How do you effectively overcome discouragement and fear when they strike? What can you do to keep going after facing the disappointments and discouragement that come your way? I want to take some time to answer these questions and more in today’s blog post.
Hey sis! I sincerely believe that discouragement and fear are two of the greatest attacks we face as Christian women in today’s society. We are called to walk by faith and not by sight/feelings; to step into the unknown, believing that God will make a way even when we can’t find one.
But what do you do when you’ve made plans and they fall apart at the seams?
What do you do when time after time you trust God for an outcome, but He “fails” you every single time?
You become anxious. It’s easy to get discouraged and fearful. You might even become disappointed. And that’s when the enemy comes in like a flood and causes you to linger in that disappointment. But what can we do to keep going in the face of such discouragement? Are there any effective tools to face this spiritual battle head-on?
Yes, there is.
How To Effectively Overcome Discouragement And Fear When They Strike
What is the cause of discouragement?
Discouragement can come in many forms. For many of us, we become discouraged and fearful if we become ill, are experiencing loneliness, or feel like we have no control over our lives. The most common cause of discouragement, as far as I have seen, is discouragement and fear that come when God’s plan is different than yours.
From experience, I know exactly what it’s like to make plans, to get everything in order, to spend time praying and fasting, only to have your entire plan fall apart right before your eyes.
A while back I shared a bit about the journey I took to get to Poland after living and working in Japan for five years.
Well, after being here a few months, I met the most wonderful man. He was a prayer, a believer; the man I had been praying for and dreaming about. Due to the pandemic, several of our plans derailed and we were separated. In October of last year, we made the decision that he would move to Poland to be with me.
We made the arrangements, got him an apartment, and everything he needed to start his life here.
The only thing we had left to get done was the visa, as housing and everything else had to be prepared before the visa would be issued. We fasted, prayed, and were meticulous about completing an extremely long and complex visa application form.
Confident, we made our appointment and handed in our paperwork. As nervous as we were, we just knew in our hearts that God would come through for us.
But He didn’t.
We failed. And we were devastated.
Encouraged by our circle of friends, we appealed the decision. But we were denied again.
Discouragement and fear can truly sweep in like a flood.
Who in the bible faced discouragement?
The bible is a book filled with stories of discouragement. More importantly, the Bible shows us how the people in these stories were able to overcome feeling discouraged and fearful. From Sarah to Moses, Jonah to Job, and David, so many of God’s servants have had to come face to face with the effects of discouragement and disappointment.
These men and women of God also had to turn to God to help them overcome the spirit of discouragement and fear.
Let’s look into one story in particular. The story of David.
In Psalms 42 verse 11, the bible reads as follows “Why are you cast down O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”
It is evident from this verse that David was facing immense sorrow, perhaps some fear, and a lot of discouragement. David wrote this psalm while he was in exile. I can only imagine how lonely David must have felt, and how disappointed he must have been due to his circumstances.
He was being persecuted by Saul.
He had no one to talk to.
The only choices he had were to face possible death or face possible exile forever.
Discouragement is the enemy’s favourite tool to use against you. He knows there is greatness inside of you.
Get your life back.
Discouragement is not, and can never be from God.
So what do you do when you feel defeated, discouraged, and fearful?
-Overcome discouragement and fear by letting go
You can overcome discouragement and fear by letting them go. I’ve written before about the power that comes with letting go and letting God fight your battles. That still remains true today.
I often find myself wondering “Why am I so easily discouraged?” or “Why is this so hard for me?”.
And the answer is that I refuse to let go.
I hold on to the wheel and keep yanking it out of God’s hands because I need to be in control. It’s scary for me to not see the end, but all God wants is for me, for us, to let go and let Him come through.
He wants us to pray, ask, believe, and be expectant. But ultimately, our Lord wants us to let it go.
There’s nothing better than taking the weight we’ve been carrying around and laying it at the feet of Jesus.
-Overcome discouragement and fear by serving others
You can also overcome discouragement by serving others. The human mind can be a funny thing. How you feel in any given moment is influenced by what you focus on.
If you fix your eyes on everything going wrong in your life, then of course you end up feeling discouraged about life. Whenever I’m feeling especially defeated, I get up and I get busy.
I serve others.
If possible, I literally throw myself into ministry. And you know what? It works!
When you are feeling defeated, and at your worst, that is when you need to get up.
You need to give your all by going into your community, your church, wherever you can go, and selflessly serve.
-Overcome discouragement and fear by leaning on others
Another way you can overcome discouragement and fear when they strike is by leaning on the strength of others around you. Whenever I’m overwhelmed and feeling discouraged about what I’m going through in life, I tend to isolate myself.
Being alone is my safe space and my way of coping with disappointment.
It’s not the best coping mechanism, but it’s one I’ve leaned on for years.
The more I serve at my church, the more this wonderful community of believers has taught me to lean on others. We are a part of the family of God, and we are not called to be an island or to stand alone.
The bible tells us to encourage and build each other up in 1 Thessalonians 5 vs 11, and to pray for one another that we may be healed. (James 5 vs 16).
Here are a few other bible verses that talk about leaning on others:
Don’t be overcome by discouragement and fear; overcome them
It’s easy to become discouraged by the things that we come face to face with in this life. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can overcome discouragement when it strikes.
The bible tells us in John 14 vs 1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.” When you trust in God then you believe that He will always be faithful.
That means that what God says to us in His word is reliable and true. I’ve been discouraged many times in my life, but each and every time His word holds true for me, and it should hold true for you too.
Discouragement is the enemy’s favourite tool to use against you.
Don’t give the devil the satisfaction he desires.
Do not give in.
You can overcome discouragement and fear.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
HOW CAN YOU effectively overcome discouragement and fear when they strike in your life?
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
- 10 Powerful Ways To Choose Joy Every Day
- How To Let Go And Let God Fight Your Battles
- When It All Feels Like Too Much: Tips For The Tired Christian
- How To Cope When God’s Plan Is Different From Your Plan
- How To Trust God When You Don’t Understand
All my love,
Thank you so much. I have learned a lot from your sharing
Have no fear of perfection–you’ll never reach it