Scripture: Job 3:1-11; Job 3:24-26
-In case you haven’t figured it out: “JOB IS DISCOURAGED AND DEPRESSED.” (Closely Related) I know that came as a great REVELATION TO YOU, as we have read THOSE SCRIPTURES!
-As a matter of fact, there really is no positive value at all in those words, except to prove that Job, the Righteous man of God, is Discouraged!
-If man wanted to get + stay discouraged and depressed, open up Job 3 the entire chapter and read it every single Day for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!
Job Is A Deeply Discouraged/ Despondent Man:
-Job continues that way for about the first 30 Chapters Of The Book!
-And, his wife and friends didn’t help much!
-His wife TOLD JOB TO HANDLE HIS DISCOURAGEMENT BY CURSING GOD + DIE!
-His Friends TOLD JOB THE REASONS FOR HIS WOES, was that HE WAS FULL OF SIN!
-That’s all you need, people like that, WHEN YOUR BODY IS FULL OF SORES!
-Is ONE OF THE GREATEST WEAPONS SATAN WIELDS!
-Particularly, when THEY WANT TO DO SOMETHING FOR GOD!
-Particularly, when SATAN SEES THEM GETTING/COMING ALIVE FOR GOD!
I will make a statement that I believe with all my heart:
“DISCOURAGEMENT IS THE SINGLE MOST
DEVASTATING WEAPONS I KNOW OF.”
And that AGAINST PARTICULARLY SPIRITUAL LEADERS AND CLERGY of all kinds:
-I have known Pastors that have fallen into SUCH DISCOURAGEMENT!
–They have been frozen into A CORNER OF INEFFECTIVENESS for the Kingdom of God.
–They are out selling INSURANCE, USED CARS, or whatever, frozen in DISCOURAGEMENT!
As a MATTER OF FACT:
-It caused CHRIST’S APOSTLE PETER to be VULNERABLE TO THE ENEMY and to deny THE LORD.
-IT COST ELIJAH THE PROPHET HIS ENTIRE MINISTRY! DIS-COURAGE-MENT!
-So don’t think THAT CHRISTIANS are not vulnerable TO DISCOURAGEMENT!
I think all of US HAVE HAD OUR TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT. As a matter of fact, I have known religious folks who are visited once a day by this demon, and literally and often beat up. They are constantly robbed of their joy and hope in the Lord, as discouragement takes everything good from them except their SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK, which they are convinced most likely will stop coming as well.
Oh yes, PASTORS GET DISCOURAGED on occasion. I have been a time or two since I’ve been here! Oh no, nothing DEEP, no letter of RESIGNATION TO THE CHURCH! It often comes WHEN WE TAKE OUR MINISTRIES INTO OUR OWN HANDS/UPON OURSELVES! Pastors often do that, and then they need to be reminded of A FEW THINGS:
FIRST, yes, it is first of all TRUE, what JESUS SAYS IN John 10:11,
“I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd lays down
His life for the sheep.”
Pastors, which means SHEPHERDS, are called FIRST TO LAY DOWN LIVES FOR PEOPLE:
-We are NOT HERE FOR OURSELVES – PROGRAMS!
-Jesus didn’t die for POLICIES, PROGRAMS, PARAPHANALIA of whatever kinds.
-Jesus died for people, and that is WHAT PASTORING IS ALL ABOUT!
TRUE, WE MUST LEAD, DIRECT, IMPART VISION, so you don’t get SICK AND DIE! For without VISION, the people perish, and sheep – true sheep are willing to follow.
But, in John 10, THE GOOD SHEPHERD MESSAGE again and again and again is,
“AND I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR THE SHEEP.”
SECOND Jesus also reminds me in times of DISCOURAGEMENT in John 10:14,
“I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND I KNOW MY SHEEP.”
He reminds me then that you are NOT REALLY MY SHEEP, you’re HIS! HALLELUJAH! That is encouraging! You’re mine, but you’re HIS FIRST Praise God. I mean, when 300 different PERSONALITIES walk through THESE DOORS ON A SUNDAY MORNING! And they look up at you and say FEED US! It can be DISCOURAGING, unless you realize what Jesus says,
“I KNOW MY SHEEP!”
