When You Feel Discouraged

Lately, I have had lots of conversations with people, especially men, who are at a point in their lives where they feel depleted mentally, physically, and spiritually. These difficult times have caused some to lose all hope and, in their estimation, appear to be doomed to a lifetime of misery, disappointment and failure. One person shared how he knows what the Word of God says about what he needs to be doing (and saying), but, “I have to keep things real and am telling you Audwin, I am in a very, very dark place.” It is extremely hurtful to see a strong brother and friend devoid of strength and without any “fight” left in him.

Have you ever been so low where you literally thought God was not there; that He turned His back or had given up on you? Perhaps, you are in this low place now. You have a family to provide for and are out of work. You’ve exhausted every avenue and means at your disposal to find employment (sent countless resumes, filled out applications everywhere – even for positions where you are clearly overqualified, attended networking events and conferences, talked to countless people), and the phone is still not ringing. Maybe you have a job and the stress and the pressure is so great, you are considering walking away even in this grim market. Perchance you are headed into foreclosure or have a notice of eviction on your door; have had or are close to having your car(s) repossessed; have a sick or gravely ill relative(s) or you are physically ill; have accusations being hurled at you (some possibly warranted and others not)? Maybe you are going through one of these scenarios or some combination simultaneously and you pray, cry, scream and surrender all of who you are to God, only to have your prayers seemingly go unanswered; you cannot hear His voice or you cannot get a response then you find yourself sinking to a place where you cannot and do not want to pray. It’s even difficult to listen to people as they try and encourage you with the Word of God. You just do not want to hear it!

You share the urgency and severity of your situation with a few family members and/or friends, especially those you know to be faith-filled Christians (some with the means to help you – at least financially), only to have them turn a deaf ear on your cry for help or they simply act as if they are completely oblivious to the fact that you are hurting, depressed and, in the worst case, having thoughts of ending it all.

I want to express to you, I have been there! I personally know what it is like and fully understand where you are. For those who want to thumb your noses, you keep living. Being a nonconformist is not easy – striving to genuinely live a life pleasing to God, not being ashamed of your faith, and having principles and morals while living and functioning in a crooked and perverted world where right is wrong; where what is bad is considered good; where neither honesty nor integrity are highly regarded; and where the most idiotic, nonsensical foolishness is esteemed, rewarded and praised. When you hit this low point, you are NOT faithless and you are NOT without hope. God is dealing with you! He is cleansing and purifying your heart by exposing and removing bad habits, wrong thinking, and changing your focus from the things and the cares of this world to a focus and dependency on Him. There is a greater responsibility God has for you and you cannot get to the place where He is taking you by remaining as you are!!!

This low place is where you will learn about yourself and those in your circle. You must remove all pride and egotism and be entirely open and honest with God and with yourself (at this point, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain)! You will also need to utterly renounce and repent of sin (in your life) and let some things and some people go. This is about you and God’s purpose for your life! He uses times like these to show you the error of your ways revealing how you were walking in idolatry (although you may not have recognized it); how there was no difference in your character and behavior as someone who claims love Yeshua (Jesus) versus those who are in the world (who are NOT living for or acknowledging Him); how you lost sight of your purpose and have been sucked in to conforming to the world’s way of existing (borrowing – not lending; pursuing dreams, aspirations, titles, status, materialism, covetousness, etc., and NOT being relentless in pursuing intimacy with Him and genuine in your love and care for the lost). He will also use this time to reveal His plan and purpose for your life as you take your eyes off of your situation. Change your perspective. Figure out what God is doing in each and every circumstance. Be open to His correction and obedient to His instruction. Find at least 1 Spirit-filled person who you can talk to openly and pray with regularly. If you do not have anyone, contact me and I will walk with you. We need each other and can accomplish more together.

Read the book of Job, Psalm 42, Ephesians 6:12-14, Romans 12:1-2, Matthew 16:24-25, Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Chronicles 7:14-15.