Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them. They have forgotten that they are here to serve Christ, not themselves.
Never let us be discouraged with ourselves; it is not when we are conscious of our faults that we are the most wicked: on the contrary, we are less so. We see by a brighter light. And let us remember, for our consolation, that we never perceive our sins till He begins to cure them.
How are we to approach such blessed strength? First of all, through a steadfast will to refuse nothing that God requires of us, and to do nothing deliberately which can displease Him. Next, we must learn to take our faults humbly, as proofs of our weakness, and use them to increase our trust in God, and our mistrust of self. Neither must we be discouraged at our own wretchedness, or give way to the thought that we cannot do or bear any special thing; our duty is, while confessing that of ourselves it is impossible, to remember that God is all-powerful, and that through Him we can do whatever He may require of us.
Struggling with the after Christmas let-down? Look to the Tree of Life, you’ll find an inexhaustible supply of gifts from the Prince of Peace waiting to be opened year round.
The many contradictions in our lives – such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts – can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed. But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.
What a blessing it is when in the midst of our discouragements and sometimes our self-aversion because of failures or littleness of spirit we are able to look away to this glorious fact of our relationship to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Nighness is brought about by Christ dwelling in us….Christ brings God to us and brings us to God. Nighness or nearness results in blessing. He who is near to God has access to the divine resources of blessing and help.
Let no extreme difficulty discourage you, and make you think, Oh! it is impossible relief can now come; What? Are not all things possible to him that hath all things in his hand? Yea, “All things are possible to him that believeth;” and it is possible for you to do all things through Christ strengthening you, even to overleap the highest walls, to break bows of steel in pieces, and wade through the deepest fords in your way.
No matter how dark the sky, how discouraging the circumstances, how desperate the situation, God is there–a God who is too good to forget and too great to fail. God is there, his mighty arm ruling this universe for him, redeeming all who will let him, and reinforcing any who respond to him in faith and obedience!
Should we feel at times disheartened and discouraged, a simple movement of heart toward God will renew our powers. Whatever he may demand of us, he will give us at the moment the strength and courage that we need.
We yield to discouragement it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future.