So many different and even peculiar sheep in the sheepfold! They often remind me of one of my grade-school classes – Seth the Spitter, Andy the Biter, Vaughn the Nose-picker, Marlene who Smelled Bad etc. Boy was I glad that they were not my brothers and sisters, and boy am I glad that the sheep are not my sheep, but His!
I. FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS DISCOURAGEMENT?
So that we can know WHO OUR ENEMY IS and WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH, let me try to give you A DEFINITION:
-DISCOURAGEMENT literally means and obviously so, “TO DECREASE IN COURAGE.”
-I mean, that makes sense doesn’t it, for ENCOURAGE AND DISCOURAGE are opposites.
-Encourage MEANS TO INCREASE IN COURAGE, DISCOURAGE TO DECREASE IN COURAGE!
Other words, closely connected are:
-TO BE FAINT HEARTED found throughout Scripture.
-Or, “MY HEART MELTED WITHIN ME” I Thessalonians 5:14, Isaiah 7:4 etc. This is just another Scriptural phrase for “DISCOURAGEMENT.”
-Or, “TO BE DESPONDENT”, which means without HOPE OR OPTIMISM or POSITIVE OUTLOOK! Psalm 109:16. Another word for “DISCOURAGEMENT.”
-THE MAJORITY REPORT came back to the children of Israel about the land of Canaan.
-And it WAS THREATENING AND NEGATIVE AND FRIGHTENING, AND THEY said to Moses in: Deut. 1:28,
“WHITHER SHALL WE GO UP? OUR BRETHREN HAVE
DISCOURAGED OUR HEART, SAYING THE PEOPLE
ARE GREATER AND TALLER THAN WE ARE, THE
CITIES ARE GREAT AND WALLED
UP TO HEAVEN.”
(and on and on it went.)
INSERT AT THIS POINT:
-You must know that DISCOURAGEMENT is not of the Lord at all!
-In fact, Jesus was NEVER DISCOURAGED IN HIS LIFE, His heart NEVER FAILED HIM!
-Praise the Lord, as we read of Him in prophecy in Is. 42:1-4,
“BEHOLD MY SERVANT, WHOM I UPHOLD, MINE ELECT,
IN WHOM MY SOUL DELIGHTETH, I HAVE PUT MY
SPIRIT UPON HIM, HE SHALL, BRING FORTH
JUDGEMENT UNTO THE GENTILES…etc. etc….
HE SHALL NOT FAIL NOR BE DISCOURAGED-
You see, FAILURE AND DISCOURAGEMENT GO TOGETHER:
1. If Jesus would have failed in courage, He would have failed His Father, Himself, and us.
2. A whole church can lack COURAGE and shrink back from the battle.
3. But Jesus never had HIS HEART FAINT WITHIN HIM, and because of that today:
“WE CAN RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY…WE CAN WALK
AND NOT FAINT.”
4. Truly a beautiful truth in Is. 42:4 – “HE SHALL NOT FAIL NOR BE DISCOURAGED!”
-May PROGRESS through VARIOUS STAGES!
-On the other hand, DISCOURAGEMENT IS ONE OF THOSE ANIMALS that has the ability to leap over stages!
-All the way PAST THE MILD STAGES, instantly all the way into the pits!
I want TO GIVE YOU THREE LEVELS:
FIRST – MILD DISCOURAGEMENT
-When you are hardly aware of it, a little BIT DOWN!
-Perhaps a little DISAPPOINTMENT in your life – perhaps a little CASE OF THE BLUES.
-A little bit of “THE WHAT’S THE USE” attitude creeping in!
-I notice my spirit sags from watching TV, and in particular, network news.
-Everything is a downer, and you start getting brain and heart damage a few minutes into the slough of despond.
I have noticed after watching the news that no one emerges from the experience dripping with joyful and uplifting spirits, including me. NEWS JUNKIES are not exactly your PICKER-UPPER TYPE PEOPLE. When you get done talking with them, I’ve noticed that I want to go away and hide.
