Who would have thought that this quote from Anne of Green Gables would end up being the basis for a blog post? When you think about it, this statement is really quite true. Despair, discouragement . . . it's all natural, right?
I've been talking to my amazing roomie a lot about encouragement lately. As one who becomes discouraged very easily, I often find myself wondering why. I've come to a few different conclusions about discouragement, and I thought I'd quickly post them here (I really need to get to bed, but I don't want to forget this).
Discouragement is NOT a natural part of life.
It is so easy to be sucked into the lie that discouragement is natural, that it is something that we must all just deal with. Not true. We are to be encouraged in the Lord, not worrying about tomorrow, and we must trust in God to take care of us. Be reminded that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose AND do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. God cares for the birds, the fish, the grass, and every living thing. Trust Him fully.
Also under this I would clarify that suffering and trials ARE a natural part of life in this fallen world. However, that does not mean that we should be discouraged in them.
Discouragement IS a sin.
Yes, we will have difficulty in this life. Yes, we will suffer and go through much trial and tribulation. No, we are not to be discouraged. God gives us these things because He loves us, because He wants to test our faith and to cause us to grow in Him. When we grow discouraged, we doubt this and distrust God. Instead of becoming discouraged in hard times, rejoice in them. Bless God that He sees fit to try you and seek Him more diligently that you may grow all the more during your trial. Though all seem lost and the world caving in around you, remember that God is in control and that He is using this for your good.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. Our own understanding will tell us that we have a right to be discouraged, that it's okay to be depressed. It's not. Instead, we need to rely on God. I became very discouraged the summer that my grandfather died, but I also found that God used that time to draw me closer to Him than I had ever been before and to cause me to trust in Him completely.
Pray through trials and against discouragement. Be ENCOURAGED that God loves you enough to try you and that He is in complete control. Lean on Him in your time of need, and He will never fail you. Use your time of tribulation to grow in faith, love, and adoration for our Lord. What could be more amazing than that? Who would have thought that it could rise from the depths of despair?