendency in the midst of discouragement is to quit, to give up. But God wants us to walk by faith and keep going, trusting in His sufficiency and sovereignty.
This excerpt from The Red Sea Rules has been a great encouragement to me when I find myself discouraged with a situation.
Andrew Murray once faced a terrible crisis. Gathering himself into his study, he sat a long while quietly, prayerfully, thoughtfully. Presently his mind flew to his Lord Jesus. Picking up his pen, he wrote this in his journal:
“First, He brought me here, it is by His will that I am in this strait place; in that fact I will rest. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. Let me say I am here, by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”
God knows what’s going on in our lives and He will use it for our good and His glory. Don’t let discouragement weigh you down.