“I wonder if I’m even making a difference,” the young teacher said to me. “I feel like throwing in the towel.”
We’ve all been there.
You know, when the shadow of discouragement eclipses our hope to nonexistent.
Many times we can offer Bible passages for others but have a difficult time gleaning encouragement for ourselves. This is especially true when we are in the fight of our lives. We fight for our marriage, for our wayward children, for our health, for freedom from addiction, and to remain faithful.
These are the battles that completely zap us to the point of stumbling around like the walking dead when we should be alive and shining our lights for Christ. At these times, words of prayer may elude us all together. And that just might be a good thing. Why?
What we need is less of us and more of Jesus and His word.
When There Are No Words: Rely on the Holy Spirit
But all hope is not lost when we have the Holy Spirit who prays on our behalf.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
When Depression Looms
The Bible tells us that depression can be an evil spirit. We have authority in Christ to cast out the spirit of heaviness, despair, and depression. In fact, we can actually exchange our heaviness for praise by choosing to demolish our negative thoughts by taking them captive in Christ Jesus.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
The Holy Spirit will give us “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Please note: If depression persists, it’s probably a good idea to talk to a medical doctor.
When Serving Seems Pointless
Like my teacher friend, sometimes serving others can wear us out—especially when we don’t sense our efforts are noticed or appreciated. Take heart, dear one. The Father sees all that you do in service for Him.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.“ 1 Corinthians 15:58 (emphasis mine)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
When Evil Seems to Prevail
It’s easy to become discouraged at all the evil taking place in our fallen world. Doing things God’s way seems pointless when cheaters and liars appear to win. We must remember that God sees everything. He is capable of using even evil for our good.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
When You Feel Out of Control
We love to take control over things we simply don’t have any power over. When we’ve lost a loved one, a job, or are enduring a health scare—it can seem nothing is secure.
This is when we need to give God His power back. After all, He is the Sovereign One. Relinquishing control shows God your willingness to allow Him to work. This doesn’t mean that you are ignoring your circumstances. It means you are allowing God to teach you and walk through it with you.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
When the Burdon We Carry is Too Heavy
This is always a sign that we are holding on to things that belong to God. But instead of giving up altogether, Jesus tells us to give it up to Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Dear one, God always has good plans for us. What we are facing now, will pass. In the meantime, He will give us what we need to endure if we will cast our cares and anxieties on Him.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and prayer requests in the comments below.
For a printable PDF of this post, click Go-to Scriptures When You Feel Like Giving Up.
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