What To Do When You Are Discouraged
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
Have you ever had one of those days when you were tired and discouraged? It can happen to anybody–times when you felt like quitting!
Some people never recover from those low times and sometimes make decisions that destroy their futures. While nothing lasts forever, including difficulty, there are some things you can do to get back on top when you’re tired and discouraged and feel like quitting.
First–remember the prophet Elijah, for his life tells us that even spiritual giants can get tired and discouraged and, at times, do not feel very well. The Bible tells us of Elijah’s bout with the blues in 1 Kings 19. May I refresh your memory? Scripture records Elijah’s battle with 450 prophets of Baal. He stood alone–a bulwark of courage and faith. Fire fell from heaven and vindicated the faith of that mighty man of old. However, the next day Elijah did not make a very good show, for he was physically tired, and his weariness gave way to discouragement. In fact, he couldn’t even handle one woman–a godless queen by the name of Jezebel. Confronted by her, the prophet ran for his life and told God he was ready to quit.
The life of Elijah tells us that there is a relationship between the physical, the spiritual and the emotional in your life. When Elijah became tired and discouraged, he forgot some pretty important things–just as you may have done. He forgot how God had met him in bygone days, how God sent ravens to feed him at Cherith; how God sent him to Zarephath where he miraculously brought the widow’s son back to life. He forgot how God consumed the false prophets with fire. And it is just possible that you have forgotten some pretty important answers to prayer in your life.
When Elijah was tired and discouraged, he ran just as far as he could run and then crawled into a cave. There God found him and the fireworks started. First came a wind, then an earthquake, a lightning flashed across the sky, and finally the small voice of God asking, “Elijah, what are you doing?” So the next time you feel like crawling into a cave of gloom, listen for God’s voice saying, “What are you doing here?”
Second–when you are tired and discouraged and feel like quitting, remember Jonah, who had the bout with the great fish. Remember Jonah, for his life tells us that real happiness can be found only by doing the will of God.
There are lots of Jonahs today who walk the streets of every large city in the world–men and women to whom God says, “Give me your heart,” but they turn and run as far as they can go. Their lives are filled with such things as games, songs, cars, electronic gadgets, and on and on. They are like the captain of a ship who turned to the navigator and said, “Where are we headed?” The reply came back, “I do not know, sir, but we are making very good time.”
Perhaps you are one of those who are making very good time going nowhere. Jonah’s life tells us that real happiness comes by doing the will of God. God’s promise is sure, “But they that wait upon the Lord…shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV). Finally, don’t despair when you are tired and discouraged and feel like quitting. We all feel like that at times. David found the answer: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). This is the answer when you are tired and discouraged and you feel like quitting.
Resource reading: 1 Kings 18:1 – 19:21