Using Philippians 4:8 as her starting point, Paula Masters helps women navigate beyond clouds of spiritual darkness into the brilliant light of truth, peace, and healthy thinking.
To be discouraged is to be disheartened. The dictionary describes it as being deprived of courage, hope, or confidence. It may be caused by many different types of variables and show up in multiple forms including disapproval, rejection, and intimidation. It may come by outside forces pressing in, or be the result of an inward turmoil of perception and feelings.
A common characteristic of a woman struggling with discouragement is the feeling that she is unable to move forward. For instance, if she works diligently on a project and her efforts go unrecognized or are criticized she might feel she does not have the energy or motivation to continue on. When this takes place, the woman’s expectations become disappointed, and her motivation becomes deflated. If this happens repeatedly, she may experience a sense of failure. This can apply to any arena in life.
What many women don’t realize is that discouragement is one of the biggest strategies Satan uses to immobilize a Christian woman’s contribution in life. It is his way of not only stealing away what could be her best efforts in present times, but ultimately her future as well. Hence, a woman who struggles with discouragement often settles for less because doubting and nagging feelings plague her she starts to wonder--what's the use?
One of the major downfalls of this struggle is that a woman is kept from reaching her full potential. Life--and the opportunities it brings--can subsequently pass her by. This is why it is important, if you are a woman who recognizes these traits in your own life, to seek the help that can only be found by the strengthening of faith.
There is hope! With God’s help a woman can have the joy and confidence that belongs to her regardless of disappointments and discouragement. However it will take a shoring up of the inner person that is hidden in Christ. This will need to become more and more real, solid, and consistent. It is that holy and tranquil place where a woman is safe and discouragement cannot win out. But this will only come by her spirit being fortified by the Spirit of God.
If you struggle with being immobilized by discouragement, be encouraged by this: there is a faith that defies discouraging situations. The “hall of faith” in Hebrews Chapter 11 is filled with saints of old who pressed past circumstances in this victorious faith. You are not alone!
The Psalms describe it like this: ". . . like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:8).