Have you ever begun a project knowing that it was the right thing to do but everything seems to be working against you? Without even realizing it, discouragement overtakes you and what appears to be a good idea has now been put on the back burner. Maybe the discouragement came in the form of criticism by a loved one or in the form of diminished enthusiasm from co-workers or in the form of last-minute emergencies that consume excessive amounts of time. Regardless of the source of discouragement, it is there and the once great project is no longer getting any of your attention.
There is a story in the Old Testament about a group of people who tried to rebuild the Temple after it was destroyed but got discouraged (book of Haggai). Several governmental officials went out of their way to prevent the rebuilding from happening and slow the efforts of the workers. The workers in turn got distracted with building their own houses, planting crops and tending to the day-to-day responsibilities. The irony is that the more distracted they became, the less productive they were and consequently the less satisfied they felt. God’s solution to the problem is outlined in the following steps.
Be Strong. Even if others get in the way of what God has put into your heart, stay strong in your conviction. Make sure that your conviction is from God first, but once you have the assurance, rest in it and don’t allow others to steal your joy.
Get to Work. Re-prioritize your life and put the most important things at the top of your list. For instance, if God is first then how much of your daily time is dedicated to Him? If your family is second, how much of your time is dedicated to them? Work on your priorities in the order you have them, then if there is time left over you can do the extras.
God is with you. Even when things do not go as planned or when things seem to be bleak, God is there. He does not put ideas on our hearts without giving us the means to carry them out. How do you know if an idea is from God? Test it. It will be consistent with His word and consistent with the advice of Godly people.
He keeps His promises. Take a moment to remember how God has kept His promises to you in the past or to others around you. Be thankful for what He has already done and patient in waiting for His timing for the future.
Don’t be afraid. Fear is one of our greatest enemies and can paralyze even the strongest of Christians. We are not called to be a people of fear but rather a people of strength. There are many Christians who have accomplished much for God, look at their lives for motivation and keep moving forward.
Discouragement can creep up in our lives without notice and can prevent us from doing what we know is the right course of action. Once you recognize the discouragement, the steps above can help you to overcome it and return back to the work you have neglected. The satisfaction of completing the project despite the discouragement will become a memorable event for you to recall one day.
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