Fight Discouragement With Peace
Everyone gets discouraged at some point in their lives. Many go through long seasons of discouragement following periods of great loss. Whether it is a person, circumstance or just melancholy temperament, God wants us to fight back against discouragement.
In Exodus 6, Moses is trying to instill hope in the then-captive Hebrew people. After years of hard labor under the rule of the Egyptians, the Hebrews were understandably downhearted.
Verses 7-8 describe the promises Moses related to the people from God, "I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord."
What an incredible promise. If there was ever any reason to be happy, wasn't this promise from God it?
But in the next verse, it says "Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor."
Even though their discouragement precluded a proper response to God's promises, God immediately sent Moses to speak with Pharaoh.
The message for us is a positive one. Even at those times when our discouragement keeps us from properly responding to God's encouragement, He goes right on with His plan to save us. The answer to our problems isn't dependent on our own abilities. If we call out to God, He will follow through on a plan that is better than what we could even imagine.
Hope brings peace in the storm. If we are sure that we will make it through the storm, there is no reason for anxiety. When I was traveling to a conference several years ago, turbulence kept buffeting the plane. It felt like the pockets of air kept disappearing below the plane and we would fall several hundred feet. The, we would ride along a short distance before this was repeated.
Eventually, I cried out to God in my mind as anxiety was rising up to me. His gentle Spirit had the perfect calming Words. God intended for me to speak at this conference. Therefore, I would get there and I would speak. Suddenly, I was completely calm. This confident hope releived my anxiety and brought calm.
Prayer: God, show us just how faithful you are in spite of our weaknesses. Overcome our temporary discouragements with your deliverance. Grant us peace as we calmly wait for your answers. Strengthen our faith and trust in you. Amen.