Overcoming Discouragement


The story of Elijah has often brought great inspiration to me as a leader.  This was a man who had a nature like us, yet God worked in incredible, supernatural ways in his life.  When he prayed, God answered, in a big way!  Drought, rain, fire from heaven, his prayers were precise, powerful, and always accomplished God’s purposes. His was a life that was used tremendously to fulfill God’s purposes and plans.  Yet with all the victories he experienced, in 1 Kings 19.4 scripture says, “And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

This man had just experienced a tremendous spiritual victory and is now curled up in a fetal position asking God to take his life!  In his perspective, he was no better than those that are already dead!  What an outlook!  What happened to this great man of God who only recently was calling fire down from heaven?

He allowed his circumstances to dictate his emotions rather than his relationship to his heavenly Father.  Instead of resting in his relationship with God, he began to look at the world around him for his joy, peace and security.  When the world seemed to be against him, he erroneously decided that he was the only one left in the world who served God!

Don’t we do the same thing?  When the circumstance are not our ideal, or become unbearable, we turn inward emotionally?  Inward focus always has a magnifying effect.  What we dwell upon becomes bigger than it really should be.  Our lows become lower, our highs become higher and it begins to control our lives.  We must have a change of perspective in order to restore balance once again.  How? Here are 5 starting points to get back on the right track.

  1. Spend time alone with God.  Listen for his voice.
  2. Remember what God has done. Recall the things He has accomplished in your life.
  3. Phone a friend.  Having a relationship with an encouraging friend can provide perspective.
  4. Invest in someone less fortunate.  Outward focus will silence the voice of inward disappointment, discouragement, and doubts.
  5. Develop healthy habits.  Eating right, exercise, and hobbies is a necessity for healthy balance physically and emotionally.

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