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What is discouragement?
Discouragement as a verb, such as discouraged or to discourage means, to lose confidence and to give away courage. It’s also a tactic we use to prevent something from happening or create obstacles.
Discouragement as a noun, is a state of being.
When we go from DISCOURAGED to DISCOURAGEMENT it then becomes a self sustaining breeding ground for disappointment, because there is nothing active happening anymore. We are in a constant state of being discouraged that it starts to feel like who we are.
We’ve all probably have been in a state of discouragement at one point or another in our lives. Where it feels like nothing is going right and that enthusiasm you once had is long gone.
The number one place the fruits of discouragement shows up in is in our thought life.
Discouraging thoughts begin to fill our minds. Thoughts like,
“Maybe I’m not cut out for this.”
“This is too hard for me.”
“I can’t do this”
Discouragement never feels good so we begin thinking of all the ways we can alleviate the feeling of discouragement. And then what do we do next? That moment of discouragement causes us to begin settling.
Which brings me to the next point,
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What is the purpose of discouragement?
You can’t always control what happens or when discouragement sets in, but you can control what happens after.
God doesn’t cause us to be discouraged but he does use discouragement to help us fight, to help us contend for His promises.
Don’t let discouragement come in and take over, fight back! The purpose of discouragement is a to teach us how to fight back.
How do we fight back? You need to remember,
DISCOURAGEMENT IS NOT WHO YOU ARE.
How do you fight discouragement?
The Bible says, mourning may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.
Discouragement may last for a night but joy will come in the morning.
Peace will come on the morning.
Confidence will come in the morning.
Hope will come in the morning.
You must commit to not letting discouragement win. Affirm yourself, I will not let a moment of discouragement cause me to settle. That is not who I am.
I am overcomer.
I am a fighter.
I am someone who gets back up after a fall. That’s who I am.
To recap, the first purpose of discouragement is to remember who we are. The second purpose of discouragement is to wrestle for the promises that we seek.
We need to remember discouragement lies in the tension of what we hope for vs what we had.
I know what it’s like to sit in discouragement. I know how it feels to not feel confident that what you dream and hope for may not be possible for you. Yet at the same time you don’t want what you had before. So that tension tempts you to settle for something safe.
Before discouragement becomes a state of being, it’s a battle. A battle to say, I will not settle here. Discouragement you will not stay here.
So how do we battle discouragement? If discouragement primarily shows up in our minds, then we use our words to fight back. That’s why I do these weekly live affirmations every Wednesday at 6 PM EST on Instagram. The Bible says the power of life and death is in our tongue, not our minds. God knows our minds can be WILD sometimes, but he gave us a MOUTH to fight back.
If you can declare who you are and who you are not, then you can declare the promises worth fighting for over your life.
You can declare,
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I don’t like how things are looking but I choose to believe that God will come through for me.
Discouragement will not win, I will win because I’m destined for more.
How does discouragement grow your faith?
Wrestling with discouragement is important for growing our faith. If God always allowed us to receive blessings without any struggle at all we would become weak in character.
I bet any person who has ever played any kind of sport would agree with me. The funnest games are not the ones that were easy wins, but the ones that were more challenging.
The best blessings are not won without having battled for them.
Most battles are best won through fighting, not handouts. Why? Because it increases our fortitude and commitment to the prize. Without that, we’ll give up just as easily as we would have before we handed the prize. Any ounce of discouragement that makes us think we’re about to lose our blessing and we’ll throw in the towel before trouble even strikes. “Nope I’m not fighting, that looks too hard.” “It’s not worth it.” “Just take the prize. It didn’t cost me anything to get it anyways.”
We need some battle scars if it means we’re going to receive big blessings.
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What is the next step after discouragement?
Remember discourage is a verb and discouragement is noun. So because I was discouraged, I stepped into discouragement, and now you need to step out of it.
Here are 2 keys to help you deal with discouragement, trust and remind.
If that first step was the leap of faith and now discouragement has settled in, the next step isn’t to stop. It’s to keep going. Remind yourself of how God has showed up before. Remind yourself of what happened the last time you didn’t quit. Remind yourself of how you felt the last time you did quit.
Because let me tell you. Life does not stop moving and even when you think you’re stagnant you do not stop stepping. So either you’re going to take a step of reminder or a step of regret. What’s your choice going to be?
Do not allow a moment of discouragement cause you to settle. I am destined for more, I will take that next step.
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