The Danger of Discouragement

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog. Busy and stressful are the two best descriptive words for the last couple of years. We’re living in interesting times, and sometimes the world is a little overwhelming. The stress and pressure are at high levels for many, including moi, and it’s easy to let despair takeover.

I can recall times during the last fourteen years wanting to give up because the road I travel is full of potholes and drop-offs—the latter can cause life to careen out of control, and it has.

In 2022, I’ve filled more than one bucket of tears. Disappointments are numerous and ongoing, and they bring along a difficult companion:  discouragement. I’m certain I am not the only one who has dealt with this.

Sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning and face another day. It’s hard coming home to an empty house after losing a loved one. It’s hard to keep trying to pass an exam after a failure, though you studied many hours per day prepping for it. It’s hard watching most of what you worked hard for slipping away after you’ve exhausted all means to hold on to it. It is also hard to believe that after multiple failures that somehow things will work out for the best.

I remember listening to a sermon almost forty years ago on the danger of discouragement, and I can clearly remember the pastor saying, “When you make a decision while you’re discouraged, it’s almost always the wrong decision.” I have so many examples I could give where I’ve done that during my life, even recently when I’m supposed to be old enough to know better. 

Discouragement is no respecter of age. Young, middle-aged, old, no one is immune.

My mama used to say, “This too shall pass.” Hard to remember those words of wisdom when your life appears to be imploding. Sometimes the load is heavy, and the strength reserves are depleted. Sometimes you’re hit from multiple directions, and there are multiple paths to take to solving a problem. Discouragement clouds thinking, and it can lead to hopelessness, which is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced.

My mama also used to say something else, particularly when things weren’t going well, “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.” In those situations, be careful of discouragement. Pray and take one day at a time. And do not ever think of giving up!  

© Dee Hardy | Encouraging the Discouraged, 2022. All rights reserved.