7 Things to Do When You Feel Completely Defeated

what to do when you feel discouraged

We’ve all been there. 

Life has a way of throwing stressful situations at us one after the other. 

Sometimes we can get to a place where we feel completely defeated, tempted to throw in the towel and give up. 

When you reach this point of feeling completely defeated and your back is against the wall, it’s time to fight, not give in. 

Here are 7 things to do right away when you feel defeated: 

1. Recognize That This is a Feeling

Take a step back and realize that this is a feeling.

A strong feeling yes, but recognize that feelings can take over and tell you that this is reality. 

But the truth is, feelings are very “in the moment” and don’t always reflect truth. 

Just because you feel a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s actually the way it is. 

The devil bombards us with thoughts that are not true. He picks the perfect time when we are most vulnerable. When we’re tired or not feeling well, or maybe when we first wake up in the morning. 

When we accept these thoughts as truth, we come into agreement with a lie. 

Then, the feelings of overwhelm, discouragement, and defeat start flooding our mind and body. We start feeling the effects of these emotions. 

At this point, it’s hard to reign the emotions in. It’s like a horse that has gone rogue. 

What we need to realize is that these emotions are based on thoughts, not on what’s actually true. 

When we choose to purposely think new thoughts based on truth, we can change our emotions. 

You will feel resistance when you try to think new thoughts, but you can do it.

If possible, take some time to get away from the situation. Go outside and get some air. Look at the sky. Take your attention away from the immediate situation.

For some twisted reason, the flesh loves to be a victim. The flesh weirdly loves these horrible emotions and wants to cling to them. This is when we have to make a firm to decision to walk after the spirit and not the flesh. 

for the carnal mind is hostile toward God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be, Romans 8:7 MEV

Remember that feelings don’t always reflect truth. Make a choice to rise above them so that you can think with a clear mind.

2. Recognize the Enemy at Work 

This feeling of defeat comes from overwhelming thoughts of discouragement.

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines discouragement as: 

  • to deprive of courage or confidence
  • to hinder by disfavoring
  • to dissuade or attempt to dissuade from doing something

When you feel completely defeated, usually there is a spirit of discouragement at work. It’s a planned attack.

You didn’t just wake up and randomly have 5 issues coming at you all at once. This was a planned scheme of the enemy.

Take authority over these evil spirits. I give an example of how to do this here

Don’t let the enemy steal your courage and confidence. Be strong and courageous. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus, who loves you. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NIV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

Refuse to speak words of defeat. Resist a victim mentality. You are not powerless. In fact, you’ve been given the very authority of God over the enemy (Luke 10:19). 

God designed us with self-control. Being controlled by circumstances or by others is never the will of God. We are meant to reign as kings on this earth. 

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 NKJV

Recognize that you have an enemy, and he’s crossing a boundary line that he’s not allowed to cross. Resist him, and he has to flee. 

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 NKJV

The enemy is always trying to discourage a believer. Recognize that this is a scheme of the enemy and stand your ground. Refuse to submit to a spirit of discouragement. Put your hope in God. 

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Psalm 42:5 

The truth is, you are not defeated. Speak to your soul, just the Psalmist did in this verse. 

Read: 7 Ways to be an Overcomer According to the Bible

3. Ask the Lord for His Perspective

The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 NKJV

God’s perspective IS the truth. There is no other truth, because Jesus IS the truth (John 14:6). 

Ask the Lord to give you His perspective of the situation. This new perspective may or may not come all at once. 

Sometimes when we ask the Lord something, we are not in a place to hear His answer

Many times, our soul needs to be at peace and rest in order to accurately hear the Lord. Trust that this wisdom will come because you asked (James 1:5). 

God’s perspective always carries with it peace, life, and hope. 

Any area of your life where you are not filled with hope is an area that is under the influence of a lie. When we have the right perspective, we are constantly filled with hope. 

4. Cast Your Cares

Being weighed down with the cares of this life is not how we are designed to live. 

It is a major scheme of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy from us; and it chokes the Word of God from being fruitful (Mark 4:19). 

We are meant to live in a state of ease, the opposite of disease. God says He will keep in perfect peace those who keep their mind on Him. 

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Make it a life goal to cast your cares on the Lord. Actively fight to resist worry, fear, and anxiety. 

Trust that God is going to work things out as you walk by faith

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4: 6-7 NLT

Read: How to Practically Cast Your Burdens Upon the Lord

5. Consult with a Wise Friend

A friend loves at all times. They are there to help when trouble comes. Proverbs 17:17 NIRV

Don’t fight alone. We all need wise people around us to strengthen us when we are weak. Ask a mature, spiritual friend to pray with you.

If you don’t have a friend like this, call a prayer line. A great prayer line that I recommend is (+1) 719-635-1111. 

When we open up about what we are dealing with, we break Satan’s power. 

The enemy needs secrecy to fulfill his plan of destruction. When we bring to light what we are going through, his power is stopped. 

Open up about what you’re going through and seek help. 

Read: Can the Bible Help With Depression? 

6. Refuse Condemnation

The devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). 

He’s constantly accusing you. He plans a scheme to get you feeling defeated, and then when you fall for it, he blames you. He wants you to think that there is something wrong with you. 

This is a lie! This is the enemy’s doing, not yours. 

If you are in Christ, there is absolutely no condemnation for you. You have passed from death to life. You are complete in Christ. As Jesus is, so are you in this world. 

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NLT

I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT

and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:10 NKJV

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17 NKJV

Refuse to feel condemned. This is a trap to keep you in a cycle of defeat. Remember that you are the very righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. No one can condemn you, because you have been washed clean. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Read: What Does the Bible Say About Condemnation? 

7. Remember God’s Promises

What does God say? 

This is what our warfare is all about. This has always been the strategy of Satan, since the garden. He wants you to doubt that God’s Word is true for you. 

What we choose to agree with determines who is Lord over our life in that moment and in that situation. 

We must focus on and believe God’s promises, which are found in His Word. 

What does His Word say about the situation making you feel defeated? Find that truth and don’t let it go. 

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23 

Cling to what God says about the situation like your life depends on it!  

Speak the truth out loud. Choose to believe what God says about the situation, not your emotions. 

Begin to worship the Lord for His goodness despite what’s going on. This is where breakthrough happens! 

Read: 11 Ways to Encourage Yourself in the Lord

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