In Psalm 119:67 the writer tells us, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (emphasis added).
The affliction worked for good, drawing the psalmist back to keeping God’s word. Our discouragement works for good in our lives as well, drawing us nearer to the Lord.
This also reminds me of the familiar verse, Romans 8:28—“All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
God continually causes “all things” (and discouragement is one of the “things” included) to help us come back to Him continually for refilling. Truly, the nearness of God is our good.
I understand that it may be difficult to believe that God has a plan even in the discouragement you may be facing. But regardless, He is believable. And He knows our breaking point (see Psalm 103:14). The struggles and all the difficulties you and I face are designed to reshape us, not to destroy us.
His Presence, Our Hope
Because we know that God is good and is able to work all things together for our good, we can find the strength of heart to continue on.
In 2 Corinthians 4:1, Paul says, “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.” If you read through 2 Corinthians, you’ll soon find how it seems the whole book is filled with the struggles Paul faced. But underlying all of his struggles are the words, “we do not lose heart.” You could write those words as the theme over every chapter in 2 Corinthians. It seems to be the declaration of Paul’s life.
And because he took hope in the Lord, he did not lose heart. Why? Because it is not the absence of difficulties or the absence of problems that makes the difference. It is the presence of the Lord.