Trials, affliction, discouragement, and depression are parts of life. In fact, we read in Scripture, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” James doesn’t say, “If we meet trials of various kinds,” but “when.” It is inevitable that we will face some sort of affliction or discouragement throughout our course of life. If this is a reality of life, the question becomes, “How will we respond?”
In his book, “Don’t Lose Heart: Gospel Hope for the Discouraged Soul,” Jason Meyer attempts to equip Christians to “take the sword of truth and the shield of faith and stand against the sophisticated half-truths of discouragement (22).”
Meyer’s broke is divided into two parts, each consisting of three chapters. Part one is centered on the idea of fighting for one’s sight. Chapter one calls for the reader to check the scale. When we have a small view of God, we will be quick to despair in life’s toughest moments. Therefore, Meyer seeks to open our eyes to the greatness of God the Father. There are moments in life where it’s easy to feel defeated. It’s in these times that one needs to remember the score. According to Meyer, “We lose heart when we fail to check the real score because we have forgotten that Christ has already won (49).” It’s in this chapter that we read of the greatness of God the Son.
Not only are there times when we will feet defeated, but there are times that we will feel worthless. Satan loves to attack our identity in Christ. Too often, what we feel about ourselves is projected onto God. But, according to Meyers, if we wish to overcome our feelings of worthlessness, we should “receive from God what he says about us (59).” It is through this chapter that the reader sees how his/her salvation equips them to withstand the fiery darts of worthlessness and the greatness of the Holy Spirit.
Discouragement grows when we shrink God down to our size
Personally, I loved Part two the most. In this section, Meyers attempts to “do a real-life assessment that examines the three tenses of discouragement (75).” There are times when one can be discouraged because of their past. There are times when the present is disappointing because “what we expect is different from what is reality (105).” Third, there are times when we become anxious for the future. According to Meyers, “When we are anxious, we are borrowing trouble from the future and adding to it today’s trouble (134).” In all of these chapters, Meyers pointedly addresses why we are discouraged, anxious, and disappointed and points to the remedies in each situation. This is a must read for all Christians. Even if you’re not currently facing these issues, you will probably face them in the future. This book will be a great resource to fight against these problems.
We can begin to battle discouragement when we tell our hearts (and our problems) how big our God is
Further, this book should be read by all pastors. It is a helpful resource to have for those under your care. I will be buying these to pass out to our members.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this work. There is one critique that I have for it and it’s a minor one at that. Meyers wrote this book for Christians and he succeeded in his task. This book could have also been a great resource for counseling non-Christians. It can still be used in this regard, but it will take a bit of work to explain certain issues. It would have been great if Meyers would have written a bit more for the non-believer, but again, this is a personal preference. This was not his intent, therefore, he’s not at fault. He did a great job speaking truth into modern-day issues. If you struggle with discouragement, disappointment, or anxiety, I would encourage you to read this book. It will be edifying to your soul.
Jason Meyers is pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church and associate professor of New Testament at Bethlehem College and Seminary. You can order his book Don’t Lose Heart: Gospel Hope for the Discouraged Soul here.
Soli Deo Gloria
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