Redirecting Discouragement

Discouragement is often rooted in disappointment. If we don’t redirect our discouragement it will carry over into loss of hope. That is exactly what the enemy of our soul has designed. Life is full of disappointments. We think something is going to go a certain way. When it doesn’t we are disappointed. 

The Lord redirected Elijah’s discouragement. We see in 1 Kings 18 that there was a great victory as God overthrew the 450 prophets of Baal. Then in chapter 19, Jezebel said that she would take Elijah’s life. He went from high victory to deep despair. He ran for his life. Verse 4 says that he sat down under a broom tree and said, “…It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life…”

He laid down and slept. An angel touched him and instructed him to rise up and eat. There, when he looked, was food and water. He slept. The angel came again. Verse 7 says, “…he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” Note: it was on Horeb that God intercepted Moses’ path with a burning bush.

Verses 11-18 recorded Elijah’s encounter with God on the mountain. In verse 15 God redirected Elijah with three new assignments. Though Elijah was thoroughly discouraged, the Lord put courage in him to finish his course well. Let me recount how he left this earth. 2 Kings 2:11 says, “…suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire…and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

Are you discouraged? What disappointment preceded it? Why were you disappointed? Our disappointment comes from broken expectations. Naaman had it all planned out in his mind. He went to the prophet Elisha to get healed. 2 Kings 5:1-19 is the account. Elisha told Naaman to go wash in the Jordan. Verse 11 says that Naaman became furious. Watch this play out. It says, “…Indeed, I said to myself, He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.”

We can imagine how things will go. We can play them out in  our mind in perfect detail. We set ourselves up with great expectations. It doesn’t happen that way at all and we slump in disappointment. Feeling disappointed is like the red engine light on your dashboard. It means that something is wrong.

The ‘wrong’ is that our eyes were on ourselves, others, or our circumstances. Our enemy uses disappointment to drag us down into the pit of discouragement so that we will lose hope. The Lord uses our disappointment to alert us that we have lost focus on Him. Psalm 62:5 says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.” When our expectation is on Him, our hope is anchored steadfastly. It cannot be moved because He is our Eternal Hope. In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) and Colossians 2:3 says that our life is hidden in Christ in God.

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