Don't Be Discouraged
Years ago an author by the name of Barbara Johnson wrote a book entitled, Where Does a Mother Go to Resign? Barbara’s book captures the sense of frustration parents can feel when dealing with significant difficulties in the lives of their children. For some of us the challenges lie elsewhere, perhaps on the job or in our marriages.
Whenever I feel like giving up in the face of intractable problems, I like to re-read a story from Scripture that highlights a dangerous moment in Judah’s history, when a vast army was headed its way. Though the situation looked hopeless, Judah’s king refused to despair. Instead he gathered his people together and proclaimed a fast. Then he begged God for his help. This is how God answered him:
“‘Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's’” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
Taking that word to heart, the king exhorted the people, saying, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm” (20:20). Another translation says, “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld (NIV).” The people believed God and rejoiced when he did exactly as he had promised, upholding them by destroying their enemies.
Each of us faces different struggles. My challenges are different than yours. But all of us will at times face the temptation to give up, throw in the towel, say we’ve had enough. Instead of surrendering to hopelessness in this new year, let’s keep crying out to God. For if we have faith in him, he will surely uphold us.