Psalm 42:5 KJV Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
We have all been visited by discouragement and if we don’t know how to fight it, it will eat us alive.
Discouragement is the opposite of courage. Discouragement is the same as cowardice. Why is this word so important?
A coward consciously shies away from unpleasant situations, doing whatever he can to save his own skin—enslaving himself to fear. Cowardice is sometimes linked to a guilty conscience: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). Scripture has much to say about being a slave to fear and contains stories of some godly people who gave in to fear. Peter is a good example of someone who once showed cowardice or enslavement to fear. Peter’s three-fold denial of Jesus to save his own life revealed a fear that was still surrendered to men rather than to God (Luke 22:54–62)… Read full content on GotQuestions.org
Lack of courage runs through the veins of every person, the difference between people is, there are those who know how to be strengthened and encouraged. The “en” in the word encouraged means to have courage put in you. I don’t know about you but I need this infusion everyday. Discouragement causes us to lose hope, makes us feel helpless, and we feel defeated before we even start to fight. So, let’s answer a few questions:
- What is the source of our discouragement
- How is discouragement used against us
- How do we battle against discouragement
Since everyone, believer and unbeliever, experiences discouragement, this means discouragement is “common to man“, 1 Corinthians 10:13. If it is common to everyone where did it come from?
Let’s take a stroll back to memory lane!
Genesis 3:10 KJV And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
God came looking for Adam but Adam had hid himself because he was now afraid of God. Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s one command and fear was now a part of their nature which all of mankind inherited. This means we are all born with built in unhealthy fear. Just like Satan tricked Eve into listening to his lies about the character of God, Satan uses that same strategy today. Meaning he tempts us with lies about God’s faithfulness to His word that left unchecked, will cause us to doubt or disbelieve what God says, Genesis 3:4-5.
Now that we know fear, being afraid, being a coward (discouraged) is part of the consequence of the fall of mankind, we know the only place to find help is God in His word because our problem is on the inside not the outside.
John 14:1 KJV Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me
There are many verses in the bible that tell us not to fear but this one tells us:
- Jesus knows we fall for the bait of discouragement
- Jesus commands us to not tolerate discouragement in our heart and
- Faith is our weapon for this battle
Jesus, God, knows the end from the beginning and He is on His way to be crucified and He knows His disciples are going to be terrified as they watch, without understanding, their hope of victory beaten, nailed to a cross, and die. Jesus says, do not look at the storm, believe what I promised you.
Romans 15:4 tells us our hopeand encouragement are given to us through scripture. Encouragement (courage) is given to us by God. Many were discouraged the day Jesus died because their hope died with Him.
Luke 24:17 KJV And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Two of Jesus disciples were going back home and they were very sad. Why?
Luke 24:21 KJV But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
But we had hoped, trusted, that is Jesus was our hope of freeing Israel from being under the oppression of Rome but now it is the third day and He is gone. They were discouraged and without hope of Jesus fulfilling His promises. Do you believe Jesus, God, is faithful to His word?Do you believe that Jesus came to die for the sins of all mankind? That He surrendered His life, it was not taken from Him. This is important because if you believe Jesus was overpowered then He was defeated. If you believe Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to His Father’s will then;
Colossians 2:15 KJV And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
We must have faith and hope in the finished work of the cross of Christ Jesus. In Jesus all the promises are yes and amen, 2 Corinthians 1:20. The promise, the “principalities and powers”, that is
- Pilate, who told Jesus that he had the power to grant Him life or have Him killed (John 19:10),
- the religious Jews who believed their guilty verdict was right, and
- Satan who lied to them all thought they had finally won, only to be triumphantly defeated and publicly shamed on the third day when God raised His Son from the dead, Acts 13:30.
Who uses discouragement against us, Satan and it is a powerful tool in times of hardship which we have no control over. The lack of power alone, not being able to fix it, mixed with lies, misunderstanding, and lack of wisdom will make us feel hopeless and defeated. So, we must confidently trust the promises we have been given. We enter God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise for all He has done, and we submit our will to the will of God trusting in His goodness, mercy, and love for us. Knowing;
John 16:33 KJV These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Trouble is always headed our way so fight your good fight of faith, open your bible.
Psalm 33:18 KJV Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.