Discouraged? Here’s a Prosperous Soul Secret for Dreamers and Builders
Though I didn’t lose my house or property to the ugly wildfire that poured over the mountains into my city of Redding, California, many people did lose everything. In the aftermath of the Carr Fire, discouragement seems to hang in the air. When I wake up in the morning, I can feel it.
What can we do when we feel discouraged?
As a Prosperous Soul community, we are people who believe for breakthrough. We work hard and expect God to meet us.
But sometimes the answers to our expectations are delayed. We don’t always get to enjoy quick responses to our sowing, and the days of waiting can seem like they’re growing longer and longer until eventually, we find ourselves in a place of deep discouragement. It’s like we’re trying to push a boulder up a steep incline. That thing is heavy, and sometimes it feels like it isn’t even moving.
Yet we hope it is—we hope that despite the resistance, we somehow will be able to accomplish our dreams.
Today, I want to encourage you and let you know that pushing is a virtue, but it is not the end of the story. In times of discouragement, we need to win the battleground of our minds.
Many of us have this idea that God should win and, because we’re on His side, we should win. That idea isn’t wrong, but sometimes we can blend it with an untruth found in today’s culture: that our wishes and desires should happen instantly.
Our culture generates an expectation of instant gratification. So many things are available right at our fingertips. Our entertainment instantly appears on the television; we do our shopping on demand. If we’re at the grocery store to buy a certain vegetable and they don’t have it, we’re offended. “That’s ridiculous! They should have this!”
If we’re not careful, we can plant the idea of instant gratification in our hearts as truth. It feels true and seems real to us, yet it is not higher than absolute truth established in Scripture.
Times and Seasons
The Bible is clear that the world God created works in seasons, and I think the same is true in our lives.
- Spring is the time for sowing. We get up, get moving, and put our faith in the ground. We plant our dreams and hopes in this season.
- Summer is the time we work at what we’ve planted. We water it, keep it covered when it needs shade, and expose it to the sun when it needs light. Summers are busy seasons filled with work.
- Fall is the season of harvest.
- Winter is when we consume what we’ve gathered.
Practically speaking, that is what the seasons of life can look like. All of us long for fall—the season of harvest, when we get to see the fruit of our labors. Unfortunately, many of us expect fall when we’re actually in a different season.
I hope for fall and believe for fall, but I am not always in a season of fall, nor am I only in a season of fall. It is good for me to recognize that seasons change.
Ask God to Accelerate Your Season
If you are feeling discouraged because you’re in a season that isn’t fall, ask God to accelerate the season you are in. This is a biblical principle found in Amos 9:13:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“When the plowman will overtake the reaper
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
When the mountains will drip sweet wine
And all the hills will be dissolved.”
The hills mentioned here are the steep inclines that we have been trying to climb as we push up the “boulder” of our hopes and dreams. But these will not always be in our way because God promises to flatten them.
If you’re in a place of discouragement, pray this prayer as often as you need to:
Father God, thank You that I am passing through seasons. I ask You for encouragement for the season I am in right now. Please move me quickly through my winters, springs, and summers, and let my fall harvests be rich. Whatever season I am in, bring in my harvest.
May Your hope flood my thinking, the plans I have made, and what those plans will render.
Please give me courage. Help me to shake off discouragement when I find myself having to rebuild or persevere. Bless that virtue within me and cause me to succeed in Your name.
I pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God bless your Prosperous Soul.
To learn more about this topic, click here to watch Stephen’s Facebook Live video.