Psalm 27:4
“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”

What has you feeling discouraged today?

In last week’s post, What You Need to Remember When Surviving a Setback I discussed how I am facing a set-back in a particular situation. What I didn’t mention is that there have been a host of smaller situations that have together left my usually positive-self feeling uncharacteristically discouraged.

With all of these matters on my mind and in my prayers, I set out last week to put a fresh coat of stain on our front porch. Having checked the weather consistently, I chose a beautiful Fall day to carry out the project. As I reached my half-way point of staining, ominous black clouds began to blow in from the north. As the clouds quickly approached I prayed that God would hold off the rain and spare my freshly stained porch. Moments later I applied the last bit of stain and began to gather up my supplies. And then it happened. The billowing clouds above broke loose and rain drops seemingly the size of golf balls began to fall in rapid-fire succession, quickly soaking my newly stained boards. Really? Was this a bad joke?! It sure seemed to be. I knew God could have held off the rain. He was able, but He didn’t. While it was a small matter, it would have been easy to let the event only add to the mounting frustration and discouragement I was already feeling.

As I was relaying that story later in the day to my Mom, she was quick to remind me that discouragement is one of Satan’s most used weapons. We often become discouraged because we focus on ourselves, our problems, or our situation and we lose site of the one Who is in complete control.

This past Saturday I began reading the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. I purchased it a couple of days prior on a complete whim; however, through it, God has been reiterating many of the same words and stories that He has been speaking to me through other means over the past few weeks. In The Circle Maker, Batterson discusses the story of Lazarus (as last week’s post did). However, a specific observation he made stood out to me in a new way this week.

In John 11:22 we read that just after Martha expressed to Jesus her confidence that Lazarus would not have died had Jesus been there, she said “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Although her prayer had not been answered how, or in the timeframe she wanted, she continued to believe that God was able.

As we discussed last week, Jesus later raised Lazarus from the dead. This made me wonder however, if Martha had lost faith, if she no longer believed that God was able, would Jesus have raised Lazarus from the dead? My honest answer? I am not sure. Perhaps He would have for His glory alone. But maybe in addition to His glory, He raised Lazarus to bless Martha for her continued belief in God’s power.

While it is not wrong to feel discouraged, we should take those feeling to God and ensure that we keep our heads held high with our eyes focused on the one Who is able. Let’s not give Satan even a small victory and let him steal one moment of our joy or hope. While our prayers have perhaps not been answered in our time or way, let’s continue to hold on, knowing that even now we serve a God Who is able.

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