SECONDLY – STRONG DISCOURAGEMENT
-Now it both begins to BE NOTICED BY AND TO EFFECT OTHER PEOPLE!
-As a matter of fact, “DISCOURAGEMENT IS VERY CONTAGIOUS!”
-Others may CATCH IT FROM YOU AND BE INFECTED AS WELL!
Now YOU START TALKING THIS WAY:
“IT’S ALL BEEN TRIED BEFORE” (when faced with an IDEA – PROPOSAL).
-Of course, they fail to realize that it may have tried by the wrong people or at a wrong time.
“WHAT’S THE USE, IT WILL NEVER CHANGE.”
“WHEN YOU’RE MY AGE, YOU REALIZE THINGS ARE NOT AS SIMPLE AS THAT.”
-When you are in THE STRONG STAGE OF DISCOURAGEMENT.
“YOU DISCOURAGE ALL IDEALISM AND LIVELY EXPERIMENT.”
-In short, there are 3 types of people who are the masters of discouragement. They are:
1. THE DEFEATISTS – they always leave you with a feeling of futility and fatalism.
2. THE DOWNGRADERS – they reduce everything and everyone to half its original size.
3.THE DISPARAGERS – they reduce idealism to self-interest and heroism to exhibitionism.
-Discouragement comes from this 3-D Talk and these 3-D TALKERS.
-I am reminded of the journalist who said that he had an infallible test for sounding out a man’s character. Called to interview a politician, a parson, and a painter, he first asked each one what they thought of a fellow politician, another parson, and a rival painter. Even if they began with compliments, they usually managed to get in some snide remark that suggests the other fellow is not all that he is cracked up to be.
-Hang around 3-D people like this long enough, and you will find yourself in strong negativity and discouragement.
THIRD STAGE – DISABLEMENT
-That is THE SEVERE STAGE, totally drained of ENERGY!
-You cease TO FUNCTION NORMALLY, loss of APPETITE, cease to eat!
-The Bible often describes this state by such words as in these words:
“MY HEART MELTED WITHIN ME.”
-It may even result in CATATONIC WITHDRAWAL, and end up in KNEE-DEEP DEPRESSION!
-And, that is WHERE “SATAN” WANTS TO ULTIMATELY GET US, through all the STAGES TO THE DISABLING – DEPRESSED – DEFEATED STAGE!
II. SOME CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO DISCOURAGEMENT!
FIRST – PERSONAL LOSS OR FAILURE!
-We read of something to illustrate this in I Sam. 30:1-6
-The EVENT WAS A SHOCKING ONE.
-David and his men return to camp at a place called Ziklag!
-And, when he does, he discovers THAT SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAS HAPPENED!
-The Amalekites had burned THE CITY OF ZIKLAG to the ground!
-They had taken all THE WIVES, SONS, AND DAUGHTERS CAPTIVE!
-David didn’t know where they were, or whether DEAD OR ALIVE!
-Nothing but a burned out city, smoldering and desolate!
Here is what happened, a DISABLING DISCOURAGEMENT!
-I Sam. 30:4,
“Then David and the people who were with him lifted their
voices and wept until there was no strength in
them to weep.”
-Totally drained of all emotion over the DEEP, DEEP LOSS of all of their wives and children who had been carried into captivity by the Amalekites.
-Totally paralyzed and immobilized, and on top of it, the others BLAMED AND TURNED ON HIM. I Sam. 30:6,
“AND DAVID WAS GREATLY DISTRESSED, FOR THE
PEOPLE SPOKE OF STONING HIM, BECAUSE
THE SOUL OF ALL THE PEOPLE WAS
GRIEVED, EVERY MAN FOR HIS
SONS AND HIS DAUGHTERS.”
What a total discomfort they were to this DEEPLY HEARTFAINT- SICK MAN!
We read what David did in I Sam. 30:6,
“BUT DAVID ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE
LORD (HIS GOD).”
-David directed HIS THOUGHTS toward THE EVER PRESENT, ETERNAL PROTECTOR OF HIS SERVANTS.
