«For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin» (Hebrews 4: 1 5).
The lack of strength, energy or enthusiasm to carry out an activity is called discouragement. It is usually associated with feelings of guilt and lack of motivation, and can be experienced in the aftermath of a bad news, long suffering, deception or loss. Sometimes, discouragement can emerge from a hereditary predisposition or even without apparent cause and can become a habit which is difficult to root out. However, though discouragement may seem justifiable, the most important thing is that with effort, support and perseverance, we can free ourselves from it.
Here are some practical guidelines:
Decide to overcome discouragement. Discouragement requires your consent; hence, do not make room for it! God will support your efforts to resist discouragement and your character will become stronger when you withstand it.
Keep hopeful thoughts in your heart, so you can have them at hand incase you have a predisposition to discouragement. You can write them down on a card or place them in a visible spot to help you remember them every time you need them.
Sing hymns of praise.Hymns and songs of praise to God tend to alienate dismay.
Remember God’s promises and share them when you have the chance. Your thouts and feelings will become stronger when you express them.
Help those who are in greater need than you. «If you extend your soul to the hungry an satisfy the afflicted soul, then our light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday» Isa. 58:10).
Remember that Christ is the Great Physician who is capable of healing any physical, mental or spiritual malady.
If you think your afflictions are too numerous and you justify your discouragement, remember that the apostle Paul convinced the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord when he was in the damp, cold dungeon in Rome, awaiting the execution of his death sentence (Phil.4:4-6).
If you consider that God takes too long to answer your prayers, and the lack of response justifies discouragement, remember that Noah worked for 120 years for his contemporaries. And though he did not have a single conversion as a result of his preaching, he stood firm and hopeful in the midst of reigning evil.
If you now feel guilty for being discouraged, remember that Jesus Christ is «the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!» (John 1 :29) who shows compassion for our disabilities and has the power to free us from discouragement and bless our efforts to free ourselves from sin.