Kids get discouraged for different reasons: bad grades, lack of friends, poor health, unreasonable parents – just to name a few. If you stay discouraged, you will feel sluggish and act negative around others. Remember, you are not the only one who feels this way. Every person goes through tough times and failures. Read on and see how you can turn discouragement into encouragement.
I am feeling really discouraged. Can God offer me any encouragement? The Bible is packed with meaningful promises that can guide you through the toughest times. Here is just one! "So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here." (I Peter 1:6, TLB).
I feel like there is no hope for my future, and I’m scared of what might happen. It’s in the Bible, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."(Jeremiah 29:11, TLB).
Does God promise encouragement when I need it? He certainly does and you’ll find it in the Bible, "When I pray, You answer me, and encourage me by giving me the strength I need." (Psalm 138:3, TLB).
I’m always making mistakes and messing up. Is there any hope for me? Remember God isn’t finished with any of us yet. It’s in the Bible, "And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns"(Philippians1:6, TLB).
Is there anything I can do to keep from being discouraged? People who are tired and don’t drink enough water get discouraged more easily. There is a Bible story that seems to agree. One of God’s prophets, Elijah, was as discouraged as a person can get. It’s in the Bible, “And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:4, NKJV). Elijah felt scared because a wicked queen wanted to kill him. He also felt tired because he had been running all day from her. “Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, ‘Arise and eat. ‘ Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.”(1 Kings 19:5, 6, NKJV). God knows that if we don’t take care of our bodies, we will feel bad mentally and physically.
Someone has said that I can become encouraged if I encourage someone else. Is that true? Yes! When you do something for someone, you are the one who is blessed. It’s in the Bible, "For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other." (Romans 1:11-12, TLB).
Encouragement comes from remembering how God has led in the past. As you read the Bible, you will find stories of how God protected the Israelites from the plagues of Egypt (Exodus11:7), and then parted the Red Sea so they could walk through on dry ground (Exodus 14). You will discover how God took a small rock in the hands of David and turned it into a mighty weapon that won a war! (1 Samuel 17: 45-51). It’s in the Bible, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition…” (1 Corinthians 10:11, NKJV). Our faith will increase as we see how the Bible characters overcame discouragement through trusting in God.
Who needs encouragement? One of the first is new believers. Satan wants to discourage them. You can encourage them by showing love and sharing God’s word. It’s in the Bible, "They helped the believers to grow in love for God and each other. They encouraged them to continue in the faith in spite of all the persecution, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations" (Acts 14:21-22, TLB).
Encourage your church leaders by saying only positive things and thanking them for their hard work. "Dear brothers, honor the officers of your church who work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because they are straining to help you." (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, TLB).
How can I help someone else who is discouraged? The answer is in the Bible, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."(1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV). Be positive and tell them about the mighty God you serve! “Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV).
Don’t let discouragement get you down. You can choose to stay positive and follow Jesus.