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Today’s Truth

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

Hebrews 10:35

Friend to Friend

Have you ever gone through a period of discouragement? Perhaps you’re in one right now. Believe me, I’ve been right there with you. I’ve hidden in the cave with Elijah, under the gourd plant with Jonah, and in the dessert with Moses.

Discouragement comes when there is a gap between what you expect and what you experience—when there is a gap between what you hoped would happen and what actually does happen.

Discouragement can destroy your passion and undermine your purpose. It can take root because of what others say or didn’t say—a mom who said too much or a dad who said too little. Unmet expectations can become the breeding ground for discouragement to multiply and take root.

We certainly see that in Moses’s life. When Moses was forty years old, he expected to be the deliverer for his people. But what he experienced was rejection and regret. Forty years later, when God called him to lead the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt, Moses argued:

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exod. 4:10).

This statement that came out of Moses’s stuttering lips was simply not true. As Stephen reminded us: “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22). Moses had defined himself by his failure and was held hostage by a constant state of discouragement. Oh friend, we need to be so careful to not do the same.

Discouragement causes many a believer to pull up a lawn chair in cul-de-sac Christianity and refuse to venture out to the adventurous faith. They mumble the words “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” over their hopes and dreams. They fill the gap between what they hope for and what they experience with the false belief that dreams aren’t worth the effort.

What we tend to see as a permanent condition, God sees as a temporary situation. What you see as one of your greatest setbacks might be one of God’s incredible setups for marvelous miracles to occur. If you are meeting resistance in your hopes and dreams, then you’re most likely on the right track. The devil wouldn’t mess with you if you weren’t a menace to his plans and a valuable asset to God.

What the devil really wants to do is to steal your confidence, and the best time to rob you blind is during a season of disappointment. Guard your heart. Don’t be caught unaware and allow him to hold you back, trip you up or slow you down. The circumstances are, well, just circumstantial—collateral damage in the real battle to take away your confidence in Christ.

So don’t let the devil win. You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus!

Let go of debilitating discouragement and take hold of your next assignment!

Let’s Pray

Dear God, I’ll admit that sometimes I get so discouraged I feel like I can’t go on. When things don’t go the way I thought they would, I just want to quit. Help me to remember that my greatest setbacks might be one of Your incredible setups for marvelous miracles to occur. Give me the God-confidence that I need to keep moving forward in Your will.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read 1 Kings 19:1-18

What did God say to Elijah when he was hiding because of discouragement? (Verses 9 and 13)

Did you notice that God allowed Elijah to rest for a bit? But then it was time to get up and get going.

What did God tell Elijah to let him know that he was not alone?

How can you protect your confidence during a time of discouragement?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion came from my book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Let’s take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us! While you’re there, check out the Take Hold Lambano necklace, and companion Identity in Christ laminated scripture cards. The book also comes with a Bible study guide. Make sure and sign up for my weekly blog.

6 Responses to “When You Feel Discouraged”

  1. Parisa says:

    Dear sisters at Girlfriends in God

    I am sitting here in a dreary London, UK and was feeling v dispondant about work matters and thought what’s the point. I felt so discouraged and my confidence shrivel up to then stumble upon today’s reading. Normally I read GIG in the morning but had a big meeting so just read it now. Thank you ladies for being there. Thank you Holy Spirit for your grace, for communicating to your children when we need you. I pray alongside other GIG that we all feel built up today knowing that our joy is in the Lord and that if we give him our discouragements, he will turn them into encouragements.

    Bless you all. Love in Christ, Parisa

  2. Elaine says:

    As always God went ahead and knew what I needed to read.
    I have paperwork i need to get a job and I keep getting stopped in getting it.
    I am going against Satan and discouragement and singing ‘Break every chain’
    Thank you for hearing the Lord to write this.

  3. Angelin says:

    Very similar situation. Praise God for Holy Spirit working through GIG and meeting needs of GIG. I have been blessed by many devotions, one of which is today. Thank you Jesus for you care for us – even when we are disappointed.

  4. Melissa Cook says:

    Just discovered this site last night. You’ll never know how timely and needed that the Nov. 28th devotion was for our family.

  5. Joyce says:

    Oh, how this devotional is my life right now! I so needed this uplifting message! I have been following GIG for a couple of years now. Your devotionals have definitely ministered to me, but this one has so much meaning that I wanted to respond. I have been job searching for several months now and I just didn’t think it would be this hard!! I currently work at the school where my children attended. It truly has been good all these years working as a sub playground lady into a full time job working in various facets (nurse’s office and district office) throughout the school day. Once my youngest graduated from 8th grade, I seriously considered looking for another job. However, with three boys in high school, my job was way too convenient for the “Mom, I forgot this” or “Mom, can you bring me that” calls. Those four years past all too quickly and towards the end of last year’s school year, something happened and I truly felt it was time to move on. I enjoy kids very much, but wanted to move on from playground/Before and After School Program duties and into an office secretary position. Several positions in other districts came open over the summer and being fortunate enough to know several people in those districts, I really thought my chances of getting a new job were very good. I had nine interviews and with each rejection, discouragement set in in a big way and that’s not counting all the unanswered on-line applications I submitted to various companies. I have given my children and others very good advice in similar situations and I truly believe it. “That job wasn’t the right job for you” and “God has something else planned for you”, but taking my own advise has been incredibly difficult. My first thought after the “we are going in a different direction” speech is that, “Well, God just doesn’t want me there.” But, then the “I’m not good enoughs” set in and I buy into them hook, line, and sinker. I know they are lies, but Satan has been very, very effective. I have enjoyed Sharon Jaynes devotionals on this very topic and believe me, they have ministered to me greatly!! To make matters worse, after not being able to find a new job, my hours for the new school year have been cut. In order to get as many hours as I can, I now work three shifts getting 6.5 hours in an 11.5 hour day solely in playground/latch key capacity. It’s just so hard going to work where I don’t want to be and it’s incredibly discouraging. I have a sign that says, “Believe, nothing is impossible.” You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to throw that sign across the room!! But I don’t, because I do know that nothing is impossible through God. Sometimes I do get excited thinking that if God has not allowed me to get all these other jobs, that He really must have something special for me. I need to try really hard to keep that thought in the forefront rather than on the back burner. “What you see as one of your greatest setbacks might be one of God’s incredible setups for marvelous miracles to occur. If you are meeting resistance in your hopes and dreams, then you’re most likely on the right track. The devil wouldn’t mess with you if you weren’t a menace to his plans and a valuable asset to God.” So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this devotional.

  6. Bukola says:

    Dear GIG, today’s message is just for me. I have had so many unmet expectations, but I’ve been praising God and trusting Him, but today I just hit low…been so discouraged and then I check my mail and saw this message…my setback are my set ups for the greatest of miracles. I’m encouraged. God bless you

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