It’s easy to get discouraged. Several months into the year, you’ve probably let a few resolutions slip. If you’re anything like me, failure doesn’t sit well.
If I’m not careful, I let those failures define me. Maybe you can relate:
*I didn’t choose to eat healthy today. I don’t have any will-power.
*I didn’t finish everything I needed to get done. I’m lazy.
*No one commented on my post. I’m not a good writer.
How God sees us
The list goes on and on. But it doesn’t have to. God sees us much differently.
Think about the book of Judges. It’s chock full of ordinary people like you and me. Each one of them had issues and experienced discouragement, but God chose to use them anyway.
Remember Gideon? His family was poor and he viewed himself as “the least” in his father’s house (Judges 6:16, KJV). When the angel of the Lord appeared to him, Gideon must have been shocked by his greeting:
The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. Judges 6:12b
He certainly didn’t feel like a bold, courageous warrior! In fact, he had been threshing wheat by his family’s winepress to hide it from their oppressors, the Midianites.
But God had a plan. The Midianites would be overthrown by the Israelite army led by Gideon. With 300 men, armed with only trumpets, pitchers, and lamps, Gideon obeyed the Lord and experienced His deliverance.
From a place of discouragement, Gideon was given the opportunity to trust a big God who would bring great encouragement. He made the right decision.
Jephthah became another judge of Israel. But his family background wasn’t what you’d expect of a ruler: he was the son of a prostitute. As a result, his half-brothers kicked him out of the house. They weren’t about to share their father’s inheritance with him. Imagine how discouraged Jephthah must have been.
Times got tough. The Ammonites were at war with the Israelites. Jephthah was well-known for his ability to fight. Maybe they should call him back and make him their captain so they’d have a chance of defeating the enemy.
God had a plan. He would use Jephthah to overcome the Ammonites. It would have been easy for Jephthah to nurse a grudge. Why should he help these people who had treated him with contempt?
Following the plan
Instead of giving in to anger or discouragement, Jephthah followed God’s plan.
So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands. Judges 11:32
Once again, encouragement replaced discouragement.
Are you discouraged? Know that God loves you and has a plan for you. Follow Him and you’ll be encouraged (click to tweet)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the wonderful examples in Your Word of people who experienced the same emotions I do. Help me overcome my discouragement, knowing You have a plan for me. Encourage my heart today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Maria I. Morgan was born with an active imagination that shows up in her endearing stories for children. Originally an inspirational author and speaker for adults, Maria has widened her circle to include kids. She lives in the muggy South with her husband, two retrievers, and two Maine Coon kitties – the perfect mix to fuel her creativity for years to come!
(You can find her devotionals and download a free copy of her eBook, God Speaking, at www.mariaimorgan.com)