The Christian Broadcasting Network

Spiritual Life

Right Now: Easter Devotions | Steps to Peace with God


Rick Warren
Spiritual Life
The Ministry ToolBox™ is for ANYONE serving Jesus Christ. For a free subscription, you can sign up at www.pastors.com.


Order your copy of The Purpose Driven Life

Order your copy of The Purpose Driven Church

More Discipleship Resources on Spiritual Life

More from Spiritual Life

 
DISCIPLESHIP

Some Cures for Discouragement

By Pastor Rick Warren
Saddleback Church

CBN.com - Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us! So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. Neh. 4:19-21 (NIV)

Discouragement is a disease unique to human beings, and it's universal -- eventually everyone gets it, including those in ministry. I have no doubt you've experienced discouragement at times, maybe many times. You might even be discouraged at this very moment.

Do you know how often I have wanted to quit being pastor of Saddleback Church? Every Monday morning! So here's what I've learned about battling discouragement:

WHAT CAUSES DISCOURAGEMENT?

#1 Cause - FATIGUE

When youre physically or emotionally exhausted, youre a prime candidate to be infected with discouragement. Your defenses are lowered and things can seem bleaker than they really are. This often occurs when youre halfway through a major project and you get tired.

#2 Cause - FRUSTRATION

When unfinished tasks pile up, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. And when trivial matters or the unexpected interrupt you and prevent you from accomplishing what you really need to do, your frustration can easily produce discouragement.

#3 Cause - FAILURE

Sometimes, your best laid plans fall apart -- the project collapses -- the deal falls through -- no one shows up to the event. How do you react? Do you give in to self-pity? Do you blame others? As one man said, "Just when I think I can makes ends meet -- somebody moves the ends! That's discouraging!

#4 Cause - FEAR

Fear is behind more discouragement than we'd like to admit. The fear of criticism (What will they think?); the fear of responsibility (What if I can't handle this?); and the fear of failure (What if I blow it?) can cause a major onset of the blues.

WHAT'S THE CURE FOR DISCOURAGEMENT?

There's a fascinating story in the Bible about how a guy named Nehemiah mobilized the residents of Jerusalem to build a wall around the entire city. Half way through the project, the citizens became discouraged and wanted to give up -- because of the FOUR causes I've given.

Here's what Nehemiah taught about defeating discouragement (Nehemiah 4):

REST YOUR BODY

If you need a break -- take one! You'll be more effective when you return to work. If you're burning the candle at both ends, you're not as bright as you think!

REORGANIZE YOUR LIFE

Discouragement doesn't necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing. It may just be that you are doing the right thing in the wrong way. Try a new approach. Shake things up a little.

REMEMBER GOD WILL HELP YOU

Just ask Him. He can give you new energy. Theres incredible motivating power in faith.

RESIST THE DISCOURAGEMENT

Fight back! Discouragement is a choice. If you feel discouraged, it's because youve chosen to feel that way. No one is forcing you to feel bad. Hang on! Do what's right in spite of your feelings. No feeling lasts forever.

More Discipleship Resources on Spiritual Life

More from Spiritual Life


Article by Rick Warren, Saddleback Church. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA., a congregation that now averages 16,000 in attendance each weekend. Rick is also author of The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, and founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for those in ministry. From Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox, a free weekly e-newsletter for those in ministry.

© Pastors.com, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

  • Translate
  • Print Page


CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Email iconSign up for E-mail Updates Full List

 E-mail: 
Visit CBN
Do You Know Jesus
Grow In Your Faith

Need Prayer?

Call 1-800-823-6053
Email your prayer request