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  • Writer's pictureCheryl C. Silvera

How to Untangle Yourself from Discouragement

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

“My soul melteth for heaviness” (Psalms 119:28a KJV). Have you ever felt that way? Didn’t it feel as if your whole being is poured out in weeping or near it? According to the Strong’s Concordance, heaviness in the Bible is depression, grief, and sorrow.

No?! Then how about: “My soul cleaveth unto the dust” (Psalms 119:25a), “I am completely discouraged!”

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?” (Psalms 43:5a).

Very few of us have not encountered this bone-crushing despair that is called discouragement. The Psalmists describe it as heaviness, a feeling of the soul dragging in the dust, a death-like experience. Admittedly or not, this can be an upsetting experience, and how should it be handled?

Perhaps the thought that discouragement is a sin causes panic. Why? Because total despair eradicates all hope in God to deliver us from our troubles. One asks oneself, “should I ignore it and pretend it’s not happening?” or “shout for help from the Lord?”

The Dead Man Walking

“ ‘Dr. Park Tucker, the former Chaplain of the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, told of walking down the street of an unknown city, feeling low and depressed, worried about life in general. Seeing a sign in a window, he blinked his eyes a couple of times, wondering whether his eyes were deceiving him.

But sure enough, what he saw in the window of that funeral home was this sign, in big, bold words: “why walk around half-dead? We can bury you for $69.50.” Dr. Tucker saw the humor of it as good medicine for his soul.’ ”[1]

The Poet Thomas Hardy also wrote of such despair in the poem “The Dead Man Walking.”[2]

“They hail me as one living,

But don't they know

That I have died of late years,

Untombed although?”

Are worry and the cares of this world causing you to walk around half-dead? Has anxiety built a problem over which there is no path, and you feel you have surrendered to defeat?

Understanding the root of discouragement

If we were to think about it, discouragement is a disallowing of encouragement. To be dissuaded or break from the confidence of your path. Discouragement finds its root in negative emotional bias that may be triggered by fear.[3] What do you fear? Financial instability? Food and shelter insecurity? The loss of your dignity?


[1] Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Rockville, MD: Assurance Publishers, 1979), p.336. [2] [3]

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