• DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT
• A problem that we all face from time to time.
• It may not be true of all of us, but for many (if not most) we have times
in our lives when we become discouraged.
• As we strive to serve God things do not always go the way we wish they
• People let us down – brethren, family members, friends and prospects;
we sometimes fail in our efforts to overcome sin; sometimes we are dealing with
difficult circumstances such as an unbeliever or one who is unfaithful; constant
criticisms when one is trying to do good things, at other times we grow anxious
or frustrated because things are not progressing the way we think they should;
and you could add many other examples.
• We face discouragements.
• BUT how do we as Christians deal with them?
• In this lesson we are going to notice some things we can do.
• Our approach will be to look at the life of Jesus
• Did Jesus become discouraged?
• The question is one that is debated.
• Now where are we told in so many words that Jesus was discouraged?
Isaiah 53:3 describes Jesus, “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man
of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And
carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.”
• Being a “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” could indicate
discouragement at times.
• To whatever degree grief and sorrow are related to discouragement it is
• On the other hand, Cf. Isaiah 42:1-4, another passage that addresses Jesus
(the Messiah) says, “A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax
He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor
be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands
shall wait for His law.”” (Isaiah 42:3–4, NKJV)
• The KJV, NKJV use the word discouraged.
• However the word means, one that is crushed or broken.
• That is more the result of one who gives in to his discouragements.
• Considering these passages, depending on what we mean by discouragement
(as we understand the word in our language – a feeling of having lost hope
or confidence), whether or not Jesus was actually discouraged is debatable.
• BUT, what is NOT debatable is that He faced MANY occasions where He could
have been discouraged.
• John 6:67. After many of His disciples walked with Him no more because
of His teachings, we read, “Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you
also want to go away?”” Was He disappointed or discouraged on that
• Luke 9:41, after the transfiguration, the next day a man approaches Jesus
because His disciples were unable to cast out a demon. Luke 9:41 says, “Then
Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long
shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.””
• After all the time His disciples had been with Him, yet they seemed to
not “get it”.
• Continually Jesus dealt with misunderstandings and poor attitudes of His
apostles – bickering with one another, fighting for positions of preeminence,
seeking a physical kingdom (like the Jews were looking for), etc.
• Consider His apprehension in the Garden – He prays to the Father,
but then He comes back and finds His disciples sleeping. Mark 14:34 says, “Then
He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay
here and watch.””
• Shortly thereafter, He would be abandoned by all of them, Peter would
deny Him 3 times, Judas would betray Him with a kiss, Israel would outright reject
Him and conspire against Him.
• They would break so many laws in trying to have Him cruelly killed including
lies, playing politics, twisting God’s laws, etc.
• On the cross, His enemies mock Him and soldiers gamble for His clothes.
• Matthew 23:37-39 finds Jesus lamenting over Jerusalem knowing what lies
in store for them, ““O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the
prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your
children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not
willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall
see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the
Lord!’ ”” (Matthew 23:37–39, NKJV)
• Consider everything He endured in His life, how could such things NOT
• Being discouraged is not wrong within itself.
• It is HOW you deal with it!
• As we have said, whether or not Jesus in His mind was actually discouraged
I cannot say, but I know that He took steps to ensure that He would NOT be overcome.
• When we face discouragement in this life there are things we need to do.
• AND, those same things that will help us overcome discouragement, can
prevent it from happening.
• So let us notice some things that Jesus DID that can help us deal with
• Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who endured such hostility
from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
• Jesus never gave up –
• One of the dangers of discouragement is that one wants to give up.
• But we can’t.
• When we give up, we admit defeat.
• Jesus knew He could not give up.
• He endured hostilities. He persevered. 1 Peter 2:21-23, “For to
this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit
found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return;
when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges
• Jesus had a job to do.
• At the age of 12, Luke 2: 49 finds Jesus in the temple when his parents
find Him there. “And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you
not know that I must be about My Father’s business?””
• Later He would say, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while
it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4, NKJV)
• He kept moving in that direction. IN John 17:4, “I have glorified
You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”
• Even on the cross one of His final sayings was, “It is finished.”
• We must remind ourselves that we can never give up.
• Galatians 6:9, if we do not lose heart.
• The Hebrew writer expressed concerns saying, “You have need of endurance”
• 1 Corinthians 15:58, be steadfast, immovable…
• Matthew 10:22, facing hatred and opposition Jesus said to His disciples,
“But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
• We need patience and longsuffering – Romans 2:7, “eternal
life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor,
• James 5:7–8, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming
of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting
patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient.
Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
• Jesus taught us to take a wider view –
• One of the sources of discouragement is that we don’t look out far
enough at the results.
• Usually, what we are looking at is that which is immediately in front
• It may be a present crisis or a setback in our efforts.
• When that happens, we need to step back and take a view at the wider picture.
• Jesus tried to get His disciples to see the “bigger picture.”
John 4:35, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then
comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at
the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35, NKJV)
• In John 14:1-3 He said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”
• This was followed by a promise of waiting mansions that He was going to
• In Genesis 50:20 - Joseph speaks to his brothers after the death of Jacob.
• He tells them not to fear. “But as for you, you meant evil against
me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to
save many people alive.”
• Sometimes, when we endure, later we can look back and see that our trials
and troubles were actually what we needed.
• In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was discouraged when Jezebel called for his life.
• This comes after a spectacular victory against the prophets of Baal.
• Elijah wanted to give up.
• While the Lord made arrangements for Elijah, He told him, that in Israel
there were some 7000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
• He was NOT alone (even though it felt like he was).
• When Paul was alone in prison and about to die, he knew the Lord was there
with him (2 Timothy 4:17)
• When we face discouragement, let us remind ourselves who is in control!
• God is in control -
• Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love
• 1 John 4:4, He is greater than he who is in the world.
• 1 John 5:4, with faith we can overcome the world.
• Jesus kept busy -
• When you face discouragement, one of the worst things you can do is to
just stop and “stew on it”.
• Yet that is what many do when they have been dealt some set-back.
• The longer you dwell on something – the deeper into despair you
will sink, it will begin to affect other areas of your life and thinking, AND
in the end that which caused your discouragement will probably NOT get changed
(because you do nothing).
• One way Jesus dealt with rejection, disappointments, etc. was to get to
• He kept busy doing what needed to be done (Acts 10:38 – He went
about doing good).
• When a city rejected Him, He just went to another one, Luke 4:43, “For
this purpose I have been sent.”
• He even instructed His apostles to do the same things (Matthew 10:11-15).
Again consider John 9:4, “I must work the work…”
• There is plenty of work for us to do.
• Practice your faith.
• Being busy keeps your mind off of troubles AND quite often, in time, it
helps to solve some of them.
• The prodigal son didn’t stay in the pig pen. (Luke 15:15-19)
• Jesus associated with those who were with Him –
• “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his
friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
• When you are discouraged, find someone who can help you get back on track.
• Find someone who cares about you and the Lord and will encourage you in
the right things.
• Jesus, after being rejected in John 6:67, note what the response of His
friend Peter was, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the
living God.” (68-69)
• Words Jesus needed at that time.
In the Garden as Jesus was about to face rejection, God sent an angel to comfort
Him (Luke 22:43).
• We need each other.
• There are few (and that is probably being generous) who don’t need
companionship and help in times of trouble.
• Paul needed Timothy and Titus and others. In
2 Corinthians 7:6, Paul was comforted by Titus being sent to him (as an example).
• In Hebrews 12:12-13, we are told “Therefore strengthen the hands
which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet,
so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”
• 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says to comfort the faint-hearted.
• That is ONE reason we have provided additional assemblies throughout the
• Jesus prayed –
• Jesus, the Son of God, spent so much time in prayer.
• That is one of the “tools” that helped Him resist discouragement
and other troubles He faced.
• He prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35), He prayed in the evening (Matthew
14:23); He prayed often (Luke 5:16), He prayed all night (Luke 6:12)
He taught His disciples about prayer. Luke 18:1, “Then He spoke a parable
to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,”
• When we are facing discouragement or others troubles we need to pray.
• 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – without ceasing.
• Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
• James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for
one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much”.
• Phil. 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer
and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and
the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.”
• Other steps could be added to these, but these are some things Jesus did
to avoid/overcome discouragement.
• Becoming discouraged is not wrong.
• But how you handle those times is another story.
• Will you overcome your discouragements or will you yield to them?
• Let us determine to rule over our emotions and attitudes.
By Carey Scott from an outline by Tommy Thornhill
Return to the Sermon
Home / Bible
studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General
Articles / Non-Bible Articles /
Sermons / Sermon
Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith
The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence
Courses / What is the Church of Christ /
Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me