Why Am I Discouraged?

Why Am I Discouraged?

No one among us does not, at times struggle, with discouragement. Tragically, many sins and failings come about as a result of discouragement. David became discouraged or greatly distressed because of how he found himself, as seen in I Samuel 30:1-6. The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag, and taken all the women captive, including David's wives. People were so angry at David they talked about stoning him. The Bible says, "David encouraged himself in the Lord, his God." (vs6) The word encouraged means to bind together, strengthen, gird together, and make firm. God wants His people to encourage themselves in Him, not in the world. The stronger our relationship is, the more we will find our encouragement in the Lord. In a sense, we are to bind or gird ourselves in Him.

Discouragement is not wrong, and in fact, it is a part of life.

  • Moses was discouraged because of the people's rebellion.

  • Elijah became discouraged as he ran from Jezebel.

  • Jeremiah was discouraged when he saw the wickedness of the people.

  • Paul was discouraged when Demas forsook him.

  • Peter was discouraged and went back fishing.

  • Jonah was discouraged even after revival took place.

You see, it is not a matter of discouragement being sin, but a matter of how we react to a natural feeling. Consider some reasons for discouragement to the Christian so that we might realize that discouragement is quite natural.

  1. Discouragement is the Christian's reaction to being away from home. Before becoming a Catholic their was an old Hymn we use to sing, "This world is not my home. I'm just a passing through." That is quite true to the believer. We are not home yet, and there will be times that we must be discouraged in this world.

  2. Discouragement is the flesh reacting to testing. Testing is never enjoyable. It is always difficult. The Bible said that it would be. But, it is going to accomplish a purpose. Yet, for a time, there will come discouragement from it.

  3. Discouragement is a warning signal that we have become weary and not aware enough of God. Sometimes, we need to slow down. Discouragement is God's way of slowing us down and making us realize that we need more of Him.

  4. Discouragement is the human reaction to our failures. When we try to do right but fail, it is discouraging, and realize that we need more strength. Peter was discouraged because he denied the Lord, and he went out and wept bitterly. Discouragement makes us aware of our human frailty.

  5. Discouragement is a questioning of God's power or ability. When Peter was walking on the water, suddenly the winds discouraged him, and he began to sink. Why did he try? Because he saw that Jesus was doing it. Why did he fail? Because he saw the winds and was discouraged by what was around him. Real faith comes by hearing and not seeing. You will never discover how much you can do for God until you discover how much God can do for you. Peter's faith was not founded properly. He was walking, by sight, not by faith, and then he fell, by sight as well, and became discouraged. That often happens when our faith is misdirected, and we begin to question God's ability.

  6. Discouragement is the realization of our inadequacies, in comparison, to the greatness of the task. So many times, men saw tasks that seemed too big, like Moses leading the people out of bondage or Jeremiah preaching to a wicked and rebellious people. Because of our feeling of inadequacy, we become discouraged.

  7. Discouragement is the build-up of inward sins that need cleansing. We are filled with spiritual impurities that need cleansing, but we do not know they exist. Often, discouragement points out, a fact, that there is a problem that needs to be, solved. When physical impurities overcome us, and we are filled with bacteria and germs, our bodies become weak and frail, and we must go and receive a shot to help us overcome that time of physical depression. Often spiritual depression comes about in the same way; by a build-up of sins that cause us to finally lose our spirit.

  8. Discouragement is reacting to the hardness of others' hearts. Our Lord became discouraged when He saw the hardness of the people's hearts and the lack of their willingness to follow Him. Moses became discouraged when he saw the murmuring, and the rebellion, of the people. Elijah became discouraged when he saw that there were no others who were standing with him. So often, we become discouraged when we feel that we are standing alone.

  9. Discouragement is a wonderful way to test our relationship with the Lord. Discouragement reveals that something is not exactly right, that we are not as close to the Lord as we ought to be, and that something is missing. It causes us to work harder, to be close, to Him. It shows us that we are not as intimate with Him as we ought to be.

  10. Discouragement sometimes shows us just how weak we are and how strong God is. It is not until we have come to that point of total helplessness that we can truly realize how helpless we are, even when we think we are strong. Gideon thought the battle would be a lot easier, fought with significant numbers of people because Gideon had forgotten that the battle was the Lord's. It was when he came down to the very weakest that he was the most obedient. Discouragement was a way to show him how strong God is.

  11. Discouragement is a human reaction to that which we do not understand. There are many things that God does in our lives that we do not understand why. Many afflictions come our way, and we are not sure why God allowed them to happen. We become discouraged because we do not know God's purpose. It is not avoiding discouragement that will help us. We cannot; it is going to be there. It is reacting with faith to our Lord, in a time of discouragement, that is important.