Sometimes it seems that the end of our goals is just not in sight. In fact, some give up because they tire of the task.
This same thing can happen in our journey to heaven. The apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). These words should give encouragement to all striving to live the Christian life. Everyone gets discouraged from time to time.
One should remember the prophet Elijah under the juniper tree. He went from being on top of the world to the bottom of the pit. He was so discouraged that he believed he was the only one left faithful to God. God told him there were 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal. He was to get up and get started again.
When one gets discouraged, he must remember he is not alone. Persecution of some form may come, but Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
When a Christian finds himself discouraged, it is time to take advantage of the blessings God has given to his children.
Take the burden to God in prayer, delve into his word and offer up praise to God in song. Singing is not just for in the meetinghouse. It is true as the words to the song “Sing and Be Happy” state, many times we fail to see the “rainbow.”
Our lives are so blessed by God. We need only to look around us, and we can see those in far worse situations than where we find ourselves. If any follower of Christ had a reason not to sing and be happy, it was Paul.
Yet when we read of Silas and Paul chained and in prison, what were they doing? Notice Acts 16:22-25: “And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
These men truly trusted in God’s promises and pressed for the goal of heaven.
Remember: Discouragements are going to come, hard times will always be with us, but we must continue to press toward the mark, and in doing so, we will be able to overcome.