This is the time of year when I go through a period of discouragement and darkness. I want to run away from everything and hide myself away. I suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome and I find it hard to face and be around people. This year I am facing that giant and won’t let that discouragement get me down or keep me from performing my duties.
Why do we as Christians so often get discouraged and want to give up? Why do we often put our eyes on our circumstances instead of our Saviour? We look at the storms in our lives and so often want to "throw in the towel". As a very good friend of mine said to me recently; "Why do so many Christians use that phrase? What good would it do you? Can you actually throw in a towel? What if all Christians decided to throw in the towel, where would the world be today? What if Jesus Himself in the garden instead of saying; "Nevertheless Father not My will but Yours be done" said "I can’t do this, I’m throwing in the towel" We would all be lost."
Don’t misunderstand me. Many of you have very good reasons for feeling discouraged. You face things like illness, divorce and separation, rebellious children, lack of a job, finances and many other things too numerous to mention. Sometimes discouragement is brought on by tiredness or a lack of prayer and bible reading. With me it was facing chronic illness that was crippling and required 3 major surgeries, a spouse suffering from mental illness, separation and a number of false accusations that had been brought up against me. I had every reason to be discouraged and throw in the towel.
Discouragement is the one tool that the devil uses most to deter us from dependence on God and walking in His will. The devil will remind you over and over about your circumstances so that you lose your focus and forget God’s promises.
So often we forget the time that Jesus and His disciples were in a boat and a storm came up. Jesus was sleeping and the disciples fearing for their lives cried out; "Master, Master wake up we are going to drown!" Jesus woke up and calmed the storm and rebuked them for their lack of faith. Luke 8:22-25 They had God in their boat and they were afraid of drowning!?!? We have to get it into our hearts and minds that God is in our boat and no storm can touch us if He is there with us.
So why do we get discouraged and want through in the towel? Jesus said "Come to me all you who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light." Matthew 11:28-30 and "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." John 16:33.
The promises and encouragement for believers found in God’s word are endless. So why do we want to throw in the towel? Because we take our eyes of the Lord and put them on the storm. My sister in the Lord had only been a Christian for 3 years and yet she showed a lot of maturity in what she said to me. God used her to get me to rethink what I was saying. I myself will never again threaten to throw in the towel. God’s promises are true and His word never fails! Thank-you Jesus for being in my boat!