A Word For Discouraged People — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

A Word For Discouraged People — Morning Devotions

It is amazing the effect encouragement has. The beauty of a well-timed, encouraging word to someone who really needs it.

By Chris WittsWednesday 13 Mar 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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When I say the right words spoken at the right time, they will make all the difference to someone whose world is crashing. William Arthur Ward said, ‘Flatter me and I may not believe you, criticise me and I won’t like you, ignore me I might not forgive you, but encourage me and I will not forget you.’

So here it is, encouragement. It means a great deal to the discouraged person. Some years ago, a poll was taken in the US when people were asked one question – What would you like to ask your minister? There were quite a few replies, but the second most common question people would like to ask was, What can I do when I’m so discouraged? I feel like giving up. I wonder if you’ve ever felt like that.

I think many of us have feelings of discouragement. Things go wrong at the most inconvenient time family or work pressures, sickness, bad news. And I’ve got this feeling there are lots of people who feel defeated or discouraged and they’re inadequate. And sometimes what we need is a change of focus. Now that is not altogether easy. Our words can be a valuable tool to cheer up and encourage someone who is down.

And in the Bible, Proverbs 25:11 says, like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. And that’s great. By offering some words of encouragement, we can help people face their present and the future with some positive outlook and courage. And in the Bible we meet up with Elijah, and there’s a story about this great prophet, A man of God. He knew all about discouragement.

He was God’s mouthpiece at a time, pronouncing judgement on the people, and so they called him the Prophet of Doom. But the moment of truth came when he met 450 prophets of Baal for a duel on Mount Carmel. You can read about it – quite an exciting story in 1 Kings. It was a great victory, but he had to run for his life to escape, and he went into the wilderness and he sat down under a tree. He was exhausted and he talked to the Lord.

“I’ve had enough, take my life.” He prayed. He thought his life was over. He was so depressed, he didn’t feel like going on. He was probably quite exhausted physically. He needed a good meal, which the Lord provided for him. But as he hid in the cave trying to sort out this dilemma, God told him to go to a mountain where the Lord passed by and there was a mighty windstorm.

Then there was an earthquake and a fire. But Elijah didn’t see or hear God. Then there was a whisper, and God spoke to him at the entrance of the cave. And on that day, Elijah found the reality of God’s still small voice. And he received a new understanding of himself, his life and his faith. And isn’t it true that we often have to slow down in life to hear God speaking to us?

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We are too busy to be quiet before the one who knows us better than anyone else. It was George Fox, a well known member of the Quaker Church, who said, ‘What you should do is carry some quiet around inside yourself’, and I think that’s a really good comment.

Being quiet, waiting for God to speak is no waste of time

In fact, it can become the best part of the day as we seek his direction. Or we talk to him about things that are worrying us. And when we’re quiet before God, we can often discover his will for us for that day. It’s about finding purpose. And our lives have this touch of divine quality. Have a read some time of Psalm 42 In the Old Testament here, the writer felt very discouraged. Also, all your waves and billows have gone over me, Lord and floods of sorrow pour upon me like a thundering cataract. Oh God, my rock I cry, why have you forsaken me? And then he answered himself. But look, O, my soul, don’t be discouraged. And don’t be upset. Expect God to act for I know I shall again have plenty of reason to praise him for all that he has done. He is my help. And he is my God. This morning Do you feel that God is distant from you, or do you sometimes have a lack of his presence?

Here’s another verse from Scripture, it says come near to God and he will come near to you, James 4:8. That’s a promise. And God doesn’t break his promises. If you feel despondent, realise the Lord gives you strength. We can lose our courage and even our hope. But we can wait on the Lord and receive his strength.

Let’s Pray

How human it is, Lord to feel discouraged. And I have a feeling that many of us get down with discouragement. Help us to understand, Lord, that you’re the best one that can give us a fresh hope and a fresh start to the day. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.