March 18, 2022

A Note from an IW on Facing Discouragement

An IW reflects on what he has learned from the Lord during a season of discouragement.

by an international worker serving in Asia

Cross-cultural negotiations during our move were taxing. I am behind on emails, ministry goals, and get-togethers with locals. Pacing myself, catching up, and embracing my imperfections is the tough road that I’m walking.

My self-doubt is at an all-time high. In the midst of these moments of discouragement, insidious thoughts pop into my mind:
“What’s the point of all this?”
“Am I making a difference at all?”
“Maybe I just can’t do this.”
“I’m not good/smart/strong enough . . .”

These are things that the enemy of my soul would like me to believe. And the hard part is, there is some truth to these statements. I am not enough for the people of Asia—it’s true! They need far more than I, personally, could ever hope to offer them.

But isn’t that the heart of the good news?

It’s a fact—I was never good enough on my own. I was in need of Jesus to be saved from sin, and I’m in need of Jesus for every moment after He saved me. This is the good news of my insufficiency and His all-sufficiency.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

And so, as I continue to face my inadequacies, I can do so with peace in my heart, knowing that my Lord is with me, and He is more than adequate for my every need. 

And so, my dear brothers and sisters, let us rejoice that we are not good enough. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. And let us always remember that we are never, ever alone.