Dealing with Discouragement

Don’t give discouragement the pleasure of pressing “pause” on your ability to minister or on your deep desire to encourage others.

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Discouragement is pervasive … it’s intrusive … and it is all-encompassing.

Discouragement never comes alone but often invites its first cousins whose names are “despair”, “hopelessness” and “sadness”.

Have you met this unwelcome family of uninvited intruders?!

When discouragement lingers past a reasonable amount of time … you can bet that its difficult grandfather “Papa Depression” is sure to show up in your life!

Ah-h-h-h … the patriarch of this doubting family!

Grandpa Depression holds all the revenue, all the legacy, and all the forgotten possibilities of this lineage.

Are you discouraged today?

Perhaps it is the “same old – same old” of living that has finally stolen all hope from your heart. You have regretfully determined that nothing will ever change for you and that your current circumstances are sure to be your future reality.


Perhaps you have prayed without ceasing and have spoken the language of hope even when others have thought you foolish. But now, because of discouragement, your prayers are not as fervent and your words have become tauntingly realistic rather than faith-filled.


What is it that has left an enormous and uninvited deposit of discouragement in your heart?

Do you erroneously imagine that your dreams have been too big and so now it is time for you to settle for second best?

Discouragement has a best friend whose name is “mediocrity”.

This lethal bully tries to convince you that mere “average” is the best that will ever happen to you.

Can I give you some advice? From one formerly discouraged dreamer to another?

Turn your back on Mr. Mediocrity and run … don’t walk … but RUN in the other direction from his lies, his taunting, and his deception!

Discouragement is able to wrestle enthusiasm out of the strongest soldier’s weaponry.

Discouragement is able to sneak unsuspectingly into the heart of a visionary and then completely steal all of the anticipation and expectation that has been treasured in that vault of optimism.

Are you discouraged today?

I have been fighting off discouragement and have been trying to determine how to conquer it!

Perhaps what I am learning will be a source of encouragement to you …

First of all, God never speaks through discouragement.

If you are wondering if your discouragement is from God, wonder no longer.

God speaks through peace, through hope, and through joy.

Don’t listen to the voice of discouragement … it is not the Father’s voice.

God is the biggest Dreamer in all of eternity past or in all of eternity yet to come! His dreams for your life dwarf your largest, most gargantuan goal!

You can never out-dream God!

Secondly, don’t be afraid of the wait.

Dreamers such as you and I often forget or even ignore the benefits that waiting can usher into the equation of life.

Waiting makes us stronger … waiting changes people’s hearts and minds … waiting purifies the dream … waiting shapes the dream into something more beautiful than it could ever be on its own.

If you are a dreamer … remind yourself today that time is on your side!

The period known as “the waiting room” will do a strengthening, healing, and rejuvenating work in your life if you allow it to do so!

My third suggestion is this …rather than choosing to embrace discouragement as a necessary member of your circle of friends … how about setting an achievable goal today?

There are people who need a kind and loving e-mail from you … there are friends and family members who would deeply appreciate your prayers … there are items that can be checked off your “to-do” list even when the biggest dream of your life may seem illusive.

When the deepest dreams of your heart seem out of reach and discouragement is filling every cell of your being, do something that you can accomplish!

Do something that is possible in this very moment!

Go for a walk … call a friend … go to a conference … give a donation … read your Bible …

Clean out a closet … plant some flowers … bake some bread for your neighbor … ask a friend to have coffee with you … buy a gift …

Volunteer to teach Sunday School … have a family over for dinner … reconnect with a childhood friend … buy a new devotional and give it away … smile at a stranger …

The list is endless of all the things that you can accomplish while you are waiting for your dreams to come true!

Don’t allow discouragement to paralyze your soul!

Don’t give discouragement the pleasure of pressing “pause” on your ability to minister or on your deep desire to encourage others.

Discouragement and encouragement don’t get along well … as a matter of fact, I have recently discovered that discouragement and encouragement are often mutually exclusive!

Imagine that!

Discouragement and encouragement are like the Hatfields and McCoys … they try to shoot each other down with each other’s opposing intentions and opinions.

I’ll side with encouragement any day of the year!

I choose encouragement over despair and depression anytime … anyplace … anywhere!

And, finally, you will find a mega-dose of encouragement in the Word of God.

If you are battling discouragement today, simply open your Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your troubled soul.

One of my favorite verses has always been this one:

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity; to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

If you need more than one dose of Biblical encouragement, how about this one?

“Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:18

Are you especially desperate today and you are just thirsting for God’s opinion on your life?

You’ve come to the right place! Linger in this verse for a minute or two …

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good.. I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.” – Jeremiah 32:40a and 41

O.K. … I can’t let you go without one more word of encouragement for you from the Bible! Because the truth is … I need it as much as you do!

“Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope: this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.” – Zechariah 9:12

Be encouraged today, my friend! You are not forgotten! Keep dreaming … keep praying … keep hoping … keep believing! God and I are cheering you on!



This is an updated post originally published on Carol McLeod Ministries

Featured Image by Siora Photography on Unsplash


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About the Author

Carol McLeod is a best-selling author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol is a prolific author and loves digging for truth in the Word of God. Carol writes a weekly blog, “Joy For the Journey,” that has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. Carol also writes a weekly column for “Ministry Today.” Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for 41 years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Graduates of Oral Roberts University, Craig and Carol have spent the past 38 years pastoring churches across America.