Being discouraged is not an uncommon symptom in life. It is what you choose to do with it that matters. Think of the root meaning of the word – no courage. Discouraged means you have no courage to move out. It means that life has taken away some joy or hope. When you are discouraged it often feels as if you are alone in a desert. So how do you go from no courage, to courage again? You must choose the weapon of encouragement to encourage yourself.
Encouraged means that you are in courage. You have gained strength and resilience. You have taken joy and hope back again. One of the most beautiful stories in the bible is about two men who had become discouraged. One was David, the other was an unknown Egyptian man. Both were experiencing the worst times in their lives. David had returned from battle only to find that his village had been burned down and his wives and the families of his men had been captured. The other man had been left in a desert by his Amalekite slave owner. The young man had been sick. Instead of nurturing him back to health, the wicked slave owner left him to die in the desert. The young man had been there three days without food or water.
In his despair, David cried out unto the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding army and over take them?” The Lord told him to pursue them and that he would recover all. David’s men were exhausted from the battle and many could not go forward. So he took the band of 600 stronger men and moved out to rescue those that had been taken. As they crossed the desert, they found the young man lying in the heat, dying. They gave the young man food and water and began to help him. David said to him, Who do you belong to and where do you come from?”
By absolutely no coincidence the young man said that he was the slave of the Amalekite band that had just raided David’s home of Ziklag and carried the residents captive. Both of these men had just experienced the utter worst of discouragement, and yet God in his omniscient providence had them to meet at the right place, at the right time. Both of them got their victory in a desert! David asked the young man to tell him where the enemy was and he did. David was able to pursue and recover all.
What desert are you in? What are you discouraged about? Perhaps your answer is coming to you right in the desert. And remember, even Jesus’ ministry started in the desert. When he left the desert his life became more powerful than it had ever been. He changed the world once he had gone through the desert. Just like the young Egyptian, know that God knows exactly where you are in your desert and he will send whatever he needs to send to encourage you and take you victoriously out of it. David’s encouragement led him to courage. His courage led him to victory. His victory set all the captives free including the young Egyptian. You may be in a desert, but you are not deserted by God. He knows where you are and has victory for you on the other side of the desert. Need more encouragement?