Don’t Be Discouraged

Pray with ExpectationHave you ever been praying for something, waiting for something, or hoping things would change, and it just seems like things aren’t getting any better? You try to keep your head up and keep your faith strong, but you start to feel discouraged? You ever just get to the point where you start to doubt that things will ever change? Like “maybe I should just give up on it?” Yeah, me too. It happens. Especially when you’ve been waiting and praying for so long and you still see no progress. You might even start questioning if God really hears you.

I’m 19 days into this 31 Day “Pray For Them” Challenge and I’ll be honest – it’s gotten a bit difficult. Some days my faith is strong and I believe with everything in me that God is fixing it. Then I have other days where my emotions get the best of me and I don’t even want to pray about it. While I do still pray on those days because I committed, I really have to find ways to encourage myself. It’s in those moments that I really have to tell God “I feel discouraged today. Touch my heart and mind. Speak to my spirit”. I’m grateful because I know He can see my discouragement. I know He can feel it when I try to pray through it. And shortly after, He always finds a way to remind me to keep believing. Whether He speaks through my pastor at church, speaks through a TV show, a friend or even a fellow blogger, He speaks. And the one thing He keeps telling me is to keep praying. He is definitely working behind the scenes and one day His glory will be revealed.

Somewhere along the way I once heard a metaphor: a tree wasn’t always a tree. It started as a seed that had to be planted, watered, and fertilized. Then it grew roots down deep in the soil. Then those roots slowly grew and one day you could see it beginning to protrude out of the ground. Finally, after a long while it then becomes the tree we know it to be.

Have you planted the seed yet? That thing you’ve been desiring or hoping would get better, have you prayed about it? And when I say pray, I don’t mean the demands like “God, give me that job”. I mean the “Lord, please bless me with that new job if it’s in your will and if it’s not, I trust whatever your plan is. Just have your way”.

Have you watered that seed? Have you prepared yourself for a new job? Have you stopped trying to control the situation and surrendered it to God? Have you done a good job in the role you’re currently in? Have you been consistent with seeking God’s wisdom on the situation or do you do what you think is best?

Have you been content as you wait for the roots to grow? What is your relationship with God like right now while things aren’t going as you’d hoped? Are you content or desperate for more? Do you know Him or are you just begging for blessings? Have you been patient or rushing? What is your foundation made of? If He blessed you with more, is your foundation sturdy enough to handle it?

See, it’s really easy to try and rush the process. I know things aren’t perfect and trust me, I know what it’s like to feel discouraged. But while we’re waiting and praying, let’s remember 2 things:

First, it is a process. Just because we can’t see the change happening, doesn’t mean God isn’t working. He may not do it when we want Him to, but His timing is perfect. The tree wouldn’t be able to stand strong if it didn’t first grow strong roots. And the growing of strong roots isn’t something we could see from where we’re standing. After that seed was planted, we just had to trust that the roots were growing and that we’d soon have a tall, firmly planted tree. Also, He may not give us exactly what we asked for and He might not do it how we thought He would, but trust and believe that He will do exceedingly, abundantly, and above anything we could have ever asked for or imagined (Ephesians 3:20).

Second, while we are waiting patiently for God to fix it for us, we should be preparing for what we asked for. Reflect on some of those questions like what’s the status of your relationship with God? Do you have a stable foundation or are things out of order? Are you able to be content in your now? What is your motive? Is He trying to answer your prayer, but you’re afraid to be obedient? When we focus on the things we can’t control and try to read God’s mind, that’s when that doubt and discouragement begins to set in. Instead, we should continue praying, but also shift our focus to what we can change. We should use this time to focus on our own growth and development.

I pray that this serves as encouragement to someone that may feel like giving up on it. Don’t give up. Keep praying and keep waiting. Trust that He hears your every word, your every groan and your every cry. Just because we may not be able to see Him moving doesn’t mean He isn’t. Pray with expectation. #Faith

Check out my other posts about prayer below:
31-Day “Pray for Them” Challenge
KEEP PRAYING – 31 Day “Pray for Them Challenge”
What Prayer is Doing in My Heart

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