Discouragement is not, in itself, a problem. Anyone who engages in challenging work will become discouraged from time to time. Discouragement becomes a problem, however, when it blurs vision for ministry.
D. L. Moody, the great evangelist, was said to have prayed often that the Lord would "keep him from ever losing the wonder."
Anyone who ministers for Christ knows that wonder, as did Moody. We are filled with it when people we serve respond with joy to Christ's love. But the same ministry that fills us with wonder sometimes makes us wonder. Enlivening the souls of others often tries our own. We can become disheartened, and ministry gets mired.
There are a number of things that can stall outreach ministry—fatigue, boredom, a change of priorities, church squabbles, to name a few. But perhaps the most significant is discouragement that accompanies the loss of purpose.
Throughout my ministry, I've tried to sustain not only my own momentum, but also that of people I've walked ...1