Discouragement Isn’t Just Discouraged… It’s Disallowed!

I’ve been preparing for the missionary commissioning service for Doug and Mariam Bishop, who are headed with their children to Japan; and the subject of discouragement has come to mind. The great British preacher John Stott, said, “Discouragement is the occupational hazard of the Christian ministry.” Only the Lord knows how many times over the years I’ve yielded to discouragement. But God doesn’t just discourage discouragement among His workers–He forbids it. In preparing my message I looked up all the “Do Not Be Discouraged” verses in the Bible. I finally decided they didn’t fit into my prepared remarks on this occasion, but I’m saving them for later use–and for personal use. Here are some of them.

  • Deuteronomy 1:21 says: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 says: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Joshua 1:9 says: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Joshua 8:1 says, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  • Joshua 10:25 says: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.”
  • 1 Chronicles 22:13 says, “You will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
  • 1 Chronicles 28:20 says, “David also said to Solomon his son, Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.”
  • 2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid of discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
  • 2 Chronicles 32:7 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with them, for there is a greater power with us than with him.”
  • Isaiah 41:10 (NLT): “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strength you.”
  • Luke 18:1 (HCSB), “He told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged.”
  • Ephesians 3:13, “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged.”

Because of His sovereign Lordship, we should be impervious to discouragement, we should treat it as if it didn’t even exist. If these verses mean what they say, we should no more allow discouragement into our hearts than addiction, pornography, theft, or murder. As the old song says: “Why should I be discouraged? His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”