Definition: To be discouraged is when one no longer feels confident or willing to do something that one has been doing before, when there is a lack of interest, motivation and enthusiasm, when one is demoralised.
Discouragement can come as a spiritual attack, the bible calls it ” a spirit of heaviness “. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3 KJV)
The bible describes the method in which the devil makes war against us His children as devices, wiles and snares. All of these words suggest that the devil is a sly, old rascal who is going to do everything he can, in a sly way to bring about our downfall. Doubt and discouragement are some of these devices against Christians. Discouragement starts from doubt which is a weapon the devil frequently uses against us. This was why the psalmist in Ps 41:11 said ”I am cast down, I am disquieted, I don’t know where to turn to”.
REASONS FOR DISCOURAGEMENT
a) Discouragement follows before and after victory. Num 21:14 The children of Israel were discouraged after God gave them victory against king Arad the Canaanite. As Christians, we are on a journey, we are pilgrims and strangers in this world, for this world is not our home. Sometimes this pilgrim journey can get very discouraging and very rough so we can get discouraged because of the problems we encounter on the way.
b) As Christians, we can get discouraged after a long waiting period for answers to our prayers: the bible says ‘ Hope deferred makes the heart grow weary’.Exo 14:10-12
c) Discouragement occurs when there is lack of appreciation. When our contributions or efforts are not appreciated, there is tendency to want to throw in the towel.
TYPES OF DISCOURAGEMENT
a) Discouragement by means of fiery Trials such as; sicknesses & diseases, failures etc: 1Pet 4:12-13, Ps 34:19 God says for every child of God, there is a fiery trial. It is not a strange occurrence; it is part of the package of being a child of God.
b) Discouragement by means of fear: One of the snares that the devil lays out for us always is fear, ordinary human fear that causes us to break out in cold sweat and causes chill to go up and down our backbone. Fear makes a liar out of us, fear of death, fear of unfaithfulness in marriage, fear of failure, fear of the future. Deut 1:21-32,
c) Discouragement by means of frustrations. Jer 45:1-5 Baruch had worked so hard, prayed so hard for the welfare of the nation of Israel but God still turned the Israelites over to their enemy. In addressing his frustration, God told Baruch in Vs 4 “ ,It is my business what I do, and when I do it. If I build a building and I want to tear it down, it is my business, if I plant some seed in the ground and if I want to tear up the plants when they get to growing good, it is my business, No one else’s. I am God.
Discouragement Hinders the Work of God
The devil is not primarily interested in hurting us, but in hurting God, he is not primarily interested in bringing us defeat, but to cause God shame. He is not primarily interested in disappointing us, but in making God the laughing stock of this universe. So the devil’s primary reason for discouraging us is so as to hinder the work of God. Num 21:4-5
Discouragement gives way to criticism. The children of Israel began to criticize God. When we are discouraged, we become critical of God and his servants too. Neh 4:1
VICTORY OVER DISCOURAGEMENT
1: Discouragement is not a sin, but remaining in the state of discouragement is a sin. Rm 14:23, Job 14:7-9
2: Take our courage from God. 1Sam 30:1-6. If we look to people to encourage us, we will be disappointed.
3: Spend our time thinking on the word of God rather than thinking about the circumstances. Ps 119:145-152.
4: When we are discouraged, we should confess and pray using scriptures: Heb 12:2, Nah 1:12, Hab 3:17-18, Rom 8:37-39, Job 14:7-9, Matt 19:26b, Lk 1:37
1: I bind and cast out every spirit of discouragement and heaviness in my Life in Jesus name.
2: Father release your oil of joy afresh on m in Jesus name.
3: Oh Lord turn around every discouraging situation in my life to an encouraging one in Jesus name.
4: The work of God will not be hindered on account of me in Jesus name.
5: Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; Father strengthen me in my inner man so I can rid above the storms of the earth in Jesus name.