The Women’s Ministry at my church went through Crash the Chatterbox, by Steven Furtick, at our small group Bible study.
The book is divided into the four main areas of lies and deception we find ourselves facing: insecurity, fear, condemnation, and discouragement. If you’re like me, more than one of those rang a bell with you and you’re already feeling slightly uncomfortable. But here’s the best part: after confronting the lies we can overcome them and replace them with the truth found in God’s Word.
One thing I love about our women’s Bible study (if you’re ever in the area please come check it out!) is that it is small group based so we get to discuss our reading and insights with each other. I love it so much that I am bringing the discussion to you on my blog!
It doesn’t take much for us to get discouraged these days. Simply watching the nightly news, looking at our bank account, or scrolling through social media can cause the voice of discouragement to sweep over us.
DISCOURAGEMENT IS A NATURAL INERTIAL IN LIFE AND FOR US TO LIVE OUT THE WILL OF GOD WE MUST BE WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DEFY THIS INEVITABLE FORCE AND STAY ON TRACK.
I recently faced a discouraging situation with a girlfriend of mine. To set up a little of the backstory: she has been a friend for over a decade, that’s a long time. Our friendship endured a lot over the years but we were always committed to one another and to growing the friendship no matter what was going on.
Through a series of life circumstances (life does happen, right) we began to drift apart. Through multiple attempts of mine to maintain the friendship I realized it was starting to look a whole lot like a one-way street and she was nowhere to be found.
Now, to be fair to her, she wasn’t entirely cold to my attempts to keep the friendship going and I’m sure she has her own valid interpretation of the situation. Nevertheless, the outcome remains the same regardless of who was right or wrong or who did this or that.
In a last ditch effort to reach out to her I send her a text of well wishes for her family’s move to another part of the state. And, just what I expected to happen, happened…nothing. Absolutely nothing happened. No text in return, not even a thank you, or worse yet, no thumbs up emoji (I mean really, how long does it take to send an emoji).
So in set the discouragement. The discouragement of a failed friendship, the discouragement of an unresolved situation, the discouragement of chatterbox replaying everything that went wrong over the years.
This may be a small example of what causes discouragement is our lives, but the point is the same –
DISCOURAGEMENT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
It comes after your friendships, your marriage, your kids, your finances, your career, your ministry, your everything. It’s always there in the morning following you and waiting for an opportune time to take advantage of you.
So what do we do? We can’t ever get rid of the voice of discouragement, but we can overcome it by what God says to us instead. Steven Furtick states that “the Enemy’s goal goes way beyond putting you in a bad mood temporarily. He’s trying to talk you out of trusting God’s plan for you life at a foundational level.”
When discouragement about my friend hit me, I was in a bad mood at first, but the longer I dwelt on it and listened to the voice of the chatterbox the more I started to doubt God’s goodness to me. It started to undermine my passion for the friendships I did currently have. I began to think that if a solid friendship of ten years could dissolve then what friendship wouldn’t and what even is the point of investing in them.
WHEN DISCOURAGEMENT IS "PROPERLY NAVIGATED, IT CAN BECOME A DOORWAY TO DISCOVERING THE COMFORT AND COURAGE OF CHRIST IN UNTOLD MEASURES."
- STEVEN FURTICK
When I chose to acknowledge the feelings of discouragement and give them to God He gave me the courage to pursue the people around me He’s placed in my life. Instead of letting a friendship that went sour embitter me toward others, He showed me that true love requires risk and vulnerability.
Sometimes the love we give people is reciprocated and sometimes it’s not, but what’s sown in love is never without a harvest, whether here and now or then and there (Heaven).
WHEN WE CHOOSE TO SHOW THE LOVE OF GOD AND WALK IN OUR CALLINGS, DESPITE THE DISCOURAGEMENT THAT COMES OUR WAY, WE ARE SAYING TO THE WORLD THAT THE WAY OF JESUS IS WORTH IT.
We may not get the reciprocation we think we deserve, but we do get the victory. We never lose when we choose to follow Jesus and pursue people over wallowing in our discouragement.