discouragement in the Bible

Discouragement in the Bible: Top Verses and Stories to Help

We all go through times of discouragement.  Sometimes these lead us to Christ Jesus and sometimes they cause our faith to fail.  The point of this post about discouragement in the Bible is to help you lean on the God of all comfort in your hard times as well as let you know that you are not alone.  

Many of us (including people of faith in scripture) become overwhelmed with a sense of unhappiness, failure, or struggle through difficult times.  Sometimes a spirit of discouragement falls upon us because we are prone to depression, feel overwhelmed with life, or are dealing with big feelings like grief or rejection.  

Hang in there!  This is just a learning curve in your faith journey.  Draw close to God and be of good courage.  

The word of God is our most powerful tool so come along with me on this journey of discouragement in the Bible.

Discouragement in the Bible

What do you do when a feeling of discouragement hangs over you?  Turn to scripture!

We use scripture to battle discouragement in a couple of different ways.

First, we study verses that bring us hope and grow our faith. I list several verses below as well as related posts to give you a deeper study.

Secondly, we study people in the Bible, both godly and not so godly. Reading about how God interacted with them and what they went through in their lives encourages us, grows our faith, and helps us feel not so alone. I discuss several examples in this post, so keep reading!

Last, scripture helps us pray through our discouragement. I’m not going to discuss this today, but check out these posts:

Why Praying the Psalms is a Blessing and how to go About It

Prayers for Knowledge and Wisdom to Keep You on the Right Path

discouragement in the Bible

What Does God’s Word Say About Discouragement?

Whenever I am struggling I turn to a Psalm of David.  He was amazing about sharing his feelings and struggles and God always spoke to him in his times of need.  The Holy Spirit uses those same words to make God real in our own lives.  

Each of the following verses reminds us that God hears us and helps us. He is near to us in our discouragement and he will deliver us from our suffering and hopelessness when we call out to Him.

These posts about Psalms will also encourage you!

25 Amazing Psalms for Strength to Help You Through Your Toughest Season

Psalms for Grief to Encourage Your Broken Heart

Discouragement in the Bible: Standing on God’s Promises

God’s truth should be the basis on which we measure things.  Things we read should be measured up against God’s word.  Our thoughts and actions should be measured against scripture.   Feelings of discouragement can also be measured against the promises of God.

God’s presence goes before you- Just as God was with Moses, He is with His children today.  “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Lean not unto your own understanding- God will guide you when you lean into Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The power of God is great We do not need to fight discouragement, fear, depression, or anxiety on our own. He fights for us! “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces. (Exodus 15:6)

The love of Christ will see you through- We must turn to God in our discouragement and seek His will for our lives. He will not leave us in our predicament. He is in control of all things and can turn any bad situation into good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

The peace of God is ours- God’s peace comes when we give up control and allow God to work in our lives. “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Your prayers will be answered in due time- Don’t stop praying and if you haven’t started, do it now! God is faithful to answer our prayers and guide us out of difficult situations. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24)

We serve a God of hope- Nothing drives discouragement away faster than hope, and we believers have that in abundance. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

discouragement in the Bible

God’s Plan in the Christian Life

​Scripture tells us that the very hairs of your head are numbered.  God wants to be active in our lives in a powerful way.  He is not aloof to us.  If we are obedient followers of Christ the work of the Lord is active in our lives.  The good news of Jesus and salvation is real to us and acted out daily in us.  

If you want to know more about what that looks like, check out this post:

Building on the Rock: 10 Lessons Jesus is Trying to Teach Us

When we call on God, He hears us and interacts with us. We do not serve a God made of stone, rather He is living and wants to have a relationship with us. He wants to guide us and help us.

No matter where you are, Jesus promises to bear your burdens and help you through.

Loss of Confidence in Life and the Truth of God

I feel like that heading is the beginning of a pep talk, but it is not my goal to pump you up. It is my goal to point you to the only one who can pull you out of a bad situation (both emotionally and physically).

I don’t know what the top Bible verses to chase away discouragement would be, but here are a few more that are encouraging to me.  The reliability of God is sometimes the only word of encouragement I need, but other times a good solid Bible study to remind me day after day works better.  

If we can’t rest in God’s love, we have nothing. This is why we can pull ourselves out of discouragement- because God loves us.

You are not alone. God is leading you, carrying you, walking beside you through it all.

Yes, we are going to have hard times, we are going to be discouraged and frustrated and hurt, but be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome it all!

Paul had a unique understanding of suffering. When we are weak, God can then be strong in our lives.

If you are here because nothing is going right, life is hard, you’ve failed and made a mess of things, know that God can use this weakened state you are in for His glory when you turn to Him.

Hope is a beautiful word, isn’t it? We always have hope because we have Christ. Nothing that we have done or have fallen victim to can force us into such a state that we do not have hope.

Christ died for the unloveable and the hopeless. He paid the price for our sin.

Stand strong against sin, work as unto the Lord, hold tight to the promises.

