Have you felt discouraged lately? There are times when we feel discouraged and need the powerful truth of Scripture to uplift our souls. Have the storms in life blown around you so much that you feel defeated, dismayed, and discouraged?
With everything happening right now with the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to feel helpless and discouraged. Here are some ways we can recognize when we feel discouragement at its onset, and replace it with God’s word of Truth.
What is Discouragement?
Discouragement is a soul-sucking scheme of the enemy that robs us of the peace and joy that is rightfully ours. The dictionary defines discouragement as “loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness” (source).
If we separate the words dis-courage, it is a lack of courage and confidence. If discouragement is really a lack of courage and a sense of heavy dispiritedness, discouragement is really rooted in fear.
And fear is a liar.
Do you remember the old acrostic for fear that was popular years ago?
We need to replace fear with the truth and power of God’s word.
Replacing Discouragement with God’s Truth
Think about what has been discouraging you lately.
A situation with a family member? Difficulty in your marriage? An issue with your health? Anxiety about the pandemic?
Write down a list of the things that are discouraging you. You can go ahead and write it down on the free printable page that I created right here. (Go ahead, I’ll wait for you!)
Now ask yourself:
What lie am I believing about that situation? How is the truth of God BIGGER than the issue that is discouraging me? Oftentimes, the problems we face in our lives seem so huge and insurmountable that we forget that we serve the God of the entire universe.
He sees our pain.
He knows our thoughts.
He knows what is causing us fear and anxiety.
He knows what is discouraging us.
And he is bigger than it all.
Let’s confidently hold to the unchanging-hand of our great God, and trust him to walk us through the difficult storms of life.
Using Scripture when you Feel Discouraged
Reading and focusing on Scripture is a powerful way to combat discouragement.
Remember the story of Joshua? After Moses died, God immediately appointed Joshua as the new leader of the Israelites (Joshua 1:1-2). God didn’t waste any time appointing Joshua as the new leader–and in fact, God gave Joshua a major assignment on his first day on the job as the new leader:
Cross the Jordan River and go into the land I promised to give you. (Yeah, the land with those giant, scary people.) Joshua could have become discouraged and tried to back down from this tall order.
He could have come up with a list of excuses that would have discounted him from God’s plan for his life.
- But Lord, I’m not ready!
- I don’t have enough experience.
- I don’t think the people will listen to me.
- We might not be able to cross the Jordan– I can’t even swim!
- The people in the land you are leading us to might overtake us.
Do you see how bowing the knee to doubt and disbelief can lead to discouragement? God put to rest all of the objections Joshua may have had when he declared this one thing:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
Here are God’s comforting words to us in times of fear, worry, and discouragement:
I love you.
Don’t be afraid.
Don’t be discouraged.
I am with you.
And that’s all the strength we need to continue forward.
If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
The antidote to fear and discouragement is faith in the promises of God.
Our Mighty God goes before us, and he will never leave or forsake us. When we feel doubt and discouragement creeping in, hold firmly to the truth of these 12 Scriptures:
12 Scriptures to Read when you Feel Discouraged
- The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
- “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
- Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
- With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:29
- He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:33
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
- The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20
10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
- There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18
Free Scripture Printable to Combat Discouragement
I pray that you find hope and peace in these Scriptures when discouragement seems to surround you on every side. Just like Joshua, we can be strong and courageous, and defeat discouragement with the power of God’s Word!
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