When a sculptor is trying to sculpt a masterpiece, do you think the first time he hits the chisel with the hammer everything's going to fall off and it will be a beautiful sculpture? No. He has to keep hitting it and hitting it, chipping away. And that's the way life is. Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it—and little by little your life becomes a masterpiece.
I'm sure many of you are discouraged. Some of you are discouraged over your children. Their lives are not going well. Some of you are discouraged about your marriage. It's not what you thought it was going to be. Some of you are discouraged about your ministry. Or about your finances, or your health, or an unanswered prayer.
It comes from thinking discouraging thoughts —and you can change your thoughts any time. You have a choice of what you're going to focus on: either your purpose or your problems, God's power or your weakness, Christ or your circumstances.
When you get discouraged, ignore it. Just say to yourself, "I don't have time to be discouraged right now. I'm too busy fulfilling my mission." You can be realistic, but you also need to be optimistic because you are God’s child. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And "Lo, I am with you always," (Philippians 4:13; Matthew 28:20). God says He will help you, and He will strengthen you. Faith starts with optimism.
You're discouraged because the situation seems unmanageable. Unreasonable. Unfair. It may seem unbearable. Inside you're basically saying, "Lord, I just can't take it anymore!"
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