Most everyone has had to handle discouragement at some point. Even Moses, wise and faithful to God as he was, got discouraged when the children of Israel were tired of the wilderness. He said, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me” (Numbers 11:14). Elijah was discouraged when Jezebel vowed to take his life. He “went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (I Kings 19:4). Their thoughts got caught up in discouragement so much that they asked to die. They forgot that the people were not their burdens to carry.
Omnipotent God takes care of any burden. God had already delivered Moses and the Hebrews from Egypt, and God was providing for them in the wilderness. Elijah, through God’s power, had overcome the prophets of Baal. And in the seemingly hopeless situations mentioned at the start of this article, God also provided a way forward for Moses and Elijah. Moses was given help from others that eased his burden. Elijah was fed by God’s angels in the wilderness and learned about the “still small voice” of God. So we know that discouragement can be conquered.
And yet, when discouragement comes to us regarding something we are trying to accomplish, another feeling often accompanies it to complicate our efforts—self-condemnation—and we conclude that not only are we depressed, but we are the cause of it! And fear creeps in.