Overcoming Discouragement

Jeremiah 29:11

BEING A PROPHET IN Israel wasn’t an easy gig. That’s the understatement of the year. Most of the men God called were expected to boldly bear the bad news of God’s displeasure with the attitudes and sins of His people.

One such prophet often found himself in the pit of despair.

Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave! Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.

JEREMIAH 20:17–18

In my youngest daughter’s home, they have a funny response when someone in the family lets out such a pitiful, despairing trill:

“You want some cheese with that whine?!”

But Jeremiah’s plight was no laughing matter. Israel had been on a long drift away from God. He had the dismaying task of pronouncing God’s warning of sure judgment if they didn’t repent and turn back to Him in reverence.

That ancient man of God, unfortunately, is not alone with feelings like that. Who hasn’t struggled against the grain of God’s mysterious, unknowable ways, and found themselves discouraged and disillusioned? I certainly have, on many occasions.

But it’s precisely in such times that we must remember God’s promise to deliver and to provide. To stand by our side and bring comfort to our troubled minds. That’s His way. It always has been.

The same weeping prophet, bent low in despair, wrote these triumphant words many years later:

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


Bewildered by God’s timing in your recent financial setback? They are plans for your good and not for disaster. Anxious about the results of the biopsy? For I know the plans I have for you. Coming to terms with the finality of your loved one’s death? I want to give you a future and a hope.

Don’t despair. God is still on His throne. Don’t let your faith waver over His plan. It is for your good and for His glory. You can trust Him.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.

Posted in Encouragement & Healing, God's Will and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.