The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
3 He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord. Psalm 23
Discouragement is a natural part of the Christian journey. Young Christians when they are growing in their faith and experience discouragement for the first time often feel overwhelmed and often want to ask the question “has God left me”.
One thing we come to understand as we grow in our relationship with God is exactly where discouragement comes from. It comes from the mouth and the heart of the enemy. Discouragement is actually built upon the lies of the enemy because it speaks of something that is not true.
One thing we know from God’s word as we study His word and meditate upon His word is that His promises are true and that He is faithful to accomplish His will and His plans. He has created all of us with a plan and destiny and as we simply walk with Him on a daily basis He will fulfill His plans and His purposes in our lives.
But often times in our humanity we are led by our emotions and we allow our feelings to drive how we see the world around us. The enemy will always try to overwhelm us with discouragement and fear as we grow deeper in our relationship with God. The last thing he wants is someone walking in deep intimacy with Jesus Christ. But what he fails to understand is that every time he attacks the Lord uses it to strengthen us and refine us.
The key is not withdrawing when we feel discouraged, but engaging and drawing near to the Lord. The Lord desires to strengthen us and carry us through every trial and challenge we will face in our lives. Many times in our pride we try to overcome things in our own strength and as a result we end up feeling overwhelmed and beat up. But the Lord has designed it this way so that we would let go of our own strength and power and simply learn to rely fully upon Him.
His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Today if you are discouraged know that you are not alone. Know that the Lord walks with you and that you simply need to ask Him for strength and for wisdom. He will fulfill every plan and purpose He has created you for. Simply stand upon His word and trust Him one step at a time.
Heavenly Father I come to you and ask you to move on the hearts of all those who are discouraged this day. Father I ask that you would encourage them and strengthen them in you. Father I pray you would give them eyes to see and ears to hear. That they would come to understand the process of growth with you and understand that the challenges they face now are the preparation for the destiny you have for them tomorrow. I pray Father you would lead them one step at a time and that you would surround them with your peace and your presence. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.