Summary: Discouragement is one of Satan’s most effective weapons epically against church leaders and people in authority

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Dealing with Discouragement

Discouragement is one of Satan’s most effective weapons epically against church leaders and people in authority

I) What is discouragement?

Definition = to decrease courage; to be faint hearted; to lose hope; to be dismayed; the lace of desire to move forward or stand for convictions.

Examples of Discouragement

Acts 27:20

20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

1 Kings 19:3-4

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."

Ex 6:9

9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.

Gen 21:15-16

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.

Stages of Discouragement

1. Mild = Minor problems or pressure which effect our emotions

2. Strong = Major problems of pressures which affect our spirit so that other will notice

3. Disabling = Overwhelming problems or pressures which drain us of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical strength. Our hearts melt within us and we have no ability to go on.

Causes of Discouragement

• At the base of every discouragement is a lie from Satan. Fear, unbelief, bitterness, self piety or condemnation are all based on satraps lies

• The root cause is we have put down the shield of faith. ( Eph 6:16) When we lose sight of God’s ways our resources in Christ, we remove the spiritual protection of the shield of faith.

Benefit of Discouragement = it confirms our need for God

1. He will destroy our delight in temporal things:

Phil 3: 7-11… whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

2. He will destroy your confidence in human effort:

Rom 7:22-23… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

3. He has ordained that through our weakness His strength in made perfect.

2 Cor 12:9-11…he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

II) How to Conquer Discouragement

Many basic steps must be taken to overcome discouragement. A checklist of concepts follows.

1. Remove all guilt:

1 John 1:9-10… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

2. Take up the shield of faith:

Eph 6:16-17… In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

To take up the shield of faith means to recognize Satan’s lies and then verbally, aloud, quote God’s truth. Following are some of Satan’s fiery darts, which must be verbally responded too:

• God has left you… Heb 13:5God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

• No good will come of this… Rom 8:2828 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

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