And not only in THE LORD, but in THE LORD HIS GOD, as he writes elsewhere in Psalm 118:6 :
“THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE….I WILL NOT FEAR! WHAT
CAN MAN DO UNTO ME!”
-The LORD HIS GOD…THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE!…I Will NOT FEAR!
-Then after WORSHIPING AND CONFIDING in the Lord, then he asked God what to do!
-And the Lord RESPONDED: I Sam. 30:6,
“PURSUE, FOR THOU SHALT SURELY OVERTAKE THEM,
AND WITHOUT FAIL RECOVER THEM
ALL.” (and he did!)
SECOND – PERSONAL ILLNESS OR PRESSURE (STRESS)!
You see, this is the CASE OF JONAH IN THE BELLY OF THE HUGE FISH:
-There must not be a more SEARCHING OR DISCOURAGING place than A WHALE’S BELLY!
-I mean, YOU TALK ABOUT PRESSURE, STRESS, HOPELESSNESS, DESPAIR!
-And yes, EVEN SICK – ILL! Can you imagine FLOATING AMID decaying DEBRIS OF FISH that the monster fish had for dinner!
-Apparently, the behemoth had eaten seaweed, for Jonah 2:5 says,
“WEEDS WRAPPED AROUND HIS HEAD.”
And Jonah went into DEEP DISCOURAGEMENT! Jonah 2:7,
“MY SOUL FAINTED WITHIN ME (faintheartedness).”
ALL COURAGE, ALL HOPE, gone! Nothing but FEAR AND DESPAIR!
Yet, in that SITUATION, Jonah 2:7 says,
And the Lord heard, for it says, “JONAH’S PRAYER CAME UNTO GOD, IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE.” No matter how DISCOURAGED, how low, THE LORD HEARS THE FAINTEST CRY OF HIS PEOPLE! Even if FROM THE DEPTHS of the sea, in the BELLY OF A GIGANTIC FISH!
Also, this discouragement had a PURPOSE, it BROUGHT JONAH TO GOD! He hadn’t prayed in quite a while. HE WAS RUNNING FROM GOD! And SO DISHEARTENED, God used it TO DRIVE JONAH BACK TO THE LORD! So, it can be used as A TOOL TO BRING US TO GOD!
3. THIRD CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO DISCOURAGEMENT – “REJECTION!”
-By families, friends, and others – all loved ones.
-Job is a classic example of rejection by friends and loved ones!
-Not only afflicted by sores, but his wife tells him to curse God and die!
-And his friends tell him that he is full of SIN! AWFUL REJECTION!
-And, Job was in fact so discouraged, that HE WANTED TO DIE!
BUT JOB RECOGNIZED A PRINCIPLE:
-In awful REJECTION – DEEP DISCOURAGEMENT!
-And we read in Job 42:10,
“AND THE LORD TURNED (Means-beat back) THE
CAPTIVITY OF WHEN HE PRAYED FOR
-You can let REJECTION take all COURAGE AND DRIVE out of your life!
-Or, you can PRAY FOR YOUR REJECTORS that God will bless them!
-And God will BEAT BACK THAT DISCOURAGEMENT THAT HAS YOU CAPTIVE!
4. FOURTHLY- MISHANDLING SPIRITUAL WARFARE CAN CAUSE DISCOURAGEMENT!
-Discouragement cannot ONLY PRECEDE, but follow “GREAT TIMES OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE.”
1. WHEN YOU’RE DOING BATTLE WITH THE DEVIL AND TEMPTATION!
–The first thing that James 4:7 says is,
“TO SUBMIT TO GOD!”
-I say: “YES TO YOU LORD, MY LIFE IS YOURS, YOUR WILL IS MY DELIGHT!”
But, then and next, JAMES 4:7,
“RESIST THE DEVIL. “Say, “NO YOU DEVIL YOU!”
-First “YES”, and then “NO”!
-Don’t say NO TO SATAN, without first SAYING YES TO GOD.
-Otherwise, you’re trying to beat back the tempter, without God on your side to back you.
