One of the most powerful weapons Satan has to use against us is discouragement. For it fuels doubts, fears, anger, frustrations and resentments – all of which can distract us from serving Christ at our optimum. However, we do not have to allow these entanglements to remain when we remember three primary truths:
Confirmation: We will all encounter people and problems that discourage us. Whether it be the critics in our life and/or the unfortunate circumstances we face, we can count on them trying to ruin our day. However, we can also rely on the fact that these challenges are also many times the tools God uses in our life to strengthen our faith and propel His purposes (Romans 5:3). For Moses faced critics, David faced betrayal, Joseph faced prison, Daniel faced lions and our Lord Jesus faced crucifixion. Yet, it was also during these times God was orchestrating great works. Likewise, the causes of our discouragement can be seen as confirmation that our loving Father has us exactly where He desires us to be, and we gain the benefits of being involved in His plans.
Confession: Discouragement can also set in when we fail to respond to difficulties in life the way we know we should. This leads to a spiraling scenario where we behave in ways we know we shouldn’t, feel bad about it and then get angry because we know we should be stronger than we’re acting. However, Hannah Smith in her book written in 1875 shared a powerful truth when she stated, “true humility can bear to see its own utter weakness and foolishness revealed, because it never expected anything from itself, and knows that the only hope and expectation must be in God”. This confessed realization releases us from the bondage of perfectionism (Romans 8:1). For our struggles with sin and the flesh are real, but what a gift we have knowing that because of Christ, we don’t have to beat ourselves up, or give into the lies of discouragement.
Confidence: Once we realize our challenges and difficulties can be used by God to sand, shape and sift our faith, we are able to face them with more confidence. This is because we know God is with us, helps us and directs us – always (Hebrews 13:6). As an example, God reassures us in the Bible over 365 times, a reminder for each day of the year, not to fear. However, the power is in relying and accepting this truth and then choosing to walk in faith with great expectation.
Application: “Expect To Conquer” – Joshua 1:9
As children of the Lord, Jesus Christ, the Creator of heaven and earth, we are entrusted with powerful gifts. Yet, the enemy doesn’t want us to realize, or use these gifts. So, he rages war and deploys one of his most powerful weapons against us – discouragement. Thus, there is tremendous value in reclaiming the confidences we have through Christ and living our lives on earth expecting to conquer any distraction that comes our way. For there is no weapon forged in hell that can disrupt God’s purposes.