How do you handle discouragement? Our friend, Fran, is facing some discouraging times right now, and Jesus is trying to help her see how she can defeat that discouragement in her life.
The kids are finally in bed and Fran is having a conversation with Jesus about being discouraged. As she thinks about this further, she recognizes that discouragement is also one of the devil’s most effective weapons against believers. “I see lots of believers who never seem to have victory over discouragement, Lord,” she continues her conversation with Jesus, “and I wonder why not? When does discouragement become sinful?”
She thinks about all the bad things that have happened to her lately, and the discouraging feelings start to come over her again. “You know, Lord, it’s only human to be discouraged when all these things happen, which are beyond my control. I mean, I didn’t cause any of them and I don’t seem to be able to change any of them.”
As Fran thinks about all this, the phone rings and it’s her friend, Louise. “Oh, Louise, I’m just so discouraged,” she says to her. “Did you hear I lost that account I’ve been working on; after all that work they went to the competition.” She pauses. “Oh, sure, there are more fish in the sea, but tell me where,” she replies to Louise in a rather sarcastic tone.
“And besides that, Drew is having problems at school,” she says. “And I got my second notice of an overdue bill from the dentist today. I don’t have the money to pay that bill this month. And to top it off, Debbie called to say she wouldn’t be able to help me with children’s church this year. I don’t know, Louise, nothing’s going right for me.”
She spends a few more minutes complaining to Louise, then hangs up. “Well, you sure unloaded on her,” she hears that inner voice saying to her.
“Well, that’s what friends are for, right?” Fran replies. “I’ve got to tell somebody.”
But as soon as she says it, her heart is convicted. “Why did I unload on Louise like that? She called to have a nice conversation with me—in fact, I don’t really know why she called. I didn’t give her a chance to say. I just dumped my discouragement on her and probably succeeded in discouraging her, too.”
Fran feels so badly about the way she complained to Louise. “Lord,” she says, “you are my wonderful counselor, my friend, and I should go to you with my discouragement, not to poor Louise.” She remembers the passage from Psalm 142, which says,
“I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble” (Psalm 142:2).
If you’re discouraged today, tell Jesus; nobody else, just Jesus. He can handle it, and he can help.