What to Do When You’re Discouraged

I’m back writing after a few days off recovery from what I affectionately call a “tune-up”—necessary but not life-threatening surgery.

Wow, it’s tough getting the writing to flow after anesthesia-brain, much TV watching (did you know the Olympics are on for seven hours a day—and that’s just one station?!), napping, and of course, snacking.

I wrote a few paragraphs but wasn’t feeling inspired. I looked over my computer screen into the yard and prayed, “God, what do you want me to write? What is my problem?”

I felt God say to me, “The negative voice is not Me.”

Let me take you inside my head for a minute. It might be scary, so hold on! For every sentence I write I have a dozen negative thoughts hounding and haunting me.

~This is not good enough.

~This is not deep enough.

~People know this already.

~No one will read this.

~Why do I even try?

Okay, maybe not a dozen but almost half a dozen.

The point God made clear to me is that those negative thoughts are not from Him. Those thoughts are not constructive criticism to make me a better writer or have a more influential ministry. Those thoughts are meant to discourage and demoralize me. These negative thoughts are keeping me from hearing from God and being and doing all He intends for me. Those thoughts are from the enemy, not God.

So what do I do when I hear those thoughts?

~Recognize this is the enemy. He is never on my side, so there is nothing to be gained by listening to Him. Discard them immediately.

~ Do what Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness—respond with Scripture. God continually gives me Scriptures that remind me of His help, His equipping of me, and my calling. In 1 Samuel 14 Jonathan bravely steps out in faith to explore God’s plan for him. God speaks to him in a way he can hear. Jonathan listens and obeys. He and God defeat the overpowering enemy. As a result Jonathan knows God better and becomes more of who God designed him to be.

I also love Colossians 4:17—“Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.” I don’t want to stop before I complete all God has given me to do.

~Sometimes a time-out is called for. Stop, pray for direction, listen, and then proceed.

But never, never, never, believe the lie—

You’re not enough.

Because, it’s never just me on my own. It’s never just you on your own. It’s me and God. It’s you and God. And God more than makes up for what I lack. I obediently do my best. That requires faithful, hard work on my part. And God does His part. I leave it up to Him what that looks like.

When I confront negative thoughts with the above truths I have the similar results to Jonathan:

~I know God better.

~I become more of the person God made me to be.

~I fulfill more of the plan God has for my life.

Whenever you hear that negative voice, no matter what part of your life it is in, know that voice is never from God.

Yes, God will call you to be better—more like His Son.

But His voice will never put you down.

He may say, “You know better.”

But He will never say, “You’re not good enough.”

He may say, “Try something different.”

But He will never say, “You will fail.”

Think about it. What is the lie the enemy most often uses to discourage and demoralize you?

Whatever it is, that lie is not you. You are God’s girl. He has you and He has big plans for you. Lean in to Him and listen to His words of love, affirmation, and direction.


*For more on ignoring the lies and living the purposeful life God has for you check out Princess Unaware: Finding the Fabulous in Every Day.


Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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