In Joshua 1:9, God says, "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go". I don't know about you, but I see discouragement just about everywhere I go. I'd be lying if I told you that I haven't suffered my own discouragement, as recently as this past month.
People are discouraged because their pain isn't going away. People are discouraged because no one is calling to set up an interview. People are discouraged because they stand in the window, night after night, ready to run with open arms and embrace a prodigal who isn't coming home.
A synonym for the word discouragement is "hopelessness".
Relationships look hopeless. Marriages look hopeless. Finances have crumbled. Singles think finding a mate is just downright hopeless after all these years.
Just fill in the blank: "I am discouraged because________________________."
If you can't fill in the blank today, I guarantee that it will get filled, one day soon. It just seems to come with the ebb and flow of life on planet Earth. But Almighty God says, "Do not be discouraged". Are you thinking, "For cryin' out loud...how do I do that"? Me too.
I was reading Psalm 46 in my quiet time this morning, and came across that very familiar verse that says, "Be still and know that I am God". (Psalm 46:10) In the margin on that page, I have some notes that I must have taken in some sort of Bible study at one time. The notes reminded me that in the Hebrew language, the word used in this verse for "still", pictures a physical position. It's like letting your body go limp, or relaxing the grip of your hand.
Before I go on, I want you to re-read that last paragraph. I want you to walk away from your computer, take a seat in your favorite chair, and think about what those words just said to you about your "fill in the blank" situation. I'll wait while you go...
I pray that the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart loud and clear. He sure as shootin' spoke to mine early this morning!
What I heard was, "Baby girl, take your manicured, pink and white, gel-nailed hands off that situation. Relax the grip of your hand. I AM God!"
Message received...loud and clear.
We need to acknowledge that God is God. There's never enough room for two sets of hands on our situations. You may have been holding on for so long that your knuckles are white. Let God pry those hands off, one stiff finger at a time. Relax your grip and place your hands in the hands of God.
His hands created the universe. His fingers wrote the Ten Commandments. His are the hands that stilled the storm and calmed the sea. They are the hands that gave sight to the blind, made the deaf hear, set the lame to dancin', and raised the dead.
God's hands are strong hands. They are big hands. And most wonderful of all...His hands are loving hands. They will never hurt you. They will never release their grip on you.
Every time you're tempted to grip tight, remember that there is pair of hands that have you and your situation held much tighter. Isaiah 49: 16 says, "See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands." That word, "engraved" means, "inscribed or cut into." God is holding you so tightly that you are leaving an impression, a mark, an inscription, on the palm of His hands. His right hand holds you fast. (Psalm 139:10)
Be still. Relax your grip. He Is God. He's got you!
Now there's the cure for discouragement if I ever saw one!