There is never a shortage of people or circumstances that will produce discouragement and try to hand it off to you—don’t take the baton that is trying to be passed. Job felt discouraged with his wife and friends. They didn’t get it. In the midst of his suffering and questioning God, they tried to be helpful, but they ended up heaping more shame and blame on Job for his afflictions.
Elijah became discouraged with life’s circumstances and felt discouraged, exhausted, and told himself that his entire ministry was a waste (1 Kings 19). Jeremiah felt angry and discouraged with God when he believed God was against him, and because of that perspective, he temporarily lost hope in God (Lamentations 3). Peter felt discouraged with himself when he realized that he wasn’t as courageous as he thought he was. Jesus had warned him that he would deny him, but Peter’s pride kept him from seeing himself clearly (Matthew 26:31 and 74, 75).
David described opposition from people well. “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” (Psalm 109:2-5
It is little wonder that this would happen to God’s children for we clearly see that type of behavior poured out on our Lord as He traversed this earth. In fact we are told to expect this to befall us. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:20-12)
Many years ago a dear elderly friend and counselor of mine, being privy to my life and sensing my pain at that time, sent me the following words that someone had written that were an encouragement to him during some difficult times of his own. He simply said to me, “Marc, my dear brother, just keep keeping on for Jesus. Never, never, never allow this life’s discouragement to cause you to grasp the baton of cynicism.
“People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
LOVE THEM ANYWAY!
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
DO GOOD ANYWAY!
If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
DO GOOD ANYWAY!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY!
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds.
THINK BIG ANYWAY!
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
FIGHT FOR THE UNDERDOGS!
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight,
People that really need help often attack you if you help them.
Give the world the best you’ve got and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
GIVE YOUR BEST ANYWAY! “
...do all to the glory of God!
Live by faith, walk in His Spirit, Keep giving your best for our Lord, and have a GREAT day!