Pursuing Encouragement Through Scripture

Psalm 119During a season of discouragement, I can’t convince myself that it’s going to end. Current discouragement always seems permanent. When discouraged, Scripture often frustrates me. I understand little to nothing and struggle with wandering thoughts. So, I just go through the motions and do my best to fight through wondering, “What’s the point? Why bother?”

When I’m discouraged and feel like reading God’s word is pointless, I must remember that my feelings often inaccurately gage the impact of God’s word on my inner self. I must force my vision outside of my feelings and remember that all previous seasons of discouragement eventually ended, which means this one will too.

Never has consistently meditating (reflecting) on Scripture failed to significantly aid my struggle through discouragement. Though the process seems minutely gradual at times, that’s how progress journeys to visible growth. Perseverance is essential to spiritual growth in the struggle through discouragement.

While I cannot feel the progress during this current season of discouragement, I can replay the memories of moving through and out of previous ones. In doing so, I come to know the truth currently at play even though feelings fail to confirm its activity.

While there are many others, three portions in particular showcase why Scripture encourages me.

Encouaragement

God doesn’t just suggest encouragement, he actually commands it. What’s more, he gives us reasons to find that encouragement along with sources for making that happen. Scripture reminds believers that God’s promises continual support for his people, particularly when they become weary, depressed or disillusioned. And the encouragement it offers comes through a focus on God, not on ourselves or our problems.

For me, that focus consistently involves allowing Scripture to:

  • Shape my perspective
  • Give me boundaries
  • Keep me thankful
  • Guide my every step
  • Renew my hope

The most poignant times of discouragement in my life came clouded with depression and despair because of the absence of God’s Word in my habits and routines. Yet every time, God drew me back and drew me in. The seasons eventually ended, and I understood their role in my growth. Because he’s done this so many times before in my life, and because His Word promises He’s always with me, I know he’ll bring me through this season too.

DISCUSSION: How does God’s Word encourage you?

10 thoughts on “Pursuing Encouragement Through Scripture

  1. Working on a current study on Christian leadership traits, which should be the goal of all believers. A pertinent verse from 1 Tim 1:8-9 declares in so many words: The Law (Torah) offers precious instruction when we properly make the most of what it offers for our circumstances in life. The Law (Torah) exists to identify the righteous and set the boundaries of God pleasing actions and attitudes that define lawless, rebellious, ungodly, sinful life choices.

    When we feel depressed and frustrated as we read the Bible and feel our conscience struggling to meditate as we should, I recommend remembering also Paul in verse 2 shared why he had confidence in Timothy as a worthy leader: Paul declared he had a genuine or authentic relationship with God anchored by faith that revealed God the Father's gift of grace, mercy and peace (inner harmony). (Sometimes we need others to affirm what we feel we have not yet accomplished, which is the source of our feelings of depression.)

    Remember verses 5-6 also says the goal of the instruction found in God's Word is love flowing from a pure, clean heart; a clear conscience identified by upright, kind and generous attitudes and actions, and a vibrant sincere, genuine faith. It does not say perfect to be approved by God, but infers the goal of love means we remain fervently on the path that Jesus had demonstrated we must follow. Otherwise, we will be like so many others who have gotten hung up in fruitless discussions and disputes and missed the mark (purpose) of the journey.

    Guess what I would recommend to anyone in a period of doubt and despair is this: It is not up to us to determine if we are grasping all we should as we walk daily in God's Word. God alone knows our heart. Others around us will testify to what God has done in us. We only feel depressed when we stand as our own judge and we condemn ourselves.

    For what it is worth, this brother in Christ says you are far too hard on yourself.

    • Yes, I probably am too hard on myself. So thankful for God's grace and mercy and the love he declares in his word and through his people. Good word today, Coach. Thanks.

  2. There are times, like you have said, when discouragement seems to overwhelm me. It is usually related to the church or someone in the church family who walks away. I rely on God's Word to "shore me up" and remind me it was their choice to do so. I realize I need to make sure my heart is in the right place if I want to overcome the disappointment. His Word helps that happen.

    • Such a good point, Bill. We are ultimately only responsible for ourselves. We are to encourage others to be sure, but they make their own choices. Our best testimony is to secure the choices we make in the truth of his word.

  3. I believe the seasons impact me greatly. Also things that have occurred in October can take me into sadness, but also encouragement as I remember how God brought me through. I love Philippians as a source of encouragement. Indeed taking time with God each morning, whether I feel like it or not makes all the difference in the world. Satan knows our weakness and we must believe the TRUTH and not the lies. God Bless you!

  4. Kari,
    To choose to do that which you know is needed and then do it in the face of discouragement is both courageous and admirable. So many important choices we make need to be made without letting our feelings play into them. Often the choice is "what am I going to do right now" How we answer that often determines what comes after. The promise God makes us is if we make the choice to cling to him then we will prosper. We may not even recognize that prospering sometimes.
    I know you do the tough stuff Kari and I admire that about you. Keep it up!!

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