(noun) a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness
Add three letters to a word and everything changes. An otherwise glorious word like courage gets reduce to being its opposite. The dictionary defines the prefix dis- as the complete removal of the thing specified. In the case of today’s word, that means the complete removal of courage.
I can think of no better way to describe discouragement. It simply removes our courage. Goliaths we’ve stood tall to fight suddenly seem a loom too large when discouragement steps on the battlefield. Our once strong confidence melts, and our defeated mind takes over. You will never win. It will never get better. You can’t achieve that dream. Why bother, it’s never gonna happen?
All the its and you’s can simply be filled in with our own names, dreams, and desires. What discouragement doesn’t want you to know though is that a little encouragement restores courage, renews hope, and strengthens weakness. Words from a friend can and often do encourage, but if we aren’t careful, this practice can make us slaves to man’s approval. Then we find ourselves in a vicious cycle of personal doubts buoyed up by man’s words, only to be circle back around to personal doubts again.
Why? Because man’s words do not change our hearts. However, God’s word does. When we seek after Him for our encouragement, He transforms our minds. This means the vicious cycle starts to lose its grasp. We find our courage in God as he builds us up with his word — the word that is forever true. God even mentions this is Romans 15:4, “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
So today, whatever has you discouraged find your courage in God’s words. Let it fill your heart and transform your thinking. Soon, you’ll be consistently filled with courage in your current situation, and nothing and no one can take it away because its truth is planted in your heart not simply in your mind.
Need encouragement today? Start with these verses.
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (Philippians 4:13)My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (Ps. 91:15)
Are you currently using a verse that brings courage to your heart? Share it with us.
As usual this is a very good article. Good insight and thought provoking analysis.