Dealing with Discouragement

Discouragement
happens.  It can be as subtle as a grey
sky robbing us from walking in the full joy of the Lord, to paralyzing fear
that we will never accomplish our goals due to some vague defect in our
character.  The Holy Spirit by His Words
brings hope, life and truth which sets us free. 
Discouragement binds us and limits us.  Here  are several definitions for discouragement:
an  attempt to prevent something by
showing disapproval or creating difficulties, a deterrent; the act of making something less likely to
happen or of making people less likely to do something; the state of
having lost your confidence or enthusiasm for something; or a loss of
confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.  I actually was discouraged in writing
this blog because my wrists were too painful to type!  I prayed, waited
awhile for some ibuprofen to take affect and I am at it again. It was an
example of the first definition an attempt to
prevent something by creating difficulties.  The deterrent was the pain in
my wrists, but the overcoming of that deterrent was my stronger purpose in
writing this blog.

For
three or four weeks I have been meditating and praying about how to fight what
I call the "discouraging worm".  I have been asking the Lord to
show me any areas in my life where this worm has been trying to in bed itself.
I discovered that there are some cyclical patterns to this assaults.
In the area of finances, it’s when the bills show up or are due.  In
the area of ministry it tries to thwart my confidence before I am scheduled to
write, counsel or minister.  Then he shows up afterward to ridicule and
mock whatever attempt I try!   I've experienced his bashing from the
smallest to largest part of my life.  Nothing is sacred to this
discouraging worm.  

 He
would love to hinder pastors and leaders by bringing in the comparison play.
This is one of his favorite tools to use and it can be sneaky and subtle.
"You are not as good as" or "who do you think you
are" type attacks.  Or he can try puffing you up because after didn't
you have greater success than sister A, only to clobber you with sister B's even
greater success.  These comparisons can
happen to any degree and in any area of life.   I've watched him
attempt to discourage moms or dads in their parenting skills by causing
comparisons to some model child or parent that doesn't even exist.

And
then we have the discouraging worm who tries to get us to focus on our prayer
life.  Targeting prayers which have not been quickly answered or were
answered with a wait, maybe or outright no.  This worm attempts to bring
disheartenment to our souls and prevent us from praying through to victory or
hearing God's strategy in the situation.  Thoughts of "why pray"
or God won't answer your  prayer because of X, Y or Z
ultimately deter us from praying and trusting our dear Savior.

Friends,
I want you to be on the watch for this discouraging worm and be prepared to
wage war against his attacks.  He loves to come when we are tired,
confused, frustrated, fearful or uncertain.  He wants to bring uncertainty
and insecurity into your life.  Examine any area where you may be feeling
such things and see if he has been crawling through your thought life recently.

Rise
up and destroy this worm.  Fight back.  A few weeks ago, I realized I
was at a fork in the road.  Turn right into discouragement or left into
the road of life and trust.  The Holy Spirit spoke softly to me; do you
really want to walk into the den of discouragement?  Turn away from it.
Ask me to alert you to the subtle places of discouragement and replace it
with my words of hope and truth.  Discouragement leads us into darkness,
encouragement leads to light.  We have the power of the Holy Spirit to
help us choose light.  Aren't you glad?   

 

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