For several months I have observed people battling discouragement. Every believer I have ever known has had opportunities to be discouraged, but God provides a way to help you overcome this temptation and move on into your rightful place of victory.
James 1:2-3, Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (tests and trials). Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Tests and trials will come. The Bible says to count it all joy when you face them, not if. Moreover, while your faith is being tried, patience is working. Since patience is the driving force which puts you over in the midst of the test at hand, we should learn more about patience—what it is and how it works.
Strong’s Concordance defines patience as cheerful endurance. We are not merely to endure, but to cheerfully endure!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in order for patience to be manifested, there must be some sort of pressure or affliction coming against you. Patience wouldn’t be at work unless adversity is involved.
Sometimes delay can provoke or frustrate, causing a reaction, but patience is the ability to tolerate delay without being provoked. Remember this—delay does not equal denial; this is when you need to put patience to work.
Look at the life of Elijah. His ministry was marked by miracles. The first account we have of him is in I Kings 17 when he pronounced a drought in the land. He spoke to the weather and said, no more rain until I say so, and that’s exactly what happened. He was operating in the gift of faith. From there the Lord led him into a place of provision so the birds could take care of him. Imagine that…birds brought Elijah food and kept him alive. That’s a miracle!
The Lord then led Elijah to a widow woman who took care of him through a famine. He had her make him a cake first, and her meal and oil lasted throughout the entire drought, while others were dying left and right. Another miracle occurred when he was up against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, and he called the fire of God down. He rallied others and they killed the prophets of Baal. Everything about Elijah’s ministry up to that point was earmarked by manifestations of the Spirit of God. He was a man of great faith and power.
Then in I Kings 19 we read the story of Queen Jezebel and how she threatened Elijah’s life because of what he had done to the prophets of Baal.
I Kings 19:4-5, But he (Elijah) 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. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
The amazing thing to me is that after all these outstanding miracles, he got scared and fled for his life, and even wanted to die! God wasn’t okay with that, however, so he sent an angel who told him to arise and eat.
Listen, don’t let discouragement set into your heart and mind. When that happens, it opens the door to fear, and fear is your enemy! Instead, remember all the times the Lord has seen you through difficult situations, and be assured that this time is no different! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Hebrews 10:36 says, For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Patience and the promise. Apply endurance—that sameness, that ability to stand up against affliction—and you are going to win. Maintain an even temper, and do not let delay cause you to become frustrated or provoked.
God is faithful, and His promises are yours. What is the promise? It is the fulfillment of those things you are standing for, believing for, and pursuing. It is healing for your body; it is peace for your mind; it is favor in your situation. Don’t let discouragement rob you of the promise. Arise and eat, and let patience have her perfect work. You shall be perfect and entire, wanting nothing!