Discouragement is a reality of life. That’s what Pastor Jared, our West Campus Pastor, reminded us in this last week’s message. The title of the message wasn’t “Avoiding Discouragement” or even “Eliminating Discouragement.” It was “Defeating Discouragement.”
Every one of us is going to face discouragement in life- and not just once or twice. We live in an imperfect and broken world. Even the most well-meaning people will let you down and hurt you sometimes; and that’s not even taking into account those who are not well meaning. But this post isn’t meant to discourage you. I just want to point out something we often miss in the midst of discouragement.
You’re not alone.
There is a mistaken notion out there that a relationship with God makes life easy. After all, God is for me, so who can be against me? Right? But the truth is that scripture isn’t saying no one can beagainst [needs a space after the word “be”] us, but that with God, no one can stand against us. Discouragement and attack is going to come. That’s just a part of life! It’s what you do with the discouragement that matters. Even in the midst of living out God’s plan for you, there will be seasons of doubt and discouragement. Take Nehemiah for example. I stumbled across this chart of the cycle in chapters 3-6 as they rebuilt the walls:
Chapter 3: Advance 4:1-3: Setback
4:4-6: Advance 4:7-8: Setback
4:9: Advance 4:10-12: Setback
4:13-23: Advance 5:1-6: Setback
5:7-19: Advance 6:1-14: Attempted setback
6:15-16: Final advance 6:17-19: Attempted setback
Don’t miss this- God wanted the wall to be rebuilt! And still, he didn’t remove the opposition. In fact, the opposition in life is a form of testing. It will either drive you away from God or it will drive you into deeper dependence on God. Far too many have experienced the enemy’s attack, and have either walked away from God, or have quit chasing him and have settled for less than all God has for them.
In Christ, discouragement is defeated. But not without a battle. The next time you come up against something hard in your faith, don’t doubt God’s provision. Instead, discover His power. Lean into Him for strength. Because if God is for you, no one can stand against you.