OceanSide church of Christ

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Discouraged David
by: Dalton Gilreath

Some Christians have adopted the idea that it is somehow sinful for a disciple of God to be discouraged. This may come from preachers and teachers speaking against it, but being discouraged is not inherently sinful. Of course, discouragement can lead to sin if not remedied, but repentance is not necessary every moment you feel deprived of hope and confidence. There are several men of the Bible that could be used to illustrate this point, but perhaps none are more practical than David.

Psalm 142 is compiled of just seven verses. However, this short paragraph describes a time of great discouragement for David and his remedy. David opens the Psalm crying out unto the Lord in prayer. He “poured out” a complaint to God and says, “my spirit was overwhelmed within me” (2-3 KJV). David was very discouraged because he felt he had no refuge and that no one cared for his soul (4). This is certainly a quandary many struggle with from time to time. Feeling as though no one cares might be one of the most discouraging states one can endure. However, David reveals the remedy that helped him overcome this state of mind. He remembered that no matter who might let him down in this world, God is his “refuge and portion” (5). Today God has given His children a similar promise saying, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Christians must hold on to this promise, as David did, in times of discouragement.  

On another occasion David was discouraged once more, but for a different reason. In Psalm 32 we read of David’s remorse for his sin. He says his “bones have waxed old” and “my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (3-4). Certainly, the discouragement we have over our sin is not sinful itself (2 Corinthians 7:10). However, this too can lead to ungodly actions, like giving up, if not resolved. Once again David’s best medicine was God. In fact, he begins the Psalm with “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven”. David was discouraged but knew God was still powerful and willing to forgive his iniquities. By the end of the Psalm David is “glad in the Lord” and rejoicing over his salvation (11). Once again, the remedy involves a recollection that God is working in the lives of His own. That fact is, God is always the remedy. All must learn from David to look to God in times of discouragement and know that He is there.