What discourages you? If you closely examine your emotions, it won’t take long to discover the source of your discouragement.
Vern, my French bulldog, takes it safe. He doesn’t have very high aspirations so he isn’t often discouraged. You won’t find him setting goals which have the possibility of not being met. But since humans can have a tendency to set our bar a little out of reach, occasionally, it causes us to land in the pool of discouragement.
No matter what you are trying to achieve, there will be times when you are uncertain of the path you are taking. Landmarks of success and failure are scattered around you like landmines. And when you step on a stepping stone labeled failure, the bomb of discouragement can blow you off your path.
That’s what happened to me this morning. As an author, my discouragement can be found in the number of book sales. If I’m not reaching the magic number set in my head, a bomb of discouragement blows up. Then what? I can’t change the book sales. That is temporarily out of my control. But what I can do is change what I’m focusing on.
So I started reading different scriptures pertaining to discouragement. Think about Joshua. He was asked by God to lead a group of ungrateful Israelites into the land that he had promised their forefathers. Now Joshua wasn’t going to have an easy time of it. God didn’t give them a yellow brick road. No, God sent them to Jericho where the men were vast and their walls strong and secure.
I’m sure Joshua was overcome with feelings of discouragement when he saw the task set before him. That’s when God stepped in and spoke these words, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9)
How cool is that! God told Joshua that he will be with him wherever he goes. And I believe this promise can be ours as well. That doesn’t mean that I meet my magic number, but it does mean something much more valuable than book sales. No matter the path we are called to take, God is with us. So when I become discouraged, I should always recall that God has something much better for me than the things of this world.
And if I have trouble reminiscing on this truth, I’m blessed to have my little dog to prompt me to remember the simple things right in front of me.