January 19, 2005
The Landmine of Discouragement
Some people suffer the effects of discouragement for months or years. They do not know how to repair the damage caused by this devastating landmine. But how does such a loss of confidence and optimism originate?
Disappointment is our emotional response to a failed expectation. When we allow disappointment to fester by refusing to recognize and deal with failure, we slip into discouragement. Disappointments are inevitable, but believers don't have to be in bondage to discouragement.
We all face troubling times that make us feel weak, and we will continue to have these experiences throughout our life. Discouragement, however, should be temporary. Just as we drive through a tunnel, we can enter moments of discouragement and then come out on the other side. I have experienced situations in which I was very discouraged for a season of time. Occasionally, I have needed to get on my knees during the night to cry out to God for encouragement. After asking Him for a change in attitude and help to lay down my burden, I have been able to fall back to sleep.
In order to gain victory, we must first look within ourselves. We need to admit our specific discouragement and the unresolved conflicts in our heart. Identifying the root cause of our disheartened feelings allows us to work through them. Most importantly, we must turn to God. As long as we are talking about our hurt, our suffering, our embarrassment, or our shattered dreams, we will wallow in despair. But the moment we lift our heads and say "Father," we take our first step out of discouragement.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html