2. NOW YOU’VE WON! But NOW THE MISTAKE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE COMES.
-A MISTAKE OPENS THE DOOR TO DAMNING DISCOURAGEMENT!
-A mistake that leads TO SUCH DEFEAT AND DISCOURAGEMENT, often can’t get up again.
a. After the tempted one has WON AGAINST SATAN!
b. He had SUBMITTED TO THE LORD AND RESISTED THE EVIL ONE!
c. He lets HIS GUARD DOWN, celebrates RECKLESSLY, and gets picked off again!
d. Whether trying TO OVERCOME whatever, and THE PERSON IS DISCOURAGED AGAIN!
e. WHAT’S THE MISTAKE?
James 4 goes on, after saying in vs. 7,
“SUBMIT TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL.”
Immediately James tells you what to do next in verse 8,
“DRAW NEAR TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW
NEAR TO YOU.”
-And if you don’t, Satan who had fled, will be back, unless YOU CONSTANTLY DRAW NEAR TO GOD IN PRAYER!
-In fact, this must be constant:
“WE MUST LITERALLY WALK THROUGH LIFE ON
-If we don’t, he comes back gets us, and WE GET SO DISCOURAGED IF THIS HAPPENS ENOUGH! We will just give up altogether!
5. FIFTH CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO DISCOURAGEMENT – EMOTIONAL LET DOWN!
-Do you remember Elijah after his greatest SPIRITUAL VICTORY!
-Here he is:
1. He has called down FIRE FROM HEAVEN!
2. He had defeated 450 prophets of Baal!
3. Yet, he now flees before ONE WOMAN NAMED JEZEBEL.
4. He outruns THE CHARIOT!
5. He runs upon the TOP OF A MOUNTAIN, UNDER A JUNIPER TREE, HIDES and wants to die!
6. We read in I Kings 19:4,
“HE CAME AND SAT DOWN UNDER A JUNIPER TREE,
AND HE REQUESTED FOR HIMSELF THAT
HE MIGHT DIE.”
Remember THIS LESSON, terribly important for YOU TO RECOGNIZE IN CHRISTIAN ACHIEVEMENT:
“OFTEN THE GREATEST VALLEYS WILL FOLLOW THE
GREATEST MOUNTAIN PEAKS!”
“ OFTEN THE GREATEST TRIALS WILL FOLLOW THE
GREATEST SPIRITUAL VICTORIES.”
a. Because we don’t have a GLORIFIED BODY AS YET, and it affects our EMOTIONS!
b. We are RUNNING ON THE GLORY OF GOD and a whole bunch of adrenalin.
c. We haven’t SLEPT RIGHT, WE HAVEN’T EATEN RIGHT.
d. And then, emotional letdown, emotional exhaustion! DISCOURAGEMENT!
Elijah NEEDED TWO THINGS: REST AND FOOD!
-Two times the angel woke him up like a mother waking a baby.
-When he awakened him, Elijah found THE ANGEL HAD FIXED PANCAKES FOR HIM!
-Twice HE DID THAT, how would you like to wake up to angels fixing breakfast!
-And, then HE WENT BACK TO SLEEP AGAIN…HE NEEDED REST & NOURISHMENT!
6 SIXTHLY – LETTING DOWN OUR SHIELD OF FAITH
-I will call the first 5 “CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO DISCOURAGEMENT.”
-I call this the # 1 cause!
-There may be a number of contributing factors, in an “ASSORTMENT OF COMBINATIONS.”
-But when it comes down to the bottom line: “THIS IS THE CAUSE” (letting down the shield of faith)
In Ephesians 6 we find THE CHRISTIAN’S ARMAMENT FOR WARFARE DISCUSSED. There we are told to:
“PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD..TO BE STRONG
IN HIM AND IN POWER OF HIS MIGHT.”
-In other words, if we do what we are told to do here!
-We will be PROTECTED AS GOD IS PROTECTED, AND POWERFUL AS GOD IS POWERFUL!
And we are told that WE WRESTLE AGAINST SATANIC FORCES, NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD! And recognizing THIS, we are told TO PUT ON “6” IMPLEMENTS OF ARMOUR!
