Facing Discouragement Without Despair

One of the natural results of working to end abortion or caring about our culture in general is discouragement. If we didn’t care about the world around us, we wouldn’t be discouraged when we see the decay of our culture’s morality. But since we do care, we can expect discouragement to come. In these times of discouragement, there are several things that I go to that help me get through that rough patch.

 

The first thing I remind myself when feeling discouraged is that our discouragement is evidence that we care. In Luke’s account of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44, we see not some problem with Jesus’ morale, but his care for Jerusalem. He saw the judgement coming to Jerusalem and was grieved over it. As long as our discouragement is a grief over a culture following sin, we are in good company.

The second thing that is vitally important to me when facing discouragement is a good community. It is not good for us to constantly live in an echo-chamber where our ideas are never challenged, but we do need a community of Christians who can encourage and strengthen us. Jesus encouraged his disciples for the persecution they would soon face by reminding them that they weren’t alone in that; the world persecuted him first (John 15:18-21). It’s good for us to see that we aren’t the only ones grieved by the sins of our culture, and spending time with other Christians helps us recognize that.

The last place I go in times of discouragement is God’s call to Jeremiah. After giving Jeremiah a message for Judah, God tells him, “So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you.” I can get very discouraged when I feel that I’ve wasted a whole day talking to people who won’t even engage with the argument against abortion. But if Jeremiah wasn’t promised success, and the disciples were promised opposition, then I don’t need to expect success. I am encouraged when I am reminded that God expects faithfulness from us, but not necessarily results.

– Silas McCulfor