It’s safe to say we’ve all faced a large measure of discouragement over the past year. The definition of discouragement is a loss of confidence or enthusiasm (New Oxford American Dictionary). Many people have lost confidence in things that once provided security, such as employers, experts, leaders, and the like. As Christians, we’re taught through God’s Word to put our confidence in God alone. Accordingly, there are many Bible verses about discouragement that provide hope, even when life situations become challenging.
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What Can Cause Discouragement?
Before we look at the Scriptures, it’s helpful to understand some of what may cause feelings of discouragement. There are several factors involved, some of which are weariness, fear, and setbacks.
Weariness that leads to dismay
Weariness is one of the most prominent causes of discouragement. We can experience weariness physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In short, when we encounter difficult circumstances it becomes exhausting. We don’t sleep well, so we’re physically tired. We concentrate too hard, weighing multiple options about our situation and become mentally fatigued. Emotions become hard to navigate and the spiritual burden becomes hard to bear. Weariness fuels discouragement and causes us to lose confidence in ourselves, others, and our circumstance.
Fear that steals peace
When facing uncertainty, fear becomes a readily available tool of the enemy. He uses it against us as fiery darts, stealing our peace and causing us to feel disheartened and hopeless. In seasons where we experience fear, it feels so very hard to raise our shield of faith and combat it. Fear holds us in bondage and contributes to further discouragement.
Setbacks that cause disappointment
Another factor that adds to discouragement is setbacks. We strive and work to achieve certain outcomes, for example: working for years to accumulate retirement income; putting in countless hours to build a successful side hustle; pouring prayer and effort into parenting children who follow God. When our efforts are disrupted or when we encounter setbacks beyond our control, we often feel discouraged.
During the past many months of global pandemic, we’ve experienced all three of the primary factors of discouragement. In some manner, our world-wide population has encountered weariness, fear, and setbacks that have brought disappointment and discouragement.
How to Handle Discouragement
Thankfully, God’s Word gives us careful instruction and encouragement on how to handle discouragement. The Scriptures show us how to overcome disappointment and deal with discouragement to walk in victory.
There are many examples of discouragement in the Bible, along with stories of hope and healing for those afflicted. Staying focused on God’s Word brings peace we can never muster in our own strength. It’s helpful to place note cards with Bible verses in a place where you’ll see them often. They will remind you of God’s truth in your situation. For example, if you’re feeling hopeless, write out Romans 15:13 on a card and place it where you’ll see it and read it often. Allow its truth to penetrate your heart and mind.
To do find the most help with discouragement will require:
- naming each “category” of discouragement that you are experiencing by asking the Lord to help you identify those areas
- finding a Bible passage that dispels the lies of the enemy and points to God’s truth. Again, ask the Lord to help you identify the verses then find them. (Google is also a good tool. Type in “what does the Bible say about discouragement”)
- taking the time to write out the verses
- memorizing the verses so that when you’re not near your notecards you can still resist the enemy with the power of God’s truth
I’ve recently compiled a collection of Bible verses to help uplift anyone facing a difficult season of discouragement. Here they are:
15 Bible Verses About Discouragement
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lamentations 3:22-24 Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, “The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.”
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering since he who promised is faithful.
Psalm 33:22 May your faithful love rest on us, LORD, for we put our hope in you.
Romans 8:31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
2 Chronicles 20:15 This is what the Lord says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged . . . for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
To bring us to 15 Bible verses about discouragement, I’ve collected eight additional verses and designed them into printable notecards that you can carry with you or post in a prominent location.
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The Power of Worship to Find Encouragement
Worship is another powerful weapon to help overcome discouragement. Fill your home, your car, your mind, and your workplace (to the extent possible) with worship music. Praise Him continually. The Lord inhabits the praise of His people and where His light is, darkness flees. Whether we’re singing along with the music or listening to it in the background, it will begin to feel like a companion that helps keep thoughts positive and focused on God.
** By the way, all of the verses listed above are from the HCSB.
Please know that the Lord never leaves nor forsakes His children. Whatever you face today, you do not face it alone. He is with you. I encourage you to keep your mind fixed on Him. That is the surest way to embrace the gift of joy He has waiting for you.
Also, if you’re struggling with discouragement today, will you reach out and let me know so I can lift you in prayer? It’s my honor to stand with you during this difficult season.