Disappointment and discouragement can be incredibly powerful things. You can think through your situation rationally one minute and act and react irrationally the next. Often you may not even realize what you’re doing. Unconsciously driving down a different street in order to avoid that one place where you had so many memories and now something has brought great disappointment. Choosing some social functions and not others, choosing certain seats at church and not others – whether you sinned or you were sinned against or whether it has just been a particularly long or hard providence, we can imagine people staring at as, judging us after losing a job, a wayward child, a broken or difficult marriage, or stepping down from office. They’re all probably just pretending to be nice, we might think to ourselves.
But the command of God is to not become discouraged. Life is hard. It is sometimes heartbreaking. But the Lord instructs us not to become discouraged.
The center of our ability not to become discouraged is recognizing that nothing comes to us except by God’s loving fatherly hand. There is no detail in all of your life that is missed by His eye. He knows our frames. And He gives us exactly what we need for exactly as long as we need it. He is watching the clock more closely than we are; He weighs every hardship more precisely than we ever can.
And so the charge here is to see His hand particularly in the difficulties, especially in the hard things, the disappointments. If God gives us hard things, it is because we need them and nothing else would do. Therefore, our response must not be discouragement. We must not allow the pain of disappointment to rule us. We must submit to God with thanksgiving and joy. And if our assignments seem harder than others, if our trials seem longer than others, our response must be more joy, more gratitude because God is showing us more love. He is good, and He is doing good to us. So you must not be discouraged.
New e-book Death by Baptism available here.