Dec 16 Advent Devotion: Overcoming discouragement

Olu JegedeDevotional

Matthew 11:2-15
2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? …..
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Discouragement sets in for all of us, when things don’t seem to go our way. The Christian resource website, Gotquestions.org, describes it as follow: the word discouragement comes from the root word courage. The prefix dis- means “the opposite of.” So discouragement is the opposite of courage. When we are discouraged, we have lost the motivation to press forward. The mountain seems too steep, the valley too dark, or the battle too fierce, and we lose the courage to continue. [Gotquestions.org]

This is exactly how John the Baptist felt. Even though he was the forerunner, sent to prepare the way for Christ, he felt terribly discouraged. John had gotten into the crosshairs of the governor King Herod, having criticized him for his immoral actions, thereby landing himself in jail. Here in jail, John began to feel sorry for himself. He wondered where was this messiah that was to come and save all the Jews. If Jesus was the messiah, surely He would have done something about his imprisonment.

You may be in a season of discouragement, and wondering like John if God really cares for you. The promises you expected him to fulfill are not being accomplished, and you are running out of rope, as you are metaphorically hanging off a cliff. Then reflect on Jesus’ reply back to John

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Matthew 11:4-6

The answer to discouragement is to understand the messiah has come. Messiah means one who saves, or delivers from trouble. Jesus effectively said to John that “I did come. Let my works speak for themselves. Don’t be troubled by your circumstances. Hang on.”

Christmas celebrates the fact that Messiah, our savior, is here, and just as He did miracles back then, He is still able to do miracles today for He hasn’t changed. Though your situation may seem trying, and the answer is delayed, let the weight of the understanding that Christ was born to be your messiah set you free. Rejoice, Christ the king is born. Messiah has come! Surely he will administer his saving touch to deliver you from the trials that are causing discouragement in your life.

– Pastor Olu Jegede