No-one gets by without having to deal with discouragement. We have dreams and desires, often planted in our hearts by God, but the process of praying for them to come to pass can be painful.
Desire, by definition, produces a hankering after fulfilment. We hunger for accomplishment and long for manifestation. That’s all very exciting when we see the outcome quickly. However, if you are anything like me, you may feel that you have faced your fair share of delays and disappointments.
Proverbs 13:12 in the Message Bible says: “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick.” Sometimes a final straw seems to break the proverbial camel’s back. One last letdown may have knocked your confidence. Perhaps a devastating delay has choked your hope. You’re left downbeat and disheartened.
You might not think that discouragement is a serious problem. However, countless destinies have doubtless drowned in the sea of dismay. If we look at two Bible definitions, it may help us to understand why…
One Hebrew word for discourage is rapa. It means to weaken, to forsake, to let go and to slacken. Discouragement weakens our resolve and can even cause us to forsake our dreams. Another Hebrew word is masas which means to faint, to melt, to dissolve, to waste away.
Discouragement is dangerous. It can cause us to give up on our goals and quit our fight for fulfilment. If the enemy can keep you down and disheartened, defeat is almost inevitable.
Across the pond
I knew for many years that my books needed be distributed in America. But as an English lady with a predominantly English ministry, I couldn’t see how this was possible. Year after year, one of my goals was to secure a US publisher. I would start strong in faith in January, however as October, November and then December drew near, my heart would begin the slippery slope to discouragement.
I had tried everything to get my books in front of Whitaker House – the publishing company I knew was right for me. Yet every time I knocked, there was a deafening silence on the other side of the door. Still, something inside refused to let go of my dream. I kept believing even when I wanted to give up. I would go back to God’s promises and remind myself that He is able and He is faithful.
During 2014, our church hosted Apostle Guillermo Maldonado from Miami, Florida. As the days drew near for us to welcome him, we received a list of the guests Maldonado would be bringing to England. It just so happened that the CEO of Whittaker House, Bob Whitaker, decided to join Maldnado on this one trip! As he stepped into Harvest Church London, he reached out his hand to me with a warm smile and said, “Hi, I’m Bob, we need to talk about your books.” The rest, as they say, is history.
God used a spare rib to create a perfect woman. He used a wooden stick to part a powerful sea. He made water flow from a rock and sent ravens to feed his prophet. That same God has 1000 ways to bring you your breakthrough. Just as the Lord brought the CEO of Whittaker House all the way across the Atlantic for me, so God will move heaven and earth for you, if you will remain in faith.
The Way Out
I take courage from Abraham who kept on believing that he would be a dad one day despite decades of delay. He refused to allow discouragement to settle in his soul. God had promised and God is faithful. 25 years after Abraham received his word, he held his new born son.
What are the dreams that have delayed again and again? Which promises have you struggled to go on believing? Remember, God is moved by faith. There are no limits to His power. Our job is not worrying how God will do it. It is simply to believe.
With 2016 still in front of you, the possibilities are infinite. First tell the Lord about your discouragement. Tell Him why you’re feeling down. Then, go back to God’s word. Remind yourself of His promises and dare to believe again. Although “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” Proverbs 13:12 continues, “but fulfilment is a tree of life.”
It’s not over. In fact, it may be just beginning.
If you want to be free from inner clutter so that you can fulfil your purpose, order my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul from Amazon. And come to Healed for Life, our transformational event that helps get you ready for your destiny. See jonaughton.com for details.