Do you ever have days where the voice in your head is anything but empowering? Silencing the condemnation you feel is more difficult than the situation itself. Discouragement comes in many forms, but the most discouraging voices often come from within ourselves.
How do we know what this voice is? It’s easier to identify discouragement when we know what encouragement is supposed to do. To “encourage” is to literally “put courage into” someone. Discouragement is to remove that courage; to take away the motivation and inspiration driving us to action. Sometimes this comes from outside sources – discouraging family members or acquaintances whose words impact us negatively. But when we internalize these words and preach them back to us, the voice of discouragement comes from within.
Silencing this voice requires becoming mindful of our thought patterns. When are we most likely to hear discouraging thoughts? Do we dwell on them and endorse them when they come? If you struggle with how to reject these thought patterns, here are three truths from Scripture to help you reject discouragement and entrust your heart to God.
Cast Your Cares
Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you, He will never permit the righteous to be moved.” In my bible study recently a woman gave a great example of ‘casting cares’. She said we often ‘cast’ our cares like a fishing line, but then we reel them back in to dwell on them. But what we should do is cast them – and cut the line! Though we may decide to tie another line and cast it, we can continue casting our cares on God and snipping the line, giving our discouragement to Him to carry.
He is With You
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Once you cast the thought to the Lord, remind yourself of the truth about Him. If we empty our minds, we must immediately fill them or they will just be filled with more discouragement and lies. It would be wise to write down truths about God in places you can see them so you have something to fill your mind with each time you “cast your cares”. According to Isaiah, God is with you; He is yours; He will strengthen you; He upholds you; and He is righteous. That’s in just one verse! So much to lean on in discouraging times.
Let Him Carry You
I love that Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” That’s Jesus talking! If you feel overwhelmed and under the weight of discouragement, Jesus wants to bear your burden. He gives true, lasting rest- rest spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. But you have to let Him carry you.
Discouragement will face us throughout our lives, which is why it’s important to learn how to deal with it appropriately. When you make a habit of doing these three things, you will know how to handle discouragement when it comes.