Discouragement happens to us all

I love the movie Nacho Libre. While there isn’t technically any literary worthiness to it, there is a message. Jack Black plays the part of Nacho, a Monk, discouraged with his life and longing for some form of recognition that his job has meaning. He is the cook for the other Monks and the orphans in a small town in Mexico. When a beautiful Nun enters the scene as a new teacher for the orphans, things start to change. In secret, Nacho becomes a tag team wrestler and with the prize winnings from his fights, buys fresh ingredients to prepare better meals for the children. To gain more power and become the best wrestler in the world, Nacho climbs a cliff to a known eagle’s nest and drinks the yolk of the eagle’s eggs, so that he may gain eagle power.

Discouragement happens

Discouragement happens to us all at some point in our lives – to some more than others. It is a loss of hope. A feeling that surrender and defeat are the only answers. Discouragement highlights the word ‘quit’ when we want desperately to fight and stay the course. It chips away at our future and makes us believe we are weak, incapable, too old, too young, no-good, hang-it-up people.

Can you imagine the discouragement Noah from the Bible must have felt waiting for the rain and listening to the jeers and name-calling from his neighbors? Or Daniel as they lowered him into the lion’s den? Being swallowed by a whale and living in the belly had to have left Jonah a bit out of sorts…Esther facing the King…Moses dealing with the Israelites…Jesus as He prayed in the garden and His disciples slept. It leaves me to wonder, what separates “the men from the boys” or the “women from the girls”?

Steps to Combat Discouragement:

  • Tell yourself ‘Who’ is on your side. God is a God of encouragement and hope, not doubt and fear. His words are uplifting, not negative. God never says, “You can’t do it! I’m going to find someone else.” On the contrary, God says, “Despite your weakness, WE will do it and do it well!” Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.”
  • Relieve yourself of the weight. Carrying burdens, harboring anxiety, and filling our worry tanks glorifies Satan. He is the instigator of all doubt and fear as he whispers in our ear, “Whatever gave you the idea things would work out! You are going under!” Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares (burdens) on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
  • Tell yourself not to fear. Psalm 56:11, “…though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” God spends a great deal of time in the Old and New Testament telling us not to fear. Not to worry. Not to let anxiety rule us. Why then do we?
  • Allow God to renew your strength. Pray for encouragement and that God will surround you with His people who will lift you and give you a renewed sense of hope. Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Don’t withdraw. Don’t stop praying. Don’t buy into the potential destruction. Praise God that He will renew and restore you!
  • Summon your Eagle Powers. You don’t have to drink eagle egg yolk like our friend Nacho. God renews our strength like the eagles. Isaiah 40:31, “You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not be faint.”

Discouragement can have a hold on us that destroys and weakens our ability to function. The bigger the plan God has for your life, the tougher Satan will be on thwarting that plan. Just when we think we are almost there, something interrupts our progress and hurls us back a few feet. Stand up. Brush yourself off and face the challenge before you. Because God will win and that means you will win too.

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