A while back, I was talking with a girl who said to me, "I'm on a ministry team, but it just seems as though no one will let me do what I want to do. I get so frustrated with them, and it makes me angry. I don't see how things are going to change. It's just too difficult. I'm going to quit."
I have seen so many people who give up and quit what they really want to do because of difficult situations, and especially because of other people. It's something we all face. I remember the first time I was asked to speak in church. I wanted to do it, but I was so afraid! I had God's promise that He would be with me, but I got in agreement with that fear, wrapped it up in excuses for why I couldn't do it, and said no. I remember that Sunday's approach was like a black cloud coming right at me. When I gave in to the fear, I became discouraged and so miserable! Then I realized that fear was at the root of why I was so miserable, and I saw that this was the enemy trying to steal my destiny. I had to unwrap the fear and discouragement from my list of excuses and recognize them for what they really were.
The enemy is going to try to do the same thing in your life. What do you fear? Criticism? Embarrassment? Somebody getting ahead of you and looking better than you? Fear will raise its head in many forms, and especially in all the things you think you lack. "I'm not good enough. I don't have enough. I'm not talented enough. I don't have the right education. That's why I can't do it!" He'll use what people say and do to you as well as your circumstances to discourage you. He's going to try to stop what God has started in your life anyway he can. But at the root of it all is fear.
Listen to what God says, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Fight fear and discouragement with His promised presence. Take Him at His Word and let His right hand uphold you and bring you through to victory!