“Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”Joshua 1:9 MSG
The Gift of Imagination
Starting something new sparks imagination. Imagination is a gift from our Father. As the Creator of the world, He was the first imaginer! With our imagination, we can plant the seed of an idea and create a massive harvest when we apply effort.
But with our imagination, worry can grow from tiny seeds of fear. An idea brewed in my head. All I needed to do was to start.
My imagination seemed endless as I researched ideas. The possibility of success was exciting! It would take hard work, but I felt confident God would help me.
Then, wham! Out of nowhere, a question came to which I did not have an answer. A tiny little seed festered doubt at the heart of my dream. My imagination, once helpful and hopeful, became a traitor to my passion and ate away at the positive possibilities with ferocity. Within half an hour, I wanted to quit. It could cost thousands of dollars to find the answer to the question. Discouragement talked me out of the dream God had laid on my heart.
Have you ever walked through a similar situation? Your idea seemed grand and imagination was on your side until one problem poked a pinhole into the balloon of your dream. Perhaps you had a plan, but something out of your control derailed you and left you feeling overwhelmed and confused. Deflation of expectation seems crushing, doesn’t it? Sometimes I just want to scream at the world to get its act together so we can get on with dreaming and moving forward again!
Moments of Discouragement
God knew we would face moments of discouragement. John 16:33 (AMP) says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world. [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]” He knew discouragement would come, but He made a plan for us to succeed. It’s exciting to realize that God desires our success more than we do! He wants us assured that His victory (and therefore ours) will abide!
How do we demolish those feelings of overwhelm and discouragement when they come? God’s Word is full of ideas we can walk out to help win the battle of discouragement.
5 Ways to Win the Battle of Discouragement
One idea is speaking only what God says about the situation, promise, or dream. The enemy will always want seeds of disbelief to grow. To combat this, we must plant hope if we want a hope-filled harvest. Countless verses in His Word address courage, overcoming fear, having faith, and walking in peace. He loaded His Word with promises and assured us they will succeed.
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting His Yes within us. By His Spirit He has stamped us with His eternal pledge – a sure beginning of what He is destined to complete.”2 Corinthians 1:20, MSG
“God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that He won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.”Philippians 1:6, CEV
Second, we need to use a little self-control. God created us with a powerful mind. We must control the thoughts we allow to run through it. Don’t let negative emotions and thoughts run wild. Harness those, cast your cares on Him, and focus on thinking and speaking the Word! Philippians 4:8 tells us that “whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of a good report, think on those things” (KJV). That is a long list of things on which to focus our imaginations!
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”2 Timothy 1:7, AMP
Another way to demolish those feelings of overwhelm and discouragement is to think about other times when God answered prayer. Summon those memories! Recall times when God has come through for you. Revelations 12:11 tells us we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Thinking on His faithfulness chucks those negative seeds out of the fertile ground of our heart so they cannot take root.
Psalms 34:17 says, “When the righteous cry [for help], the Lord hears and rescues them from all their distress and troubles” (AMP). Do you know what all means? I heard conference speaker Linda Silverman say, “All means all, and that’s all that all means!” All leaves nothing out! God is ready to rescue you.
The fourth way to win the battle of discouragement is to be your own source of encouragement! When things weren’t looking great for King David, 1 Samuel 30:6 says that he encouraged himself in the Lord. The Hebrew word for encouraged means “to grow strong, be courageous, be resolute” (H2388, n.d.). Psalms 139:14 says, “I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (AMP). You are a work of God. Make no mistake, He created you with His perfect skill in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). That makes you awesome!
It is not God’s plan for you to be a failure. The admonishment in Proverbs 16:3 is, “Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], and your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]” (AMP). When things seem overwhelming, go back to what He says about you. Gain strength recognizing that doing His will ends with your success.
Last on my list of how to demolish feelings of overwhelm and discouragement is to sing. You don’t have to be an amazing vocalist to sing! God loves it when we sing about His love, greatness, or what wonderful things He can do. He is more interested in the lyric than the talent. Pastor Bryan Matthews said that we can sing things we aren’t comfortable saying. Turn up the music, sing out the Word, and drown out the doubts. By singing along with uplifting worship, your praise becomes a powerful weapon!
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.”Psalms 100:1-5, KJV
Win the Battle of Discouragement
In the beginning, God didn’t stop until the work of creation was over. Jesus didn’t give up His spirit until He finished His work on the cross. As we follow these examples from the Word, we can keep working on what He has called us to do until we finish with success.
There are more than five ways to win the battle of discouragement. The Word of God is full of stories about people just like us who faced impossible, frustrating, and overwhelming situations. But just as God came through for them, He will come through for you. Don’t give up. Be strong! Be courageous! Demolish the feelings of overwhelm and discouragement as you discover God’s devotion to your dreams!
“But as for you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”2 Chronicles 15:7, AMP
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting-for He will never disappoint you!”Psalms 27:14, TPT
H2388 – chazaq – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV). (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2020, from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2388
Free Printable: Scripture Cards to Build Your Faith!
Enjoy this free set of printable Courage Scripture Cards featuring encouraging passages to build your faith as you believe. These cards are 4×6, perfect for placing around the house, using as an encouraging bookmark, or framing! The cards display a total of 25 verses that are personal favorites of this author and her social media followers.
Just click on the card or link and these printable Bible verses will open as a PDF in a new tab. Print any or all of them!
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Today’s Must-Read Recommendation:
This Season of Hope: 5-Minute Messages to Recapture the Life You were Designed to Live
Get Paula A. Lambert’s 31-Day devotional, This Season of Hope for more ways to win the battle of discouragement every day.
You’ll find her books as well as books and journals by other authors online at Integrity Publishing. (Purchases also available directly through Amazon.)
I also created a handy little info-graphic that you are welcome to save or pin.
It’s an at-a-glance reminder of the 5 ways to battle feelings of being overwhelmed or discouraged. I hope it will be a blessing!