There are people who suffer the effects of discouragement for years. They don’t know how to repair the damage caused by this devastating landmine. How does this loss of confidence and optimism originate?
Disappointment is our emotional response to a failed expectation. When we refuse to recognize and deal with the failure, that negative reaction can fester—then we can slip into discouragement. Disappointments are inevitable, but believers don’t have to be in bondage to discouragement.
We all periodically face difficulties that make us feel weak. Discouragement, however, like a drive through a dark tunnel, should be temporary: after a short while, we should come out on the other side. I have experienced situations in which I was very discouraged for a season. On occasion, I have had to get on my knees during the night to cry out to God for encouragement. After asking Him for a change in attitude and help in laying down my burden, I have been able to get back to sleep.
In order to gain victory, we must first look within ourselves. We need to admit our specific discouragement as well as the unresolved conflicts in our heart. Identifying the root cause of our disheartened feelings allows us to work through them. Most importantly, we must turn to God. As long as we are talking about our hurt, suffering, embarrassment, or shattered dreams, we will wallow in despair. But the moment we lift our heads and say “Father,” we take our first step out of discouragement.