Discouraged in the Faith

Scotty-thumbThere have been times in my Christian walk when I wanted to give up.  On those days, I felt that if I never picked up my Bible again, if I never darkened the door of another church, if I never preached another word, if I never sang another song, no one would care.  During these times, a feeling of insignificance and defeat settled over my spirit.  I felt alone in my Christianity and useless in the Kingdom.   

Have you ever been there?   Maybe, just maybe, you are in that place right now.

You are not alone.  In 1 Kings 19:10, Elijah, a mighty prophet of the Lord, said, 

“…the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Jeremiah, another prophet said,

“…I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me…I will not make mention of [God],  nor speak any more in his name.” (Jeremiah 20:7,9)

How must Moses have felt when he ran to the wilderness to save himself from Pharaoh?  Or Samson, when he was blinded, grinding in a Philistine prison?  Or Joseph, a slave in a foreign land, after being betrayed by his own brothers?  Or Paul, when so many deserted him after he found himself in prison?  Surely, those were dark and lonely days.  Can you identify with what these men might have felt during these times in their lives?

If you can, you also need to know that God’s promises go beyond our circumstances.  He has plainly told us,

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) and

“I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) and

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

 And Paul reiterates this thought to us in Romans 8:37-39,

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The knowledge that Christ and His love are forever with us gives us the strength to overcome discouragement!  It gives us the courage to be more than conquerors!  It gives us the determination to press on in faith knowing that God is working in our circumstances in ways we cannot see or know!

If you are discouraged, claim these verses as your own.  Read the story of Joseph.  Read the letters of Paul.  Study the life of Moses.  Get in the Word of God!  You will be encouraged and raised up to continue the work that God has called you to perform!  Amen.