August 27, 2008
The Obstacle of Discouragement
Psalms 42:3-4

We all have expectations. And whether they are reasonable or illogical, when our hopes fail us, we feel disappointed.

There’s nothing wrong with this response, in and of itself—in life, some disappointment is inevitable. Discouragement, however, is a choice, and a dangerous one at that. In this state of mind, we allow our circumstances to consume us. Then we stop striving for the goal and miss achieving our potential.

Another consequence is a divided mind. As we’re distracted from tasks at hand, we easily make poor decisions and then feel tempted to blame others for our predicament. Anger can lead to retaliation and depression. All the while, we are drifting spiritually. Obviously, it’s important to resolve disappointment quickly.

Consider what the Lord experienced in the garden of Gethsemane. He not only faced a gruesome death the following day; He also knew He would be separated from His Father for the first time in all eternity. His words in Matthew 26:38 reveal profound pain: “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death.” Needing encouragement and support, He asked the disciples to pray and stay awake with Him. And yet, they fell asleep. Jesus must have felt let down and alone, but He didn’t allow hopelessness to distract Him from His purpose of procuring our salvation.

When life deals you a painful blow, remember Jesus’ response and realize you, too, can choose to cling to the Father for hope. Have you allowed disappointment to rob you of focus and joy? Pray for God to keep you from discouragement.

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