-And it is SIGNIFICANT that amidst those armaments, GIRDLE OF TRUTH/BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, SHOES OF THE GOSPEL!
-Amidst all of that, it is important when he says “ABOVE ALL.” Vs. 16,
“ABOVE ALL, TAKING THE SHIELD OF FAITH,
WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH
ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED!”
When you’re feeling DISCOURAGED – FAINT HEARTED, LIFT UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH.” Confess THE GOD OF YOUR FAITH, THE WORD OF YOUR FAITH, THE HOPE OF YOUR FAITH – FAITH IN GOD AS YOUR FATHER, CHRIST AS YOUR REDEEMER, SPIRIT AS YOUR STRENGTHENER.
-No matter WHAT, all you need to say is “I BELIEVE, HELP THOU MY UNBELIEF!”
-AND ALL, ALL, ALL THE FIERY MISSILES OF THE EVIL ONE WILL BE STOPPED!
Just a WORD TO THOSE WHO ARE FRIGHTENED BY THOUGHT OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE.” THE HOLY SPIRIT GOES ON TO SAY IN Eph. 6:17,
“AND TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION, AND THE
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH
IS THE WORD OF GOD.”
1. Don’t be AFRAID OF SATAN. When THE ENEMY GETS CLOSE ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU AFRAID!
2. Would you JUST RECOGNIZE, that NOW, NOW, NOW because he’s close, he is within STRIKING DISTANCE OF THE SWORD!
3. LIFT UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH, AND THEN STICK OUT THE SWORD!
4. And THEN RUN HIM THROUGH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!.
THUS SAITH THE LORD:
a. THE WORD OF GOD IS THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT! (You’ve got to know it-study it)
b. Three times THE DEVIL came to Jesus, and three times, Jesus said: “THUS SAITH THE LORD.”
c. And Jesus PIERCED HIM THROUGH TO THE HEART! You “CAN DO THE SAME.”
III. WELL THEN – HOW DO WE DEAL WITH DISCOURAGEMENT?
I have given you several ANTIDOTES already, but a few more practical “HELPS!” JOT THESE DOWN:
1. FIRST OF ALL, COMMUNE WITH YOUR SOUL BY MEANS OF YOUR SPIRIT.
Throughout, in the Psalms you read words like Ps. 103:1-2,
“BLESS THE LORD, 0 MY SOUL, AND ALL THAT IS
WITHIN ME, BLESS HIS HOLY NAME, BLESS THE
LORD, O MY SOUL, AND FORGET NOT ALL
You CAN ALMOST SEE DAVID taking HIS SOUL by the nap of its neck.
a. I said, SOUL, BLESS THE LORD, do you hear me?
b. AND HIS SPIRIT ruled over his soul and his body!
a. There is THE BODY, THE SOUL, THE SPIRIT!
b. The soul is made up basically of THE MIND, THE WILL, THE EMOTIONS!
c. God says:
By MY SPIRIT in YOUR SPIRIT:
-I want your spirit to tell your soul how to think, to feel, to will!
-That’s God’s level of maturity, that’s God’s design for YOUR LIFE!
-While the DEVIL wants to attack you from OUTWARD TO INWARD – from circumstances INWARD.
-He will EVEN ATTACK YOUR BODY, to get at YOUR SOUL, its FEELINGS, THINKING, WILLING.
-And THEN YOUR SOUL, WHAT YOU THINK, WILL, FEEL, will tell YOUR SPIRIT, CONTROL SPIRIT!
-And YOU WILL STUMBLE AND FALL ALMOST FOR CERTAIN, AND BECOME DISCOURAGED!
-COMMUNE WITH YOUR SOUL VIA YOUR SPIRIT! Take your SOUL BY THE NAP OF THE NECK!
-As we near the Psalmist again doing in Ps. 42:11,
“WHY ART THOU CAST DOWN, OH MY SOUL, AND WHY
ART THOU DISQUIETED WITHIN ME? HOPE THOU IN
GOD, FOR I SHALL YET PRAISE HIM, WHO IS THE
HEALTH OF MY COUNTENANCE AND MY GOD.”
