3 Ways to Conquer Discouragement with Courage
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
I had spent over a year watching God piece together a vision that he had for me. It seemed like every sermon I listened to, every scripture I read and every conversation I had, was revealing more of God’s plans. The hope and excitement of what was to come gave me this uncontainable joy for the future.
But it didn’t take long for discouragement to set in.
Various events were happening in my life and community during this time, that were causing the people around me to speak out of pain, rather than love. It was like a wave of opinions came flooding in from all corners. People seemed to not only feel the need to form hurtful opinions, but to openly share them.
This season left me asking God many questions. Did I hear you right? What if I’m wrong? Are you sure I’m the one for this? Can you choose someone else? Am I even worthy of your call?
Your circumstances and other’s opinions doesn’t change who your are. God is the one who gives us our identity and our call and I had to learn that he alone called the shots.
Discouragement is not a symptom of hope, but it is an enemy. It can creep in through the thoughts and opinions of others or through disheartening circumstances. Discouragement can sows seeds of doubt, that leave you questioning ‘is it really worth it?’
Discouragement is a distraction that tries to take your eyes off the hope that you have in God. I want to share with you three things that helped me find courage in discouragement. These three things not only helped me fight discouragement this one time, but have taught me how to withstand future discouragement.
1. Know Whose You Are
I simply cannot emphasise this one enough. You aren’t just a Christian, you are a beloved, chosen daughter of the King. He is the one who designed every intricate detail of who you are and who created the good works that he prepared in advance for you to do. He is the one in who our identity is found. People can use their words in an attempt to discourage and tear you down, but their opinion doesn’t change the truth.
2. Surround Yourself with the Right People
Words are powerful either way. Sometimes we aren’t always good at distinguishing the lies from the truth. God graciously surrounded me with people who spoke truth when I was believing lies, during this time. People who would call me out when I started believing the lies and remind me of the truth. Surround yourself with people who are not just going to tell you what you want to hear, but are going to tell you what you need to hear.
Surrounding yourself with the right people isn’t always easy. Sometimes we don’t have the right people in our lives at the moment or close by. I went through a time where I didn’t either. It made me feel alone, confused and lost at times. However, God knows who you need, so time to get on your knees and start asking God for the right people in your life.
3. Hold on to the Truth
So you have to remember whose you are and surround yourself with people who will remind you of that truth, and now you have to stick to that truth. Spend time delighting in the word of God. Allow His truth to fight your discouragement. Write down the main things that are discouraging you, and match it to scriptures that declare the truth. Then put these verses on your fridge, make them your background image, write them on your mirror - whatever it takes to make sure that you are believing the truth of God everyday.
His Word does not return void
So now you have these three things to remember when you are facing discouragement. Know whose you are, surround yourself with people who remind you of that truth and then hold on to the Truth. When God plants vision and hope in your heart, he is the author and perfecter of those dreams, and he is the one you must continue to seek.
Remember, just as it says in Jeremiah 55:11, his words does not return void.
And the words of vision and hope that he has spoke to you, are no exception.