Discouragement can be a fleeting thing that lasts a couple of hours, but often it can last much longer. When discouragement becomes a part of our daily lives, it can cause depression and anxiety. Even worse, if discouragement sticks with us for a long time, it can cause us to lose our faith.
We all face endless trials and tribulations in this life but no matter what, God is still there. He will never let you down. It might be hard to accept that sometimes but even during the biggest storms, we still need to trust in God and not let our discouragement overcome us to the point where we fall out of faith.
There are many Bible verses about discouragement. We’ll take a closer look at these scriptures as well as a few individuals in the Bible who also struggled with discouragement. Hopefully, by the end, you will feel encouraged and be able to approach discouragement in a healthier way, with our wonderful and gracious God by your side.
What the Bible Says About Overcoming Discouragement
What exactly does the Bible say about discouragement? When we’re faced with adversity and struggle, the best thing we can do is turn to the scriptures because they always provide the answers we’re looking for. Instead, many of us tend to lean on ourselves for the answers to everything.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
These verses say we need to lean not on our own understanding but instead, submit ourselves to God. When we do this, He always provides a clear and bright path for us to take. Sometimes it’s not the path we want to take, but it’s the path that is best for us.
What we don’t realize is discouragement is often a byproduct of something we did. Perhaps we called off of work too many times and got suspended or even fired. Maybe we didn’t provide the best services to our clients and now they don’t want to work with us anymore.
Sometimes discouragement occurs because we are disappointed in ourselves. When this happens we need to consider our actions, find out what we did wrong, and then ask God to provide us with a path to overcoming the discouragement.
Joshua 1:9 provides us with the strength we need to know we can overcome. “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
No matter what happens, no matter how horrible it is, no matter what you’re going through, God is with you.
When God is with you, there’s nothing you can’t overcome. The Lord tells us to be strong and courageous, not fearful or discouraged. He tells us that nothing can get in our way when the Lord is shining a light on our path. Trust in Him and follow through on His will.
Most importantly, we need to remember what our goal is in this life. While we want to enjoy our time on Earth, our ultimate goal is to live in the eternal kingdom with God and all of those who have passed. We need to always keep that in mind.
Romans 8:5 tells us that: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
These Bible verses about discouragement teach us that everything in life is part of God’s ultimate plan. Knowing this makes the hardest pills much easier to swallow. When we lose a job, a loved one, or have something horrible happen to us, the easiest thing to do is ask, why?
The answer is right there in the scripture. If we live by the flesh and do things of the flesh, we may suffer and question everything that happens.
Those who live by the Spirit, don’t need to question what happens to them because it’s God’s will and they understand that God has their best interests in mind no matter what.
Who Was Discouraged in the Bible?
There are many examples in the Bible of people feeling discouraged, beaten down, and even suicidal. Throughout Biblical times some felt like they couldn’t go on, that their path was dark and treacherous. They had lost their faith in God’s will or they didn’t have a relationship with Him, making their existence that much harder.
Jonah is the first story that comes to mind from the scriptures. Jonah was swallowed by a fish and was hurled into the deepest, darkest depths of the sea. In Jonah 4:3 he says, “Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
He was essentially asking God to take his life. How many times have we faced a situation where we truly didn’t know how we could go on? Perhaps, you discovered your spouse was having an affair, your family disowned you for something you did, or you lost a dear loved one.
When difficult things happen, it’s easy to think that life would be much better if you were dead, but instead, we should be calling out to the Lord for guidance and assistance rather than asking Him to take our life. That’s what Jonah did:
In my distress, I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
During his most horrifying period of distress, he called out to God. The Lord listened and He answered.
When life gets you down, will you call on God to help you? If there’s something you’re feeling discouraged about or you feel like life has become too much to manage, there’s always help.
We should never have to walk through life wondering how we’ll make ends meet, cope with grief, or deal with heartache. God provides all the answers. We simply need to make an effort to communicate with Him.
Discouragement can become a burden that weighs us down. Sometimes we might even physically feel like a weight has been placed on our shoulders. It might become difficult to get up each morning and be productive. We might feel sick or like we are trapped in a haze.
When you’re dealing with discouragement, simple daily tasks can become much more challenging. Cooking nutritious food, spending time with friends and family, being productive at work; everything we would normally do in our daily lives becomes seemingly impossible.
Eventually, this type of behavior can spiral, causing even worse problems as a byproduct of your discouragement. This is what eventually leads people to depression and even suicide.
David offers another example of discouragement from the scripture:
I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. Psalms 6:6
This sounds like a familiar story for many of us. Some of us have spent so much time crying, complaining, and wondering why things happen to us. While grief is an important part of the healing process, eventually we need to pick ourselves back up and get back to normal.
All things are possible with Jesus Christ. Even though it may seem like you have a mountain to climb, you’re much closer to the summit than you think.
What Is the Root of Discouragement?
Each day we wake up, get dressed, and go about our day. But, as we’re doing this we’re constantly dodging bullets that can discourage us and leave us feeling a little smaller than we were when we woke up.
As you’re going through your day, take a mental note of how many of these things you encounter. Each of these things can be the root cause of discouragement.
How many people do you encounter in a day that put a damper on your good mood? You can be having a good day and as soon as they walk in, they bring negativity. This can happen just about anywhere – at work, at the grocery store, even at home with family.
Maybe this person critiques you, gives you a hard time, or makes you feel bad about yourself. The important thing is to recognize who the toxic people are in your life and try to not allow their negativity to impact your mood. Just remember that you’re worthy of God’s praise, and that’s all that matters.
Think of how it feels when you start something new. This can be a new job, relationship, relocation, buying a new home, etc. It feels great. You’re so full of energy, passion, and excitement over the weeks, months, and years to come.
But over time, that excitement wears off and you start to see the rusted undercoating of what was once a shiny new experience.
Fatigue in general leads to discouragement because we love to feel excited about everything. We must realize that excitement goes away. Motivation disappears. Inspiration vanishes. We may not feel impartial about something that once took our breath away.
When this happens, we need to try to remember what excited us about it in the first place. We can then look at how we shaped and molded our lives since then.
For example, if you’re not as excited about your spouse as you used to be, take a look at the memories you’ve created. Look at your family and the wonderful life you’ve built together as partners.
Go on a special date and remind yourself of why you fell in love with them in the first place. Sometimes it takes a little work to find that spark, but it doesn’t mean the excitement is gone.
Lack of Confidence
When we lose our confidence we give up. How many times have you said to yourself “I can’t” or “It’s too difficult”? When you say this, you are deciding your own fate, rather than trusting in God.
When you feel like giving up, lean on God to guide you. Remember, no matter what you’re facing, all things are possible with God.
What a lot of people fail to realize is that quitting or admitting defeat is the easy way out. Our bodies are programmed to avoid struggle because it’s part of our survival instinct. So, when something looks difficult or challenging, the first thing we think to do is give up.
We are called to lean on God, especially during these times when life is a challenge. Let Him shine a bright light on your dark path, and then ride with Him to the finish line.
How Do You Overcome Discouragement?
There are five important steps we all need to follow when we’ve decided that we’re ready to overcome adversity. If you have butterflies in your stomach right now because you’re ready to make some positive changes, here’s what you should do. Keep in mind all of these steps are based on Bible verses about discouragement:
- Call to God for help
- Organize your plan
- Pray and realize that God is with you
- Take a deep breath
- Get after it
Nehemiah 4:15 says: “And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.”
Do not look to this world for your answers, look to Christ.
Bible Verses for When You’re Feeling Discouraged
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came to realize that they may have life and have it abundantly.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,