Stay Encouraged is a booklet by K.P. Yohannan to remind us that when discouragement comes (and it will), look to God. The author says every circumstance is “an opportunity to seek the Lord and rely on Him.”
Discouragement is Satan’s favorite tool. As founder of Gospel for Asia, K.P. Yohannan says their ministry receives an average of 25 letters a day from people contemplating suicide. The person always waits until they hear back because people want to be encouraged.
“Discouragement and depression happen to a lot of godly people,” writes Yohannan. He goes on to cite numerous godly examples in the Bible who were so depressed they wanted to die: Jonah, Elijah, and even Paul.
There was a big difference between then and now. In the Bible, people didn’t try to hide discouragement like we do today. Instead, they came to God and told Him. Psalms is full of the desperate cries of discouraged people. Moreover, Jesus didn’t try to hide his discouragement and despair in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33-35). He was honest before his disciples and before God. That’s an example we can learn to follow.
Finally, the author says discouragement is both a tool of the enemy and an instrument of God. Our difficulties are meant to shape us, not destroy us. As we choose to put our hope in God, we can learn to give thanks in every circumstance, knowing that God will work things out for good—yes, that includes discouragement, despair, and depression.
I’ve read Stay Encouraged more than once. It’s a real blessing to me and I continue to glean new insights from it. This is a must-read.