Are “The Five Big D’s” Hindering Your Joy?

By on May 4, 2012

By Sheryl Young –

At some time or another, each of us might struggle with an unfulfilled dream, an empty nest, wayward children, or life just seeming to pass by.

We put on happy faces and pretend we have it all together. But inside, we may feel one or more of “The Five Big D’s” – Discouragement, Disappointment, Deception, Doubt, and Depression.

I don’t know about you, but I believe there’s a God, and there are forces that can keep us from going through God’s open doors. My strength against The Five Big D’s comes from Bible verses like the ones in these examples:


  • Why am I sick again?
  • I can’t do anything right.
  • Why do I bother working so hard with little return?

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


  • The grass would be greener if I’d married what’s-his-name.
  • It would be nice not to have all these responsibilities.
  • Life would be better if I were a size four.

God never deceives us; these feelings come from a darker place. But we might ask ourselves – is God really first in my life? Matthew 6:33 says, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all ‘these’ things will be given to you.”

Pursuing righteousness (not self-righteousness) is part of biblical faith. The word “these” refers to verses about shelter, clothes and food. Are we thankful for these simple things, which some people in the world don’t have?


  • I’m such a failure …how do others see me?
  • My friends have let me down.
  • My life is one problem after another.

God forgives us, and asks that we forgive others – and ourselves! Forgiveness helps us look toward the future rather than dwell in the past.

“The Lord’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him” (Lamentations 3:22-24).


  • How can God love me?
  • Am I a good enough spouse or parent?
  • I got that promotion; what if I fail now?

Jesus said, “if we have faith and do not doubt,” we can ask mountains of concern to throw themselves into the sea (Matthew 21:21).

Through prayer, our mountains can become molehills. But do we pray in faith? James 1:6 says when we pray, “[we] must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

When God knocks on the door of our hearts and we answer, we’ll have a faith that doubt can never overcome.

Occasional Depression:

  • It’s hopeless. Things won’t ever be okay.
  • I’m not motivated to do anything.
  • Can I crawl back in bed and stay there?

God doesn’t promise life will be a rose garden and we’ll never feel down; only that we can trust Him through all situations. Certainly, if depression goes beyond such occasional thoughts, we should seek help. Otherwise, we can hold on to our hope and faith.

“…We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Perhaps not in our timing, but in His, we’ll conquer The Five Big D’s that hinder our joy and contentment.

© 2011, Sheryl Young

All Scriptures are taken from the Holy Bible, the previous New International Version®. (Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society). Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.)


Sheryl Young is a Jewish believer in Jesus, having accepted Him as her Lord and Savior in 1987.

She’s been a freelance writer and columnist since 1997 for magazines, newspapers and websites. Her latest book is a pocket-size devotional, “God, Am I Nobody? Yielding Our Desires for Success to God’s Will for Our Lives” (Treble Heart Books, 2011 See Sheryl’s blog and more book info at

Sheryl Young

About Sheryl Young


  1. Cecilia Marie Pulliam

    May 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Just the very thing I needed to read, reminders that the difficulties I am facing now, I do not face alone. For the very hairs of my head are counted, and not a single sparrow falls that He does not see. Thank for eloquently stating what I already knew in my heart, and just needed the reminder to bring forth.

    • Sheryl

      March 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Cecilia, I thought I had replied to your comment way back when you wrote it – but I just came here to see if the post was still online, and don’t see my reply to you! I hope you see this. Thank you very much for taking time to post a comment. I’m so glad the article helped you. Many Blessings.

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Are “The Five Big D’s” Hindering Your Joy?