There is a large part of me that never wants my kids to feel discouraged. Another word for that is disheartened. I want to protect my kids from this. I want to keep them in a happy place and protect them from what the world will throw at them. I want to do this but I can’t even protect myself from it.
There is always going to be someone that lets you down or that you let down.
There is always going to be a job or a relationship that does not work out.
As a pastor, there are days that I put in long hours and help people face difficult decisions. Honestly, it can be very overwhelming some days…and then I go home and try to be the best husband and father that I can be.
I once read, “discouragement is one of the most deadly of diseases. Everybody can catch it, and you can catch it more than once. It’s highly contagious and spreads easily and quickly.” It is so true.
So what Do we do when we get discouraged?
Here’s the good news: Discouragement is curable. Whenever I get discouraged, I head straight to God. I spend time reading His promises…I spend time talking to God. Ok…ok…I don’t always do that but I know that I always should.
With Easter coming soon I was thinking about Jesus’ time praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was feeling the weight of what was coming and was talking with God about it. He even said something interesting. We read in Matthew 26:39, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
I have always found that interesting for many reasons. We get a glimpse into Jesus’ mindset in the previous verses which reads, “…he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Jesus was sorrowful…He was troubled….His soul was overwhelmed. I’m sure if you have ever been discouraged, then some of these same phrases that describe Jesus here might have described you. So what did Jesus do in this moment? He turned to His father. He spent time with God. He even made a plea to God saying this is not the path He wants to take but will follow God’s plan. Again in verse 42, He states if this is the only way then He will follow.
In a moment of discouragement, most of us wallow in our pity and sadness. That moment becomes a defining moment for our lives and our future. It can be the moment that holds us back. Yet Jesus gives us an amazing example. He grabs his friends, His community, and begins to pray. He doesn’t demand God do something…but He is real with God about how He feels but ultimately wants God’s will to be done.
Maybe life is a little overwhelming for you today. Take a deep breath and just let it out. And rest. Maybe you need to take a vacation. Maybe you need to start a regular exercise program. Maybe you need to start watching your nutrition or develop a hobby. Whatever it is, give it to God and watch Him do amazing things with your life.
What has you discouraged, that you need to give to God today?
Who in your life should you ask to join you in prayer?