Summary: Dealing with problem of discouragment.
How to Encourage People Who are Facing Discouragement
6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it."
We live in a world filled with discouraging situations, discouraging financial news and discouraged people. Without question, the number one way reason that Christians do not ascend to the highest level of spiritual maturity is discouragement. After, 9/11, 70% of the people in American admit to feeling fearful, apprehensive or discouraged about life. People who are discouraged generally lack confidence, enthusiasm or the conviction to do what is best. Today, many people are easily dissuaded, deterred or detoured from the path God wants them to be on. When people feel disenchanted they are less likely to love, to give or to serve, as they should. Many people get sick and miss work because they feel discouraged. Millions are depressed and need medication for their bouts with depression. More Christians are disengaged from Christian fellowships today because they have somehow given in to feelings of discouragement or have internalized their setbacks and say, "What is the use". The following are a few principles that can be distilled from God's encouraging message to Zerubbabel.
1. He is our power source: The Lord will work through us, not by human, but by His supernatural Spirit's power. God will carry out His work through us by the power of the Holy Spirit who helps us do everything God asks us to do. Stop relying on your own feelings, friends or insights to come up with solutions to your problems. Try spending at least ten minutes every morning getting your power from God's word before you head out the door. Stop trying to fight the battles with your own strength. The battle is the Lord and He will give the victory over your fear, hurt, or feelings of discouragement. Jesus said, "All power and authority has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Praise God for His power in you to help you not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with the goodness given to you by the fruits of the Spirit. Many Christians live defeated lives because they are like a missionary I read about:
ILL - In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.
After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson's astonishment, the engine roared to life.
For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
2. He is our pilot: The Lord wants to direct, guide and lead us in the ways out of the clouds of discouragements. The Lord told Joshua:
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Josh. 1:7-9)
Do not think you have to pilot your way to your destination as the Lord wants to navigate your through all kinds of troubled waters. God told Jeremiah, "I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for harm, to give you a future and a hope." Look to the Lord's Spirit continuously to guide you with the still small voice of calm.