I just love the Psalms. Can you think of anything more encouraging than these verses? The Lord preserves the faithful. Be of good courage. God shall strengthen your heart. We have hope in the Lord.

learning to pursue peace

Biblical Examples of Discouragement

We’ve coved discouragement in the Bible with verses, not let’s turn our attention to a couple of stories.

People love a good story which is why Jesus spoke so many parables. His listeners could relate to the characters, setting, and circumstances in the story.

Sometimes the Bible seems a little too distant to us. Our land is different (for most of us anyway) our customs and culture are different. Even our language is different.

The following stories might also feel very different. After all, you are unlikely to call fire down from heaven or witness the death of 185, 000 soldiers.

However, man is the same all through time. We all struggle with fear and faith, we experience loss and suffering, and we rejoice and cling to hope.

If you feel as if the Bible is not helpful for everyday life, check out this post.

Bible Stories that Relate to Everyday Life: God’s Living Word

Discouragement in the Bible: Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

Let’s go to the Old Testament and one of my all-time favorite stories to begin our Biblical examples of discouragement.  The story of Elijah brings with it a great example of God’s power and how a faithful servant can work might deeds.  

Our story takes place in Ancient Israel.  The people of the land, God’s chosen people, have turned away from Him and worshipped the god Baal.  The evil King Ahab and his equally evil wife, Jezebel have not allowed the people of Israel to worship the true God, forcing those who remained faithful into hiding.  

A three year drought is upon the land because the children of Israel have turned their back to God, but it is time for God to show His power in a way that has not been seen for hundreds of years.

A showdown between the priests of Baal and Elijah, the prophet of the one true God.

I want to make a point here quickly so if you are not familiar with the story of Elijah calling fire down from heaven be sure to read 1 Kings 18.

God answers Elijah’s prayer in a dramatic display of fire and all the people fall to their faces confessing that Yahveh is God.

Elijah then kills all the prophets of Baal and Queen Jezebel is furious. Elijah runs for his life.

This is where we first see Elijah’s discouragement.

He runs and hides himself in a cave in the middle of the desert. God allows him a time of rest and then calls him out of the cave.

God sent a strong wind, an earthquake, and a raging fire, but Elijah didn’t recognize Him in them.

Lastly, God calls to Elijah in a quiet voice and He responds immediately to the familiar sound. God reassures Him and gives him his next assignment.

Sometimes we look for big neon signs to hear from God, but more times than not, God will be whispering His truths into our hearts. If you are not hearing from God and you are becoming more and more discouraged, hang in there. Keep studying scripture, keep praying, keep listening.

Discouragement in the Bible: The Assyrians and the People of Judah

Satan is good at discouraging us. He will tell us all kinds of terrible lies and often we fall for them and begin believing them.

This is exactly what the Assyrians tried to do when they surrounded Jerusalem.

The Assyrians were a wicked and fierce people. They methodically began conquering the Middle East and one by one the nations fell to them. Until they came to Judah.

The best part of this story is that King Hezekiah goes straight to the temple. He doesn’t figure out a battle plan, he doesn’t send messages to neighboring countries asking for help, he goes straight to the only one who could save them. God sends a message through the Prophet Isaiah.

Of course, the Assyrians continue to taunt Judah reminding them that the gods of the other countries couldn’t save them. Why would their God be any different?

Recognize the doubt tactic?

God was in control. He had a plan.

That was the end of it.

When we trust God through discouragement, we allow Him to work in our lives in ways we wouldn’t have expected.

How are you feeling about discouragement in the Bible? What are some verses that help you? Which Bible stories would you include on the theme of discouragement in the Bible? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

For further study, check out these inspiring posts!

Bible Verses About Hope in Hard Times

27 Scriptures for Grieving Families to Bring Hope and Healing

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3 thoughts on “Discouragement in the Bible: Top Verses and Stories to Help”

  1. Good morning, the email is about Discouragement and the only Scriptural Valentine’s verses “to go to” is from “A Mississippi Mom” on Pinterest. I teach 3rd and 4th graders in Sunday school and would like to use your free Scripture cards next Sunday.

  2. As always I look forward to your Monday posts. I hope you don’t mind, but I use the foundation of your message as a devotional for a Bible Study that I do with the ladies in our Shelter and Recovery programs, and they love them. I just wanted you to know I appreciate your obedience to the Lord in doing this and posting for encouragement for all of us. You are adding more jewels in your heavenly crown.
    Blessings…..Gail

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It made my day! I praise God for the work He is doing in your heart and the hearts of the women you are encouraging. May God bless you as you draw close to Him reflecting His light and beauty.

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Hi, I am Heather! I am a mom of five, homeschooler, homesteader, and lover of all things chocolate. I am excited to share your faith and parenting journeys with you. Whether you are here looking to grow your faith, heal from loss, find homeschool resources, or hope to find inspiration in raising godly children, you are in the right place. So, grab your favorite hot beverage, curl up in your comfy chair, and stay awhile.

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