This past week I had the opportunity to spend time with 100’s of pastors from the West Coast at the annual Association of Related Churches Conference. It was a great time of connecting with old friends as well as making some new ones. As I was mingling with pastors I began to hear a common theme amongst many of them, that theme was discouragement.
At the end of that same week I was at a San Diego pastors prayer meeting hosted by Pastor Miles McPhearson and the Rock Church. We were broken up into groups of 4-6 and sat around tables so that we could get to know one another and pray for each other. As each pastor went around the table and shared what they needed prayer for that same theme of discouragement came up again.
Hearing all of these stories of discouragement during the week and having been there myself recently I decided to change this past Sunday’s message in our Detox Series to Detoxing from Toxic Discouragement. Making this last minute switch to share what God’s word says about discouragement proved to be the right direction as tons of people responded at both of our campuses.
You can catch the whole message here later this week, so rather than recapping it with you I will simply share one of the most important things I learned this week about discouragement. Discouragement is literally like a hand that reaches right into your heart and rips out your courage and your confidence. If fact one of the definitions of discouragement is, “To deprive of confidence, courage or hope”. I believe discouragement is not just something that simply happens to us when we go through a low moment but rather it is a tool that the enemy uses to keep us from becoming all the Christ has intended us to become.
The common denominator for discouragement in all of those I talked to this past week had nothing to do with size of their ministries or even how seeming great their life was. This is what grabbed my attention and proved to me that discouragement truly is a tool of the enemy. Discouragement can happen in the lowest of season of our life or when we are ridding high and everything is going great! The main common denominator in all of those who I talked to is that they were all pursuing the will of God for their life. These people were all walking in obedience to what they believe God had shown them. Some of these people have large ministries, some have medium sized and others had small ones and yet all were discouraged. Discouragement is indeed one of the great tools of the enemy to try and get us from becoming all that we can be.
Knowing this we need to to all we can by God’s grace to fight off discouragement with the encouragement of God’s Word so we can walk forward with great courage into the amazing things that await us. Here are 15 powerful thoughts from God’s word that I believe will help you do just that.
Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I Pray today that you are encouraged and fulfill the all that God has for you!
Many Blessings & Dream Big