Overcoming discouragement

Against all hope

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed” Romans 4:18

The past few months have been one of the most challenging times of my life. I have been at worse places and in more hopeless situations, but this time it was challenging my faith and my trust in God. After a few mountaintop experiences, where I thought I heard God’s voice clearly, where I felt empowered and so reassured He was with me, night fell.

At night, when discouragement and fear are screaming at you, it is hard to discern God’s soft whisper. Every single day I had to choose to go forward despite not being sure anymore I really had heard from God. I had to learn not to give up despite fears and anxieties flooding my thoughts. I had to learn to believe the Scriptures more than what I thought the voice of reason was telling me (now I believe it was the enemy).

Faith in times of darkness

I am a firm believer that faith matters most when we have no reason to believe. When it seems God has abandoned and left us to our own devices. When we actually cannot see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.

What is the purpose of having faith when we feel the wind blowing in our sails? When we see the sun shining on us, and we find goodness and blessings along our way? Can we actually speak of “faith” in those seasons?

Isn’t rather that faith when we “against all hope, in hope believe”? When the tide is against us, when darkness surrounds us, when we experience setback after setback and prolonged seasons of frustration, and it seems even God has forgotten about us – is it not then that we are presented with the choice of faith or unbelief?

Faith is directed towards the Kingdom of God

I am not talking about the “I decree and declare” kind of faith. God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ, but remember: He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

Faith goes beyond the here and now, beyond material and earthly blessings. (I find it interesting that most “decree and declare” prayers I hear are around physical blessings. Hardly ever have I heard anyone decree and declare a deeper understanding of the Word of God, or getting a broken heart for the lost.)

Faith is walking in the will of God, cooperating with Him build His kingdom here on earth, although it may be hard and painful.

Faith is being obedient even when God’s will goes against our own and even when we don’t hear from Him anymore.

Faith is embracing the stigma of looking like a fool, when those supposed to walk alongside you turn their back on you.

Faith is pouring our fears and anxieties out before Him and then, instead of dwelling on them, arising and going back to do His work.

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