If you serve in ministry long enough, you will deal with discouragement. It is not something that we like to talk about often, but it is a reality. All ministry pastors, staff members, leaders, board members, volunteers, etc. all face discouragement.
1st Peter 5:8 tells us, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I believe that one of the ways the enemy does this is through discouragement. We face countless obstacles, trials, conflicts and troubles on a regular basis. It is in the midst of these struggles that we face major discouragement. In the midst of these obstacles, trials, conflicts and troubles; the enemy begins to discourage us. He puts thoughts of serious discouragement into our heads. If we are honest, we would confess that sometimes we begin to believe the lies that he puts into our heads. When we start believing these lies, then we experience sleepless nights, restlessness, anger, tears and frustration.
Discouragement is a major issue facing people in the church today. The church has dealt with this issue for thousands of years. Paul wrote often about trials that we face and we know that trials equal discouragement. So what do we do when discouragement hits us? Do we just roll over and die in the midst of the discouragement? Or do we fight back! I
believe that we don’t just have to take the discouragement. I believe that there are certain things we can do in our lives to keep us strong until the discouragement passes.
Here are 5 practical things you can do in ministry when you face discouragement….
1.) Pray – Simply get alone with the Lord and tell Him what you are facing. But be certain during your prayer time that you also allow God to speak over you. So many times we do not take the time to let God encourage us and speak life over us. Spend time with God letting Him encourage you. Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
2.) Remember Past Miracles – When we are facing troubles, trials, obstacles and conflicts, we often forget everything in the past that God has brought us through. Sit down and write a list of past miracles that God has overcome in your past. It is in this time that you remember how great God is. Psalm 105:5 – Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles…
3.) Rest – Sometimes we feel like that we must fix the problems right now and then we can overcome the discouragement. This is not always the case. In reality we are most likely overworked as it is. We need to take the time to rest and relax. It is through this time that our minds and our hearts are renewed and regenerated. Exodus 20:8 – Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
4.) Remember that Problems are Temporary – Everything that we face in life is temporary. Everything that we face in life has a season. All seasons come to an end and go away. We must remember that anything that we are facing will soon pass. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
5.) Speak with a Friend / Mentor – So many times we carry our troubles, conflicts, problems and trials by ourselves. However simply sharing with someone your struggles can go a long way. Take the time to share and let the person you are speaking with bring you encouragement. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
– By Kevin McDonald