Discouragement comes in many forms. It feels as elusive as a nagging dread or as obvious as a dark cloud on a clear day. It can show up as heaviness or anxiety. It can feel like an oppressive wind making it hard to breathe. discouragement comes against your feelings to try and get to your faith. We must lead by our faith, and then our feelings will come along.
The goal of the spirit of discouragement is to cause us to lose our motivation to accomplish some valid goal. It aims to make us emotionally fatigued and discouraged ultimately so we either slow down or completely stop any progress to the once purposed end. We begin to doubt if the cost is worth the effort: in short, we lose sight of the objective.
The target of discouragement is our heart and our soul: that part of us in which our emotions, will and intellect abide. Hebrews 12:3 reminds us to consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. We must become skilled at guarding our hearts, our minds and our wills or discouragement will render our courage of none effect.
Discouragement will tell you you are weak, insecure and unable to accomplish your assignments. It seeks to derail or hinder the potency of your abilities. It seeks to undermine every area of your life. Occupations, marriage, parenting even basic relationships can fall victim to its subtleties. Thanks be to God, we have a Savior who stands with us against this threat. Do not put up with Satan’s tactics in these areas. God Word is strong and powerful against the wiles of enemy. The walls of discouragement are not so thick that they cannot be broken through.
In the gospels we find the disciples in hiding after they heard the most discouraging news possible. Jesus had been arrested, crucified and buried. They went back to their homes, huddling in fear and discouragement. Had they wasted three years of their lives? But then, the women came with amazing news! Jesus was Alive! They heard the truth, not the facts. As we stand on God’s truth the “facts” Satan tries to throw in our faces are rendered powerless. What may look like death in your life, with God’s help, can be the beginning of life. Friends, remember as we walk with our Savior, He is working all things together for His good (which means our good as well). This is our hope.
We fight discouragement by turning our eyes away from the discouraging things facing us and putting our eyes on our God. We begin to take courage from Him. I Thessalonians 2:2 Paul writes You know how we had already been ill-treated and insulted in Philippi before we came to you in Thessalonica. And even though there was much opposition, our God gave us courage to tell you the Good News that comes from Him.
When you being to notice this evil force assailing you:
- Take a break from what you are doing.
- Look at Jesus. Turn to His Word, the Truth!
- Begin to meditate on Him and what he has done for you. Remind yourself of answered prayers and testimonies of yourself and others.
- Ask the Holy Spirit for help. Take the authority given you by the Scriptures.
- Do not isolate yourself. Develop strong relationships. We gain encouragement and courage from our brothers and sisters.
- Take time to sing and worship Him.
- Declare your intentions wit His help to breakthrough this wall of discouragement.
I am no longer surprised when I come face to face with the wall of discouragement. I have learned to recognize its subtleties (hopefully) sooner than later. When I am tired, hungry or feel alone discouragement tries to come calling at my door. I have learned not to let it in–even if at times, I admit we might have discussions at the door! Press through dear friends, keep your eyes on Lord and His plans for your lives. It is worth it. Bring those thoughts captive and thank Him for your freedom from discouragement. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may received the promise. For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Not the just shall live by faith: but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:35-38