Friday, September 17, 2010

Hopelessness, Discouragement and Despair

Billy Graham said, "The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, "O God, forgive me," or "Help me." Discouragement can stop you dead in your tracks, preventing you from sharing the Good News. Walking by faith is not always easy! T.D. Jakes tells us, "Faith must always pass the test of discouragement." All of us will at times become discouraged. Even the most gifted evangelist will have seasons of despair. I have found that discouragement and lack of motivation often come from unfulfilled expectations. You share your faith and expect God to do great things but often see few "results." That can quickly lead to a sense of failure. 

Charles Spurgeon, wrote, in "The Minister’s Fainting Fits," "Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy. There maybe here and there men of iron, to whom wear and tear work no perceptible detriment, but surely the rust frets even these; and as for ordinary men, the Lord knows, and makes them to know, that they are but dust. Knowing by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means, being visited therewith at seasons by no means few or far between, I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts thereon, that younger men might not fancy that some strange thing had happened to them when they became for a season possessed by melancholy; and that sadder men might know that one upon whom the sun has shone right joyously did not always walk in the light."

I just wanted to encourage you today that if you are or have been discouraged in ministry keep on going! Go deep in God's Word;  Warren Wiersbe writes, "The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength." With that in mind, check out these verses on rejoicing. Also, check out the short MP3 below on the right perspective in serving God. Finally, remember Bill Bright's encouragement to "take the initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit and trust the results to God." You might not see the fruit of your labor but you can be confident your work is not in vain (1 Cor.15:58). There is no failure in any step of faith. 

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