Rick Warren admits he struggles with discouragement.

He says, “Do you know how often I have wanted to quit being pastor of Saddleback Church? Every Monday morning!

I know what he’s talking about. I have been there too; even recently. It’s easy to get discouraged when things are not working out as you hoped or planned. So I thought I would share with you some things I am learning about battling discouragement.

Identify the Signs and Causes of Discouragement.

The signs of discouragement are sometimes subtle. It’s not like you have completely given up; it’s more like you have lost hope. Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?

Apathy –your passion for your work is gone. You are working but your heart is not in it.

Hopelessness –you have stopped believing that things are going to get better or that you will ever achieve your goal.

Distraction –you have lost focus on your goal because it seems you will never get there. You may be busy but your tasks are make-work projects that have little to do with your long term goals.

I certainly don’t blame you for feeling this way. I often battle these same issues when I don’t get results quick enough. Rick Warren shares some of the causes of discouragement. Are you facing any of them these days?

#1 Cause – FATIGUE


#3 Cause – FAILURE

#4 Cause – FEAR

Defeat the Causes of Discouragement

I know, easier said than done. If you can identify the source of your discouragement though, you are half way to overcoming it. I love the Psalm that asks: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Ps. 42:5 –Once you know the answer to this question then you can respond effectively. In fact, Warren suggests that each of the causes of discouragement has a correct response. He suggests:



REMEMBER GOD WILL HELP YOU-Just ask Him. He can give you new energy. There’s incredible motivating power in faith.


Pastor Rick says “Fight back! Discouragement is a choice. If you feel discouraged, it’s because you’ve chosen to feel that way. No one is forcing you to feel bad. Hang on! Do what’s right in spite of your feelings. No feeling lasts forever.”

I’d Like to Help You

If you are feeling discouraged I would love to pray for you. You can email me and tell me a little bit of you situation. If this has been helpful to you, consider sharing it with others.

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Ron Powell


Ron Powell is the Adviser to the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years. He continues to volunteer, write, teach, and speak to parents, leaders and teens. If you would like to contact him you can email


  1. Ralph Contrerassays:

    I’ve been leading our youth ministry for about 4 years now laboring away And just can’t seem to draw more youth my heart is to reach today’s youth sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything wrong in being attacked from different areas my children my finances I could use a word of encouragement thank you

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