Hope in the Lord
Discouragement can be a crippling experience that keeps us from true productivity in Christ. The emotions involved are real and weighty and not to be taken lightly. Even King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), encountered discouragement from time-to-time: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?…” Psalm 43:5a (NIV)
The Bible acknowledges discouragement. It does not try to deny that this is a real issue for believers but instead lends wisdom to help redirect the discouragement. For example, when someone speaks negatively into our life, “…do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others,” Ecc. 7:21-22 (NKJV) …Or when negative circumstances seem to not have a proper solution or reasonable time frame for coming to an end, “What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?…I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” Job 6:11 and 42:2 (NKJV) …Or even when there is a negative influence that is out of our control that we must suffer through, “For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us…” 2 Cor. 7:5-7a (NIV)
Although discouragement can hang about us like a heavy chain, there is hope. In fact, in the continuation of Psalm 43:5, King David provides for himself his own redirection and admonishment to squelch his discouragement: “…Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Put our hope in God and praise Him…so simple! And amazingly, there are promises connected to hope and praise: “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’?…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:27,31a (NIV), and, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19 (NIV)
Today, be encouraged! Hope in the Lord and praise Him, and He will give you strength and bear your burdens.