2. SECONDLY? CHECK OUT YOUR SPIRITUAL ARMOUR!
Check it OUT, could be a HOLE IN IT! And with that CHINK in your armor, Satan could be SNEAKING THROUGH, wounding you and weighing down!
Check OUT YOUR BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:
a. Are you walking ACCORDING TO THE GIVENS OF GOD’S HOLY WORD!
b. The Breastplate of righteousness is the area of THE HEART.
c. And when we ARE WALKING IN DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD, it will cause HEAVY HEARTEDNESS – Christ in US HIMSELF BEING SADDENED!
d. CHECK OUT YOUR SWORD, is it sharp, are you in the Word and the Word in you?
e. Or are YOU RESISTING THE TRUTH, THE PRINCIPLES OF GOD’S WORD!. Then YOUR SWORD IS DULL, AND YOU ARE VULNERABLE!
3. THIRDLY? -Receive COUNSEL FROM THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IN/ GONE THROUGH/ COME OUT OF DISCOURAGEMENT.
-Don’t GO TO THOSE FOR COUNSEL AND PRAYER who LIVE IN DISCOURAGEMENT.
-And you both get together and bawl for an hour and a half together.
-And by the time you’re done, you’re BOTH READY TO GO OUT AND COMMIT SUICIDE!
-Go TO THOSE GODLY FRIENDS, who understand, WHO HAVE OVERCOME, and submit your life and heed THEIR PRAYERS AND THEIR COUNSEL!
4. FOURTHLY? Ask yourselves these QUESTIONS:
a. “WILL THIS THING MATTER 50 YEARS FROM NOW?”
-Really: “IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY, HOW IMPORTANT REALLY IS THIS?”
-I mean, DOESN’T THE BIBLE TELL ME, “IT CAME TO PASS?”
-Some day in Christ, you will look back and say “THROUGH IT ALL, GOD HAS BEEN SO GOOD.”
b. “SHOULD WE EVER DOUBT IN DARKNESS – WHAT GOD SAID IN THE LIGHT?”
-Hallelujah! God gives US BEAUTIFUL TRUTHS/REVELATIONS of Himself in the GOLDEN SUNLIGHT OF HIS LOVE.
-And when we GET IN THE COLD, BLACK, DARKNESS, we doubt what GOD GAVE IN LIGHT!
-NEVER DO THAT! (Remember Satan Discourages – God encourages)
c. “SHOULD WE EVER GO BACKWARD, AND REVERSE, or GO FORWARD!”
-Listen to me church, God never WORKS IN REVERSE!
-God said to Moses to tell His people – “GO FORWARD/ NOT BACKWARD/ FORWARD!”
-If you find yourself GOING BACKWARD, trying TO GET TO WHAT WAS, it isn’t God!
-The devil is trying TO DISCOURAGE you, because it ISN’T THERE ANYMORE!
-The cloud has moved on…you need TO BE GOING FORWARD! Not Backward!
Some people say, “I THINK I NEED TO BACK OFF FROM MINISTRY NOW!” I’ve got a lot going in MY LIFE, a LOT OF PRIORITIES I’ve got to tend to! And what always happens is THEY WILL BACK OFF FROM GOD/RELATIONSHIPS TO BODY! I haven’t got TIME FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL, CHOIR, that ministry! But, GOD NEVER WORKS IN REVERSE.
I recommend that you read SOME BIOGRAPHIES OF GREAT CHRISTIANS – ALL HAVE HAD TRIALS!
-“DAVID BRAINARD”- Graduated from Harvard – gifted man of God – Minister to American Indians – on horseback – day after day – go to the Indian Camps. Just stood there STONE FACES – never batted an eye, NO UGH, HOW AND NOTHING – For a year, day after day he preached… Was ready to give up…sick with fever… Found place in woods… Knelt down in snow…Snow had melted around him – was healed – went back – preached. Walked into Indian camp. Revival broke out! GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT! Amen!