Overcoming the Sneaky Roots of Discouragement

Discouragement. It seems to be lurking around every corner and hiding behind every tree. At times I go for weeks and months without a hint of it.

Then…..there are seasons I go to bed feeling like a failure and wake up in a deeper hole than the night before.

Can I get a witness?

Discouragement has an assignment – intimidate us into quitting.

It doesn’t hang a sign out that says, “I’m here to get you to throw in the towel.” It’s sneaky.

It sounds less like the bully it is and hauntingly just like me. It starts subtly in one area then leaks out into the rest of my life.

“Would you look at that…your foot still hurts.”

A teensy-weensy thought that tries to wedge doubt into my heart. “And you believe in healing. How long has it been hurting?”

It turns to, “Did you see what you ate yesterday? And you still can’t exercise. Guess you’ll never lose that 20 pounds you gained this year.”

Then it escalates to how many people didn’t read my blog. Every church member I didn’t call or visit or text. Every minute I didn’t spend with my kids. Mom fail. The housework that didn’t get done. Fail.

“When’s the last time you dusted? Failure. Hey, you’re out of toothpaste. You can’t even get to the store. Loser. If you were a good wife, you would ­­­­­­_____. Epic fail.”

It snowballs until I land at the bottom of the hill in a great big heap of “I’m an utter disappointment in every area of life.”

Instead of just passing through, these ideas stick in the mind and wreak havoc on the soul. Many a night I’ve cried myself to sleep and woken up discouraged. Depressed. Overwhelmed by the “I’ll nevers” and the “Will it evers.” Holding on to the lies instead of His truth.

It’s no fun. No fun at all.

Feeling discouragement is not the same as being discouraged. Emotions exaggerate, and feelings lie. It may pass through but don’t own it.

Overcome it.

Discouragement only has two roots. We want something we don’t have or we have something we don’t want.

And we’re waiting – for it to come. For it to go.

We’re waiting – for that bigger house. Newer car. Better job. Baby. Spouse. Success.

We’re waiting – for sickness to leave. Pain to go. The mountain to move or the trial to end.

When I come to Him with my shattered, discouraged emotions, He doesn’t just pat me on the head and say, “My poor baby.” No. Lately He’s been asking me, “Am I enough?”

Is He enough?

Think about it. The obvious answer is yes. He is more than enough. But if He is, then why so downcast oh my soul?

If He actually is enough, waiting wouldn’t bother us so much. Ouch!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

(Proverbs 13:12)

This isn’t a promise. It’s a warning. We’re in control of our hope, and we need to keep it where it belongs.

When our hope is in Him and He is our one desire, we won’t be discouraged. We may feel it from from time to time, poking at the fringes of our fragile psyche, but we won’t keep it.

Am I enough?

Abraham faced it waiting for his heir. He was frustrated. God said, “Relax. I’m your exceeding great reward. If I’m your greatest treasure, it won’t matter how long you wait for the promise. You’ve got Me, and I’m enough.”

Once we recognize those sneaky discouragers, it’s easy to run to the Rock and say, “Lord, nothing else matters. If You’re with me, it’s enough. I may not have received my _____ yet, but I know this. You’re faithful. And I trust You. And I keep my hope in You. You are all I want.”

The rest will come or go. He will always be with us, walking us through every trial and valley. It’s His presence alone that can fill every crevice of our lives with peace and contentment.

Don’t surrender. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Hold on to Him. He is faithful who promised.

For more on overcoming discouragement, click here:

Don’t be discouraged. Be determined.

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