What To Do When Discouraged

Psalm 42:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

We’re not told who the human “penman” was for Psalm 42 (we do know God is the author). Who ever it was, they were going through a time of great discouragement. Psalm 42:5,11 & 43:5 give us the formula for dealing with Discouragement.

  1. Confront my Condition.Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
    Apparently there wasn’t too much he could do about his circumstances, but he could (and did) confront his spiritual condition. It is interesting to notice that throughout Scripture, the Lord rebukes His people sharply for being discouraged. When we’re discouraged, we tend to say and do things that are not true and are not right.
    Self confrontation in my spiritual life is very necessary. I must never tolerate, coddle, or wallow in my discouragement. I must always confront it. Recognize discouragement in my life and deal with it. Do not let it go on.
  2. Correct my Thinking.Hope thou in God.
    Discouragement is first and foremost faulting thinking. To end my discouragement, I must correct my thinking. “Hope” means to “wait with expectation” or to “wait for instructions from God.” He deliberately turned his thinking from his discouragement to the Lord. Note: We must NEVER allow our discouragement and the unscriptural thinking that accompanies it to dictate our thinking or our actions. Too many of us have made foolish and regrettable decisions in the midst of discouragement. When discouraged, get my thinking in line with the principles and promises of God’s Word. Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
  3. Celebrate the Savior.For I shall yet praise him for the help/health of my countenance.”
    This a deliberate decision made by the psalmist. Regardless of our circumstances, if we will deliberately recount the grace and mercy God has shown us in our lives, we can eradicate our discouragement.  God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) and when we praise Him, we have His special attention and presence.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.