In his introduction to Chapter 1 of Overcoming: Discover How to Rise Above and Beyond Overwhelming Circumstances in Life, Pastor Steve Mays notes that Joni Eareckson Tada describes discouragement as a handicap that no one sees. Specifically, those who have not been through a ministry downsizing or position loss most likely cannot perceive our struggles or understand our condition.
Note, however, Paul’s exhortation in 2 Corinthians 2:14- “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”
Typically, Pastor May observes, our discouragement gives rise to the following thoughts: “How can we be thankful and give God credit when things are beginning to go haywire in our life? How can we be thankful when people are speaking against us and our reputation is being questioned? How can we be calm and say, ‘Thanks be to God?’ ”
Steve Mays sees his own discouragement as opportunities to shine and glorify God. St. Paul was able to withstand adversity by having a pure heart, like a window that is full of God’s light. Light and darkness cannot coexist. We must, Pastor Mays asserts, allow God’s light to enter in so that we’ll make decisions that honor God.