Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Discouraged?

I think this is the street I live on. At least I have spent a lot of time there lately. I’m not sure why, I know I could blame others but that’s probably not the solution and probably not the reason.

I read something the other day that got me thinking about this. The author was talking about discouragement. He pointed out that “discouragement is looking back at what has gone wrong rather than focusing on the destination.” The next thing he said is what caught my attention: “Literally, discouragement means to take the courage out of someone.”

That is how I feel. I have lost my courage. I have lost my courage to be a father and husband amongst other things. In stuff, I felt so strong in before I am now afraid to act or move forward. It may be stupid but it’s where I’m at.

My sin is exposed. I admit that I have lingered at the edge of despair.

When I thought of this, I felt very low. How will I recover? Is there a future or do I slowly let go? I talked to someone at church a few weeks ago who was feeling the same way and was being honest about it. He said he wondered sometimes about checking out and checking into the looney bin for a time. That thought doesn’t appeal to me but I have had others.

I reread the section in the book several times. There was exhortation not to live there. God tells me to be strong and courageous. I have to press on through the valley to the other side. God promises He will be with me. Something I read last night reminded me that I need others to walk along with me too. Together we can make it; being strong for each other. One will have strength while another is weak. We need to be encouraged to counter the discouragement.

I tried to think of Scripture that can help bring courage back. Here are a few I found.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Psalms 31:24

They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, be of good courage.
Isaiah 41:6

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
1 Thessalonians 5:14

From these I conclude that I need to draw near to and wait on the Lord and I also need others alongside who can help me regain courage.

Something I heard on the radio this morning reminded me of how important it is that I gain courage back. It’s the chorus of the Sara Groves song Generations. Here is how it goes:

Remind me of this with every decision.
Generations will reap what I sow.
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
to those I will never know.
For those who follow, I will strive do what is right.

Philip

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