There are many stories/events throughout the Bible and history where discouragement threatens to take over life.
- Abraham and Sarah and their failure to conceive
- Joseph, while in prison, waiting to be remembered
- Moses- leading the Israelites around the desert
- Peter when he denied Jesus three times
- Paul, as he sits in prison after prison and deals with people who were hard-hearted
- Jews in concentration camps as they waited...
- Families who wait for word from (or about) their loved ones in another country/city/state after a crisis
- Tami Grandi.. and I know that every single person can add your name and situation to this list as well.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
So, even in the midst of realizing that life is falling apart- that he is living in his Plan B- he chose to rejoice- to find joy in God!
The flip-side of discouragement is hope. Merriam-Webster defines hope as: to expect with confidence (aka TRUST)
- Abraham and Sarah conceived Isaac and from that baby came a great legacy
- Joseph was eventually remembered and because of his great trust in the Lord he was given a gift that allowed him to save many people.
- Moses never led the Israelites to the Promised Land but he saw/experienced the Lord in amazing ways.
- Peter turned the grief he felt at his denial and became a follower of Christ who gave up EVERYTHING.
- Paul wrote letter to churches in the midst of his imprisonments that contain encouragement and truths we can live by today
Psalm 126:8- "Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy."
Psalm 130:5-6 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord..."