Brighton Church of Christ
When You Are Discouraged
Do you ever feel discouraged or disappointed? Welcome to the club! Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. There are countless numbers of people who can sympathize with you, as these feelings have impacted people on planet earth for multiple thousands of years.
We are familiar with the story of Job in the Bible’s Old Testament. He was a man who was blessed with wealth, good health, a family of ten children and a good reputation. Then in a moment of time, all his blessings were taken away. He didn’t know why, as he had done no evil. His own wife turned against him. His friends came to “comfort” him and accused him of some awful sins that would have caused these catastrophes to happen to him.
Having received word after word from his servants about the bad things that had taken place, he finally got the word that his ten children had been killed in a storm.
“While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house, and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you." Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” (Job 1:18-22)
In time Job lost his health, and even his wife turned against him, telling him to just curse God and die, and get it all over with. Was Job discouraged? Obviously so, but he did not let his discouragements overcome him. He had something that sustained him—his faith. Consider what is recorded in Job 19:25-27: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!”
Job knew there was something waiting for him in the future, and that sustained him in all his trials. If you think your burdens are too heavy to bear, compare your burdens with those that the apostle Paul had to deal with.
“Are they servants of Christ? --I speak as if insane--I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.” (II Corinthians 11:23-33) When it seems you have no hope, and the weight of the world becomes your burden, you need to be strong in faith, trust in God, leave it all in His hands, and He will see you through. God made a promise to Joshua as he was about to lead Israel into the Promised Land, he makes the same promise to us. "No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. (Joshua 1:5) God makes the same promise to us today.
Jefferson David Tant