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When Your Discouraged

(1 Kings 19:1-13a, 15-18)

No Christian is immune to discouragement. (Acts 27:20; 1 Kings 19:3-4)

Sometimes when we are discouraged we lose our perspective and we view our
situation as worse than it actually is.

“We all live in two environments, the one being the world around us, the
other our thoughts about that world. The larger world cannot affect us
directly, it must be meditated to us by our thoughts, and will be to us at
last only what we allow it to be… External things and events are the raw
material only, the finished product is whatever the mind makes of these.” –
A.W. Tozer

Many of God’s greatest heroes in the Bible suffered from periods of darkness and
discouragement including Elijah, David, Jeremiah and Simon Peter.

Discouragement: to decrease courage; to be faint-hearted; to lose hope; to


be dismayed; the lack of desire to move forward or stand for convictions.

Stages of Discouragement

1. Mild = Minor problems or pressure which effect our emotions


2. Strong = Major problems of pressures which affect our spirit so that
other will notice
3. Disabling = Overwhelming problems or pressures which drain us of
spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical strength. Our hearts melt within
us and we have no ability to go on.

Depression: A hopelessness that’s not consistent with reality. A temporary


condition emotional state with exaggerated feelings of sadness. More than
discouragement that makes negative circumstances overwhelms a person’s
life.

Depression in itself is not sin. It is a symptom of something disturbing the


balance in your life.

Symptoms of depression:
1. Weight loss or weight gain.
2. Loss of sleep and energy.
3. Lose interest in most or all pleasurable activities.
4. Reduced ability to concentrate.
5. Overcome with feelings of hopelessness or uselessness.
More than 17 million Americans suffer from depression. The resulting
absenteeism and loss of productivity is estimated to cost the American
economy more than $20 billion each year.

Edward F. Ziegler calls depression "the common cold of psychological


disorders.” It is just that common.

Heb. Shachach, cast down, brought low, despairing (Ps. 42:5)

Heb. Hamah, disquieted, mourning (Ps. 42:5)

Winston Churchill, considered by many to be one of history’s most courageous


men, suffered terribly from depression most of his adult life. He once commented
that it followed him around like “a black dog.”

Abraham Lincoln, whose a “House Divided Against Itself” speech helped win
him the presidency, knew all too well in his own life the awful divisiveness of
doubt and depression. As a young man he wrote, “I am now the most miserable
man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I fear I shall not.”

After his amazing journey to the moon, astronaut Buzz Aldrin found that he was
unable to cope with the life to which he returned and he suffered for years with
terrible depression!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time, known for his
outstanding ability to communicate God’s Word, his sparkling wit and quick
humor, who addressed crowds of 5,000 people by age 30, suffered a lifetime
battle with depression. “My success,” he writes, “appalled me and the thought of
that career which seem.

Both discouragement and depression can be a result of focusing on circumstances.

Jesus Himself said his followers would have suffering in this world (John 16:33)

Our “testing” is to prove something to ourselves and others, God already knows!

Max Lucado puts its well when he says, “God likes you just the way you
are but He loves you too much to let you stay that way!”

Perhaps, if you are overwhelmed, it is time to share your burdens.

Or if you see that another is overwhelmed, it is time for you to share their
burdens.
God is patient with prodigal prophets.

We should strive to avoid self-pity.

Chuck Swindoll writes, “Self-pity mauls its way inside our minds
like a beast and claws us to shreds.”

We should turn our concerns over to God and trust that He will respond
with love.

Often a re-commissioning follows a period of discouragement.

God can use others to encourage and reassure us.

Sometimes He uses a word of Scripture, a word from a friend, a song, or a sermon


that touches our heart

This is one reason why we must not forsake gathering together

So that we can both encourage others and being encouraged by


them

Back in 1999 Duke University conducted a study of nearly 4000


older adults. One of their conclusions: "Attendance at a house of
worship is related to lower rates of depression and anxiety."

Sometimes God uses angelic intervention (1 Kings 19:5-8)

At times we must pause for physical and spiritual refreshment.

Sometimes we may need to re-evaluate our situation to rediscover our faith, purpose
and calling. (1 Kings 19:9b)

Solitude in a place of sanctuary can help us focus on worship and better hear God’s
voice. (Ps. 91:1)

God’s guidance and blessing often comes in quiet ways to a still and listening
heart. (Ps. 46:10)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount
up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk,
and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31)
God’s presence is the one constant in life. (Ps. 139:7-10; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10;
42:5& 11; 43:2; Jer. 1:8; Heb. 13:5; Rom. 4:20-24, Num. 6:26)

You are not alone.

You have brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow-servants.

But even when they may be unavailable, God is never unavailable.

Divine silence does not equate to divine disinterest or inactivity.

When allied troops were making their way across Europe to cross Hitler’s
forces, they came across a bombed out building that had this inscription
scrawled on a basement wall:

"I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.


I believe in love even when it is not shown.
And I believe in God even He doesn’t speak."

God’s presence should be assurance enough

God is all-knowing: Nothing surprises God

God is all powerful: Nothing is too difficult for God

God is faithful/trustworthy (Deut. 7:9; Isa. 49:7; 1 Cor. 1:9; 10:13; Heb. 10:23; 2
Thess. 3:3; 1 Thess. 5:24; Titus 1:2; 2 Tim. 2:13; John 1:9)