Do you ever notice how subtle discouragement is?
It just sneaks up on you, hits you unexpectedly. Sometimes because of a memory… sometimes an email… or a disappointment. It just kinda slips up behind you and whispers in your ear, “They don’t care” or “You don’t matter” or whatever, it will hit the deepest at your confidence…
Discouragement is the favourite tool of the enemy. It hits you hardest when your heart is open and excited – expecting the best from someone.
First, the enemy hits you with Disappointment to drive a wedge between us and others.
Then he presses in with;
- Despair, and
- which will mean Defeat.
He doesn’t have to kill you to win; he just needs to get you to stop fighting. To turn and run, to hide, to quit the battle. When an attack occurs, the attacker has one goal—to defeat the enemy and subject him to his will.
Remember 1 Peter 5:8?
Your adversary, the devil, wants to devour you. The enemy doesn’t want simply to attack, but to win. The enemy’s goal is to penetrate your line of defence. And if we don’t stop him by holding the line, then he’s going to come in like a flood with all of his other destructive weapons.
We all know that somedays ‘holding the line’ is hard… no one said it was going to be easy… but if you don’t fight, the only other option is ‘surrender’ and defeat!
A guest post by Pastor Pam Dyke, long time friend of Pastor Shannon’s.
The River Community Church in Abbotsford, BC.
Here are some Scripture verses to write out, memorize and remind yourself of when you start to feel discouraged:
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [curing their pains and sorrows].
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it], and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved [or slip and fall].
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall renew their strength; they shall mount up [close to God] with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My right hand of rightness and justice.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are afflicted [troubled and pressed] in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken [to stand alone]; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Corinthians 5:7 for we walk by faith [with trust and holy fervor], not by sight.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
Philippians 4:6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition [definite requests], with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.