It is hard to remain strong when one is discouraged. And discouragement is one of the nastiest tools the devil has at his disposal. If he can discourage a Christian, he can keep him from doing the will of God. Discouragement creates a type of spiritual paralysis within the heart that keeps a Christian inactive before the Lord. It then becomes a question of how do we keep ourselves strong in the Lord when the devil is working so hard against us? Let’s look at some suggestions.
Listen to the word of God
The word of God tells us He will always be there for us (Hebrews 13:5-6) So, the best way to overcome any adversity in life is to go to God’s word. Contained within is all the instructions we will ever need to fight the good fight of faith and rise victoriously. In the eighteenth chapter of the book of Luke we read, “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Jesus then tells the parable about the “Persistent Widow”. The judge in the parable did not fear God nor regard man. But, because of the widow’s persistence, he finally gave in and gave her the justice that she craved. What we must understand is that the judge is by no means a comparison to our heavenly Father, but rather he serves as a direct contrast to Him.
When we read in the word of God about our heavenly Father, we find that He is very much in tune with our needs. Matthew 6:8 tells us that God knows our needs even before we ask. Matthew 7:7-11 reminds us that human fathers know how to give good gifts to their children. The question is then raised, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11).
Cast your anxiety (cares, worries) on God
Peter wrote, “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). When we are faced with adversity, it is easy to forget the strength and comfort we find in the Lord. Too often we wait until the world is in shambles before we remember the great love God has for us. Too often, we forget to approach Him in prayer.
Some may contend that worry is simply part of life. They may even call the burdens that weigh heavily upon their minds “legitimate concerns”. But whatever a person may call them, they are not healthy for productive Christian living. Therefore, we must always remember to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. If we do so, all these other concerns will be taken care of (Matthew 6:25-34).
It may sound strange, but thankfulness before God goes a long way in keeping us strong in the faith. All can remember struggles of the past that they thought they would never make it through. Yet, it happened. The struggles were overcome because one’s faith was grounded in the Lord. The key was looking to Him in prayer and remaining steadfast.
Therefore, we look to the current obstacles in our path and face them with newfound confidence knowing that our God is still with us. This was exactly what David did before facing Goliath. He remembered God’s deliverance from the lion and the bear. Then he looked at the Philistine and boldly stated that he would be defeated like one of them. The next time you are faced with adversity and discouragement, remember the great power of prayer. When we bow our heads in prayer, the line of communication between our hearts and our heavenly Father is open. He hears us and will answer speedily (Luke 18:8).