I have heard it said that, “Discouragement is both unique to and universal among human beings.” I suppose that it is true that eventually everyone will feel discouraged at some point. One well-known pastor has said, “Do you know how often I have wanted to quit the ministry? Every Monday morning!” I am glad that I do not experience that level of discouragement, but still it is there from time to time. So, here are some tips that I have learned regarding dealing with discouragement, both in terms of its causes and its cures:
When you are physically or emotionally exhausted, you are a prime candidate for discouragement. Things seem bleaker than they really are as your defenses are lowered.
When unfinished tasks pile up, it is natural to feel overwhelmed, and this feeling of being “under the pile” can easily bring discouragement.
Sometimes, even the best laid plans fall apart. Our reaction at that moment is all important, it is easy to be discouraged and give up.
When you are teetering on fatigue, take a break, get some rest. Change your scenery for a time and rest your body and soul. When you return to your work, you will be more effective.
When we are frustrated that things are not getting done or not working out, it is helpful to take the issues on from a new angle. It may be that you are doing the right things, but doing them the wrong way. Try a new approach and see if things go better.
What I mean here is to fight back at discouragement. At some point, discouragement becomes a choice. We allow ourselves to be discouraged, because in the moment it feels like the proper response. But you can fight back by remembering that no feeling lasts forever, and that God will help you to work through not only the feelings of discouragement, but also the circumstances that have brought these feelings on. His goal is always for our good and His glory. Here are the words of Nehemiah…
Nehemiah 8:10 “Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
Yes, even when facing discouraging circumstances, we can find strength and joy in our Lord.