Three Reminders for When We Feel Discouraged

A Christian woman with her head in hands because she feels discouraged

By Jennifer Jabbour

When God gives us a vision, it’s exhilarating (and sometimes scary!), but we long to please our Father. We desire to hear those coveted words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Mt 5:21).

But what do we do when we’re met with resistance? When life happens despite our calling? Or when we flat-out lose steam?

Last fall, I felt a strong calling to use my gifts of exhortation, writing, and speaking to help women discover and embrace their God-given purpose. 

In the process, I set all kinds of goals with deadlines because I wanted to hurry up and get to the good stuff. I wanted to see the fruit—equipped and empowered women!

I fell for the lie so many of us believe—that if we just put our heads down and work every waking hour, never stopping to rest, and not allowing ourselves to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, we will get our desired results. 

Instead, I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and on the brink of burnout. 

I lost all motivation and inspiration, and I even started questioning whether I was going in the right direction.

Surely, this couldn’t be the way God intended. After all, Jesus said His “yoke is easy” (Mt 11:28-30). Yet, I was carrying a heavy load and it didn’t feel light. 

In my search for relief, I was going about it all wrong. I discovered three reminders for when we feel discouraged as we lean into our callings.

A Christian woman looking at her phone because she feels discouraged

Three Reminders When We Feel Discouraged

1 – God sees us through our weaknesses.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9 HCSB

If we’re weary and feel discouraged from doing it all, it’s time to let ourselves off the hook. God never meant for us to be the hero of our stories—that’s His job! 

God doesn’t expect us to carry such a heavy load. 

He finds the most glory in showing His power and strength through our weaknesses and insufficiencies. He is sufficient and all we need.

When God told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses felt unqualified and scared, but God made it clear that Moses was the man for the job. God empowered Moses to be an effective instrument in carrying out His plan (Ex 3).

When God fulfills His purpose through us, He doesn’t seem to take into consideration that we lack the confidence the world says we need. 

A Christian woman with many "to-dos" attached to her shirt

2 – God understands the world we live in today.

“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33 HCSB

Even if God has called us to do something, life doesn’t stop happening. 

Moving forward into our calling isn’t always linear. We may be met with obstacles and delays along the way. 

After being anointed as king of Israel, David waited 15 years to take the crown. He spent years on the run and in hiding from Saul, who wanted to kill him (1 Sm 16:13; 19:1-3; 2 Sm 5:4). 

Joseph and a pregnant Mary took the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem (about 90 miles through the wilderness) to be counted in the census. The long-awaited Savior of the world was born in a manger meant for livestock (Lk 2:1-7). 

In our humanness, we wonder why God doesn’t just snap His fingers and make things happen immediately. If it’s truly part of His plan, we may wonder why everything we try to do seems so difficult.

Resistance is a natural response of the world and the enemy whenever we are obedient to God. 

Yet, God takes opposition and can turn it into something good. 

Fulfilling our God-given purpose in a broken world may not be easy, but through these life experiences, we grow and mature into the person God designed us to be (Rom 5:3–5).

A Christian woman at her desk with her eyes closed and hands folded in prayer because she feels discouraged

3 – God is patient with us in our disobedience.

“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 3:12 HCSB

Sometimes, we’re stubborn and don’t know what’s best for ourselves, but God is patient. 

God is merciful to forgive us of our rebellious moments when we repent. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but to remain in His presence.

When we feel discouraged because we think we will never access the calling God has placed on our lives, we can remember we are not late or even behind! We are right where God has placed us. 

We cannot ruin God’s plan. 

His way is always victorious—with or without us. However, God wants us to be a part of the victory, and He lets us use our gifts to help carry out his plan (1 Jn 5:4). 

Don’t give up if a harvest has yet to happen despite prayer, earnest seeking, or trying hard for a long time. Wait on the Lord because God’s Word promises “We will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Gal 6:9 HCSB).

As long as we walk on the path of righteousness in Jesus’ name, we are fulfilling our God-given purpose! 

Whether or not we can see God’s plan in motion, we should continue to believe God is faithful in keeping His promise to us (Phil 1:6).

Jennifer Jabbour

Jennifer Jabbour, author of 31 Days to a Stronger Quiet Time and Journey to Christmas, lives in San Diego with her husband and children. As a Go + Tell Gals certified coach, she equips and empowers women to pursue God’s calling. Jennifer also holds a B.A. in Communications, is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and an avid outdoors-woman.

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