“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us…that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.” 2 Corinthians 1:8
Many churches today paint a beautiful picture of the Christian life. Their messages are only full of love and happiness and miraculously answered prayers. Most Christians like to hear those messages because it is the Christian life they desire and long to have. But the truth is, many Christians are almost at the point of defeat. They do not measure up to that image of an always happy, always spiritually successful Christian who is constantly positive in their outlook. Satan is bombarding them with trials and spiritual crises, and sometimes all they can see is a bleak future.
The truth is, the real Christian life is not always cheerful and rosy. If even a spiritual giant like Paul (who wrote the above verse) despaired of life, we cannot expect to sail through our lives happily overcoming any and all obstacles. In fact, to be better prepared, we should actually expect low points in our Christian lives. It happens to every true believer, because the enemy wants you discouraged. He knows he cannot change your eternal destiny, so the next best thing is to disarm you and make you ineffective. How effective are you as a Christian when you are suffering from despair?
It helps to realize that many great Christians have gone through just what you may be going through. Take a look at the Psalms. David fluctuates between total despair and exceeding joy throughout the Psalms. Joni Eareckson Tada has admitted that she wakes up some mornings telling God she just cannot do paralysis anymore. What does she do to overcome those feelings? She sings hymns and gets even closer to God. Do not pull away during those times. She practices James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”
Look up to Jesus, not at your circumstances, and elevate your faith higher than your despair.