Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
By Chris WittsSaturday 17 Oct 2020Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
I have a feeling that discouragement is the biggest problem that people have. I know it has affected me, and many others I know.
It just seems to come from nowhere. It’s a universal issue that affects millions of people. It can be a devastating issue that stops you in your tracks, and makes life miserable.
Rick Warren, the best-selling author, says:
When an artist creates a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He doesn’t hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone.
You may have asked yourself some questions like:
- Why is my life like this?
- Why does my life seem so awful or bad?
- Why is it that everybody else around me seems/is happy except me?
- What is the point of me going on?
They are deeply personal questions, and can lead to illness, loneliness, and worst of all, suicide.
The Three Levels of Discouragement
There seems to be three levels of discouragement. The first level is mild discouragement, when only your emotions are affected.
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The second level is stronger discouragement, when not only your emotions are affected but also your spirit. At this point, other people such as your friends, family, spouse, classmates, or co-workers around you may begin to notice that something is wrong, that you are not yourself. Your spirit, emotions and attitude is noticeably affected.
The third level is disabling discouragement—this is the worst kind. This discouragement makes it impossible for the discouraged person to handle the normal responsibilities of life. They try to escape by sleeping, dull the pain by drinking or using drugs; they try to deaden the hopelessness through substance abuse and such.
From Discouragement to Huge Success
Let me tell you the true story of a man who had just retired. He was sitting on his porch down in Kentucky, when his Social Security cheque was delivered. He went to the mailbox to retrieve it and thought to himself, Is this all my life is going to be from this time on? Just sitting on the porch waiting for my next Social Security cheque to arrive? It was a discouraging thought.
So he took a legal pad and began to write down all the gifts, all the blessings, all the talents, and everything that he had going for him. He listed them all, even small things. For example, he included the fact that he was the only one in the world who knew his mother’s recipe for fried chicken, in which she used 11 different herbs and spices.
You can trust God to help you in times of discouragement.
He went down to the local restaurant, and asked if he could get a job cooking their chicken. Very soon the chicken became the most popular item on the menu. So he opened his own restaurant in Kentucky. Then he opened a string of restaurants and eventually sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise to a national organisation for millions of dollars.
He became their public representative and continued in that role until his death. Of course you know who it was: Colonel Harland David Sanders, founder of KFC. What a success story that was! But he was discouraged to start off with.
The Bible tells of people who faced discouragement, and I want to take this further with you in Part 2. Remember, God is with you and says, “I will never leave you or forget you”. You can trust God to help you in times of discouragement. And Jesus said, “Do not let yourselves be troubled. Believe in God—believe also in me”.
(To be continued in Don’t Let Discouragement Beat You – Part 2)