How to Deal with Discouragement

Do you ever get discouraged?

Do you ever get discouraged in your faith?

Do you ever get discouraged with the church?

Do you ever get discouraged with your ability to obey Jesus consistently?

Do you ever get discouraged with the world?


We all do at times.

I do at times.

So, how do we handle it?

Well, here’s what I do.

I am learning to abide in Christ.

Rather than obsess over the sources of my discouragement, I am finding joy in being with the Lord. I do this by reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying throughout the day and naming what I am feeling in the moment, listening to music that encourages me, going for walks and either praying as I walk or listening to Scripture or devotional podcasts, driving in silence and tuning into the Spirit, and finding other times to “be still and know that I am God.”

I have a choice when it comes to what voices I am listening to, and I am consistently choosing to seek God’s voice, heed the Spirit’s power, and find pleasure in simply being “with” the Lord.

I invest in others through discipleship and mentoring.

For years, I have been consistently discipling those who desire a closer walk with Christ and I am mentoring a younger preacher in Uganda. These experiences have been so fulfilling, especially when I see these people bearing the fruit of Christ in and through their lives. Serving others and serving a purpose that is bigger than me replaces my discouragement with encouragement.

I use my gifts, skills, and experiences to help others achieve their goals.

God has given me opportunities to teach, train, and coach people of various backgrounds. I lead fathering workshops, facilitate leadership development programs, conduct corporate trainings, and coach leaders. In each of those settings, I am intentional about being “an instrument of peace” and an “ambassador for Christ.” This has increased my feelings of purpose, significance, and meaning; thus, decreasing my feelings of discouragement.

I limit my time on social media and use it to encourage.

Research shows that spending too much time on social media increases feelings of discouragement. I was experiencing this in my own life, so I began to limit how often I accessed it. When I do post on social media, I post things that are encouraging to others. This has given me a “missional” approach to social media where I see it as a platform to spread the Word of God and the love of Christ.

I let go of the burden to right all the world’s wrongs.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not afraid to take a stand for what is right or to work for the increase of God’s reign and rule. But I no longer feel the “need” to weigh in on every controversy, correct every foolish statement on social media, react to every click-bait media headline, or be drawn into someone else’s unmanaged anxiety.

This is a constant battle because, as a preacher, many people pressure me into joining them in their unhealthy, anxious patterns. But I have gotten much better at refusing to carry this burden by defining myself and trusting God to redeem the world of its sin.

There are many other things that could be added to this list, but these are some of the disciplines that have been most helpful to me in overcoming discouragement.

Yes, we all get discouraged.

But we also have the ability to conquer discouragement.

After all, we serve the One who said this: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

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