Discouragement is guaranteed. I’m not sure if I’ve ever spoke with someone that has not faced discouragement. Even though we live in one of the wealthiest countries in the history of humanity, we still experience setbacks, opposition, needs, and failures that plunge us into great despair and misery. In fact, I bet every Christian has experienced discouragement within their pursuit of God—I know I have. Our experience of and dwelling in discouragement often yields devastating results.
When we are discouraged in our vocations we work less, expect more, and do so with undesirable countenances. The result? We experience even greater discouragement when we are reprimanded, demoted, or fired. When we experience discouragement within our marriages we complain, attack, and disengage. The result? We experience even greater discouragement when our spouse criticizes, argues, or separates in response to us—this often leads to broken marriages and homes. When we experience discouragement within Christianity because of sin, we tend to reduce our time in the word of God, in prayer, in church, and in various disciplines that promote fellowship with God and His people. The result? Further self-imposed exile and a deeper descent into the bondage of sin.
In short, discouragement is the enemy of vitality. When life overwhelms us—or when we overwhelm ourselves through sin—we veer towards discouragement. Left unchecked, discouragement entices us to engage and respond to our relationships and situations in such a manner as to further sin’s destruction within us. Simply stated, discouragement is no small enemy. How do we fight discouragement? I believe the answer is found in Psalm 103.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
Psalm 103 tells us to heap praises upon the Lord and to remember His great gifts. Why? When we look at what God gives us, we will see our foundation for praising God (FYI: God is worthy of praise just because He is God; however, when we personally experience God, this affirms to us as to why we praise God). We heap praises, adorations, and thanksgivings upon the Lord because He has: 1) Forgiven us all our sin; 2) Healed us from the disease of sin; 3) Purchased us back from sin’s claim on us; 4) Lavishly extends love and mercy to us; 5) Satisfies our soul; & 6) Renews our strength to live in a manner that honors Him. In short, God fights against all the things that discourage us. We are freed from His wrath. We are freed from sin’s claim that we experience eternal punishment. We are freed from the cancer of sin. We are freed from a futile life. We are freed from a weak life. And we are freed to enjoy the love and mercy of God.
This is why we bless the Lord! We praise God because God grants us victory over ALL discouragement. It is in God that we hope and experience the fullness of joy because He has overcome sin and death!
With the reality that God overcomes our discouragement, let’s ask ourselves a few questions this morning.
I hope this finds you well and enjoying the presence of God. I love you and look forward to our time worshiping God together. Have a wonderful week!