We all know how it feels to be discouraged, and yet we often feel ill-equipped to support others through such experiences. Lindsey Carlson reminds us that the letters of St Paul, the Apostle, can guide us in such ministry.
"Discouragement is a key strategy utilized by the enemy to distract, dishearten, and defeat followers of Jesus from trusting the promises of God. When we are weary, pressed down, and crushed by burdens on every side, discouragement lies and tells Christians there’s no hope. But we are not intended to give way to a spirit of fear or to give up the battle. We are not a hopeless people.
When discouragement looms large, we usually do not need to be set straight, given “how-to” advice, or offered the assurance that our circumstances will turn around at any moment. When we are discouraged and the demands feel like too much to shoulder, we need encouragement."