James clearly states that in life trouble WILL come our way (James 1:2). As believers, we will be opposed by the enemy, by the world. In fact, “life” itself can be very, very difficult.
It is easy to fall prey to doubt, fear, and unbelief. If we aren’t careful, we can begin to complain, whine, and blame others for our troubles. If we look at our “troubles” through the proper lens, they can become an opportunity and not just a trouble with no end.
James goes on to say that JOY is something that comes from the inside out, not from our outer circumstances. Our circumstances will constantly change, but joy can remain whether life is good or difficult.
The enemy is after your joy. If he can snatch your joy, he can zapyour strength.
We can all become discouraged in life. Look at these examples taken from the word of God where people of God became discouraged:
- Rachel was discouraged because she could have no children. “Give me children, or else I die!” she said. (Genesis 30:1)
- Elijah came to a point in his life where he wanted to die. (I Kings 19)
- Job said, “I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. My bitter soul must complain … What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while smiling on the schemes of the wicked?” (Job 10:1,3)
- David was about to be stoned by his own people and he was also constantly being chased by his enemies. He was at a very low point. (I Samuel 30:6)
It’s wonderful when we are surrounded by church friends, family, and others God sends our way to encourage us. But there are times when nothing anyone can say can help. There are times when encouragement doesn’t come from the mouth of others.
But, there are times when no one will come close to understanding all that you are going through.
We must come to the absolute point of desperation where we run to our prayer closet, fall on our face before God, and cry out to him for help!
We must pray, we must fast, and we must completely give ourselves to His word. We must trust. We must believe. We must be at a place where we know that God sees all, knows all, and is sovereign. We must know that He loves us, cares for us, and will provide for us.
Have you been at a place of discouragement?
Take heart, others in God’s word have been where you are.
Today, “encourage yourself in the Lord.” He is God Almighty and He loves you.