Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

How David Brainerd overcame discouragement

Who was David Brainerd?

David Brainerd was a missionary to the American Indians in the 1700’s.

He died at the age of 29, from tuberculosis compounded by his exposure to cold.

After he died, Jonathan Edwards found a journal describing his spiritual experiences.

How he overcame discouragement

Here’s one of his entries —

“July 25 — Had little or no resolution for a life of holiness; was ready almost to renounce my hopes of living to God.

“But I was in some measure relieved by a comfortable meditation on God’s eternity, that He never had a beginning.

“From this I was led to admire His greatness and power in such a manner that I stood still and praised the Lord for His own glories and perfections.

“Thought I was an unholy creature, my soul was comforted to apprehend an eternal, infinite, powerful, holy God.”

(Slightly paraphrased from “The Life and Diary of David Brainerd,” p.125)

Try this

Next time you are discouraged, pray over verses which teach that God has always been — like Psa 90:2; Psa 93:2; Hab 1:12.

Ask the Holy Spirit to use this truth to help you feel God’s greatness and power — so you can join Brained in standing still and praising the Lord for His glories and perfections.

And see if this comforts you in your discouragement and hopelessness, the way it comforted David Brainerd.

Before signing off …

I’d love to hear how this affected you — or any other thoughts you have.  Feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks.

If you want to read about how God freed me from discouragement and hopelessness, click here.

If you know someone who is discouraged, send this post to them by clicking the “share” button below.

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Category: Hopeless or Discouraged?, Stories about Other People


5 Responses

  1. mba chiemeka says:

    I will love to know more on how to overcome especially my being down cos of needs?I have not too good job, which affects my finance! I find it hard to pay my house rent! I need grace to avoid being weighed down!
    Mba C
    Abuja, Nigeria.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Mba C,

      Are you part of a church where you could find some older, wise, godly people to pray with and for you? I think you would find that quite helpful.

      God will guide you, and provide for you, as you pray and seek him and receive counsel from others.

      He is faithful, and I will pray for you right now.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

  2. mba chiemeka says:

    Honestly, I am encouraged by your reply. The recommended bible texts were also helpful. Thanks a lot. I will appreciate more of your encouraging responds so as to build my faith the more.I have taken to 21 days fast n prayers. This morning I saw in my sleep, Avalon, have prayed over it though. I know one of my prayer request is a car so as to do taxi stuff and I tie it to evangelism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi MBA
      Sometimes in life, the struggle we go through appear in torrents. But God is ever near. You are not alone, God is constantly there. The bible says if you pass through fire it will not burn you… The God that watches over you does not go on leave neither does He take a break. Stay with God it will soon be over.


  3. Tope says:

    Hello, I’ve read a number of articles on this blog; they’ve been of immense help. My line of discouragement is more of my moral failures. I’ve been a christian for years, but still find myself in moral failures and weaknesses. In fact I almost crashed into having sex with a prostitute, and I lack focus and direction even as a 28-year-old. I don’t even know how to hear God speak to me, though I read the Bible, pray and ask for the Spirit’s help. My failures are mounting and I feel really discouraged because even my academics is nothing to write home about as a graduate student. I’m unfulfilled in every aspect of life, much more in my christian experience. I’m characterized by guilt and don’t even know how to go about restituting my foolish mistakes of the past. This is just a summary of what I’m facing. Please I’ll appreciate your pieces of advice and prayers. Thanks.

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