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Summary: This is a message to help those who can relate to the spiritual hole described in Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”

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Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement

Overcoming spiritual discouragement.

Text: Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”

In this message we want to try to explain the difference between soulish discouragement, and spiritual discouragement. They are similar and overlap, but spiritual discouragement is much more difficult and dangerous for the believer. The good news is that there is a handy cure for both, and we will get to that shortly.

Hebrews 4:12

There is a difference between your soul and your spirit.

There is a difference between your spirit and the Holy Spirit.

Dichotomy, trichotomy, fourchotomy, all I know is that there is only one of me!

If my flesh suffers I suffer.

First, lets see that the flesh and soul can suffer while at the same time the spirit is soaring:

1 Thessalonians 1:6. “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:” Notice Paul speaks of Affliction and at the same time Joy in the Holy Ghost.

I always thought affliction in this passage referred to physical suffering, which it may, but it may just as well refer to mental pressures:

thlip’-sis: is translated and used in the bible for: tribulation 21 times, affliction 17, trouble 3, anguish 1, persecution 1, burdened 1, to be afflicted 1; for a total useage of 45 times.

The definition is: 1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure

2) metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

In spite of all that, the Thessalonian Christians had joy in the Holy Ghost.

I wonder how they balanced those two different emotions?

We will call this kind of discouragement, soulish discouragement, the soulish (emotional) side of you is downcast, but the spiritual side of you is still upbeat. Another clear example of this is found in the book of Psalms where David records a conversation he had with himself: Ps 43:5 “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance, and my God.” In this example David’s spirit is speaking to his soul and saying, “Come on, hang in there! God will again bring a smile to our face.”

Another example from the life of David can be found in 1 Samuel chapter 30, where after many things had gone wrong, we find this gem of spiritual insight: 1 Samuel 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” You will notice David was greatly distressed and yet he encouraged himself. I believe the spiritual part of David picked up the soulish part of David that had been overwhelmed by discouragement.

Secondly, this morning I want you to notice that your spirit and soul are different, and that your spirit can lift you up when your soul is down, but if your spirit gets down than your troubles are greatly magnified.


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