When discouragement is pounding on your door, open it with hope.
When discouragement is pounding on your door, open it with hope. (Getty Images )

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Are you discouraged today?

I believe discouragement is one of the enemy's favorite and most common strategies to use against a believer. The enemy knows there is greatness inside you, and so he does everything possible to keep you in a place of weakness, self-doubt and emotional malaise.

What God has planned for you may require preparation, focus, commitment and even patience, so don't give up. When discouragement pounds at the door of your heart, send hope to answer it.

When disappointment endeavors to invade the well-traveled pathways of your life, let expectation usher disappointment right out the door.

When despair begins to shout in frustrated impatience, allow faith and optimism to sing louder still.

There will certainly be times in life this side of heaven when things do not go the way we had hoped for or expected, and in those moments, it is vital that our commitment to the character of God resonate beyond our circumstances.

When events conspire against you, declare God's eternal and uncompromising goodness over your situation.

When people walk away and mislead you, remind yourself that your loving Father has promised never to leave you or forsake you. He is truly a Friend who sticks around without wavering.

When dreams are dashed and well-made plans come to absolutely nothing, know that God's dreams for your life are even bigger than your own. Marinate in the comfort that God's plans come without an expiration date.

David, the worshipper and the great soldier, was greatly distressed because the Amalekites, who were the fierce enemy of the people of God, had come to Ziklag, burned all of their homes and kidnapped all of the women and children. David and his mighty men lifted their voices and cried until there was no strength left in them to weep.

Perhaps you feel as David did that day. Maybe you have cried and shouted until you are weakened, without voice and beyond movement. Perhaps you can't believe the devastation that has happened in your life and ministry and aren't sure you have the strength to go on.

When David found himself in this place, he made an extraordinary choice that I believe you should consider as well.

"But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6b).

  • If you are discouraged ... encourage yourself in the Lord.
  • If you are disappointed ... declare the Word of God over your circumstances.
  • If you are without hope ... pray another prayer of faith.
  • If you have no strength to go on ... lift your hands in joyful worship.

After David had encouraged himself in the Lord, he heard the voice of God say, "Pursue them, for you will surely overtake them and will surely recover all" (1 Sam. 30:8b).

After you have strengthened yourself in the Lord, it is time for you to pursue the call of God on your life once again. It is time for you to chase destiny and dreams that have tried to run away from you.

Throw discouragement off and run toward the promises and presence of God in your life. Don't be discouraged. You are almost there! Don't give up. Give all!

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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