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COLUMN: Let life kick you forward

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By George Smith

None of us are immune to discouragement. Even the prophet Elijah got discouraged. He had boldness, faith and power when he faced the false worshippers of Baal in I Kings 18, but in the very next chapter, fear has replaced faith, his power is drained by self-pity and disobedience replaced obedience.

Discouragement brought changes to Elijah. He saw himself as less than he was. Fear brought misery and caused him to evade his responsibilities. He even began to blame God for his situation and he felt that he was the only faithful servant left.

Usually people who are discouraged are thinking of one thing – themselves. They have turned all their thoughts inward. When we get discouraged we tend to withdraw. Many times discouragement comes right after a successful venture. Right after he defeated the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah got discouraged.

There are some steps you can take when you get discouraged. First, take action on the problem. When you discover the source of the discouragement, get busy. Nothing will deliver us from discouragement quicker than taking positive steps to solve the problem.

Positive thinking will lead us out of discouragement. Thomas Edison was an amazing man who refused to be discouraged. Everything was destroyed in his plant in a December 1914 fire. The next morning he announced to his employees that they were rebuilding. He said the fire only cleared out some rubbish. We enjoy many things today because of his inventions. His contagious optimism affected all those around him.

Too many times we become discouraged and accept defeat. It is up to us to decide how we will handle the defeats of life. No man can go through life without meeting defeat from time to time. When it happens, don’t quit. 

The late missionary E. Stanley Jones said he had adopted as his motto for life, “When life kicks you, let it kick you forward. Anyone can start a race, but only a thoroughbred will finish.”