Discouragement

discouragement“My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be.” Psalm 42

I remember sitting in my daddy’s lap while we watched Bo and Luke Duke outfox Boss Hogg on The Dukes of Hazard. Yee-haw! I recall my parents moving me into the dorm and saying to my mom, “Well, you aren’t just going to just leave me here, are you?” Yes. I think that was the general idea. I remember the first time I talked to my husband on the phone while sitting on my parents’ bed, twirling the phone cord in my fingers. And I can still hear my babies’ first cries and think back upon weeping as I held their tiny bodies. I recollect times when I felt so close to Jesus that I was literally surrounded by Him.

Warm, fuzzy memories are great. They usually bring a smile to our face and a little pep to our step. But oddly enough, there are times when remembering the good ol’ days can also break our hearts. Can you relate to this part of Psalm 42: “My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?”

In seasons of struggle, heart ache, and discouragement, we can be tempted to look back and remember the feelings we used to have when we were closer to God or when life seemed brighter. You remember feeling great joy as you led other women worshiping God. You reminisce about the delight you once felt when you taught Bible Study. Feelings of love and hope come to mind when you recall how vibrant your prayer life used to be. And it breaks your heart. You would love nothing more than to have those feelings again.

The problem is that our feelings can be fickle, and we’ve got to dwell upon much more than our feelings. We must dwell upon God and fix Him in our minds. Choose worship, and experience a fresh encounter with Christ.

Even when it feels like miles of wasteland stretch between us and God, we must remember Him. Remember His goodness. His mercy. His forgiveness. His pursuit of us. His incredible love. His radical grace. His faithfulness. His presence even when we are distant.

You may feel like God is not with you or does not hear you in the midst of your struggles. You may feel like your cries for help are merely bouncing off your ceiling. However, the truth of the Bible is that God is always powerfully at work in our lives. Even when we are feeling our most defeated and loneliest. Remember that you are not alone!

In the midst of every emotion, there is one constant. God cares and is with you! God cares deeply about every emotion swirling in our hearts.  If you are on the mountaintop and feeling like things couldn’t be better, God cares for you and is with you! If you are currently experiencing hurt or disappointment in ministry, remember this, God cares and is always with you!

God is close to you when you feel alone. He’s close to you when you cry. He’s close to you when you wonder how you’ll move forward. Pour out your pain to God, and move closer to Him. The best news is, emotions are fleeting. We can choose how we direct our thoughts and energy. Instead of nursing our pain, we can find freedom in choosing to cling to our hope in God.


Lori Wilhite serves alongside her husband Jud who is the Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. They love getting to be part of God changing Sin City into Grace City. She is the founder of Leading and Loving It and is also the co-author of Leading and Loving It: Encouragement for Pastors’ Wives and Women in Leadership.

Download Chapter 1 of Lori’s book Leading and Loving It here (it’s free!).

Comments

  1. Discouragement…. I could write a book on this emotion. Though in my life , I do more than cling to God, I crave God and all he has in store for me and others acccording to His purposes, plans and promises. How my entire being longs in heart, mind, body, soul and spirit to be used by God mightily, glofity God , one with the Father then especially,to hear him say to me “GOOD AND WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT ENTER INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD FOREVER!…”.

    ” IN PURSUIT OF GOD, SOUL WINNING & GOD’S HEART-CROWN OF LIFE!”,
    SIster-n-Christ,
    Ann Akar
    9/21/13

    • A short time ago our oldest son stepped into the presence of the Lord! How perfect for him! What agony to be left without him. I can not mesh the two thoughts or feeling together as my heart breaks, remembering how it used to be. THANK YOU for this verse. THANK YOU that God knows these thoughts and has given an answer for them.

  2. 7 months ago
    Swan says

    So fractured with a deep numbing sense of alone-ness, darkness covers but a fraction of what I used to be. Discouraged. Yes want my faith level back to what it should be
    So weary

    • 7 months ago
      Zakiya Simmons-Earl says

      Swan,

      I know such despair! But I also know that weeping may endure for a night, but JOY cometh in the morning!!!! There truly is no pit too deep or circumstance too dark for God to pull us out! He is the Light of our coutnenance and a God who sits high and looks low. Remember that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan is hell bound and determined to take as many people with him as possible. Know that Christ is your Redeemer and He lives…in YOU! Please pray (and cry) your way through this period. Cling to God’s Word and unchanging hand…even when you don’t feel like it. Remember the Word is powerful and sharper than any sword…it is your weapon against EVERYTHING not of God. You already have the victory! God gives us beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair! Be encouraged my sweet friend, in Jesus’ mighty name!!!

      • 6 months ago
        Carla says

        Amen! That was beautiful! :)

      • I really loved gods word I am a 52 year old woman that was saved at a young age I backed slide for a pretty long time I love god and his word so much but truly its been hard coming back to christ I have children we h I wish ave had some real fall outs That I don’t want to even be bothered with them they are so disrespectful so I try to move foward and ask god to forgive me for things I’ve said but That’s nit the person I want to be I want god in my life but dont want to deal with my childrend drama anymore I just want to be right with giving my life to god and put my children on the back burner so I may serve god without all of there drama how do I pull away and just leave my kids alone.

        • 4 months ago
          Mecca says

          Sadly enough I have not discovered a drama free life. I was born into a temultuous life and at forty I’m still struggling with turmoil in my life. Satan has attacked every single area of my life…my marriage, my kids, my job, my ministry…yet I still stand and proclaim that He is Lord. I’ve turned away from God. I’ve ran to God. I’ve been everywhere in between. I remember “friends” pulling away from me because of choices that my children had made. I was so alone…but that was the point! I had no one to lean on but God! That was when the lightbulb came on. He had to strip me of everything just to get me to listen…duh. I got on my knees and thanked God for the opportunity to cling to Him. He has given me grace to love my children without agreeing with their choices. I’ve been given a tender heart for kids who haven’t forged the “normal” path I’ve learned to stop asking God to remove the drama and just give me strength to weather the storms. In doing this, you will be a great witness to everyone around you. I don’t the ke key is to pull away from your kids but to love them in spite of themselves. Boundaries are good. Barriers are not. None of us can change the past but you can draw that line in the sand and ask God today to cleanse your heart of the pain and resentment. Ask Him to replace it with His love, grace and mercy. He can help you! He’s just waiting with his arms open wide, ready for to run to him so He give you that great big daddy hug. Try it. he’ll tell you that everything’s gonna be alright.

  3. 5 months ago
    Valerie K says

    I wish I could find God, but it is so hard. No one listens to me or cares. I am 16 and I go to church sometimes but not alot. I wish I went more often because I feel more at home at church then “at home” but at church is my step family and they dont like. I am trying to find God but it is so hard, I dont know where else to turn. I know if I “found God” I would loose alot of people at school and alot of family, they are athiests.. I just need help, advice, please help me???

    • Valerie,
      I CARE AND I AM LISTENING. Your search is over. God is everywhere. All you need to do is invite Him into your life. A simple prayer asking for forgiveness of your sin and inviting Jesus to be Lord of your life. It takes the smallest effort on your part. God loves you so much. He just wants to be a part of your life. He understands all the circumstance surrounding you and He will strengthen you. God Bless you Valerie