Fighting Discouragement

When a friend told she was fighting discouragement, my overriding thought was how few people knew the extreme extent to which I have been dealing with discouragement myself. Daily, sometimes hourly. Not in small ways. In huge ones. I was being constantly bombarded from the one end with the thought of quitting, whether it be ministry, writing, caring for the dogs, etc., or once in a while even life itself. On the other end, I was being pelleted with thoughts of how utterly insignificant and futile my attempts are at helping others, and how few, if any, lives God was touching and transforming through my virtually meaningless work. I could most assuredly identify with the idea of discouragement, but then a wildly vital thought came to me.

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My friend said she was FIGHTING discouragement. This made me think of a few exceedingly important things:

1. We need to fight, not bow down to discouragement and quit
2. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but ultimately against Satan (Ephesians 6:12)
3. We must fight the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12)
4. Our strength is in the Lord and not in ourselves, so we must fight in His strength (Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 6:10, and many others!)
5. We need to wear and use our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18)
6. We need to cast down imaginations and take all thoughts captive to obeying Christ (specifically to God’s Word) (2 Corinthians 10:5)
7. We need to stand strong in the Body of Christ and not fight our battles on our own, remembering that Christ is the head of an entire body of believers some of whom can help us with love, prayer, teaching God’s Word, and encouragement

My long-time pastor and father in Christ Pastor Freddie taught me long before he went on to be with the Lord that Satan doesn’t steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) because he cares about us specifically; he wants to steal and stop the gifts God has placed inside of us from being used. After all, we are Christ’s body on earth. Satan then wants to get us so discouraged that we simply don’t use the gifts God has given us for the glory of the Lord. My friend probably didn’t realize that her sharing her heart with me about discouragement would precipitate my own serious look – and writing – about the danger of discouragement and what we need to do to address it. But I should not have been surprised. For not too long before that, I had written a devotional in print available upon request to individuals and groups called “ENCOURAGEMENT: We All Need It.” We do, don’t we, as we fight our battles and learn how to have victory in Christ in our wars.

If you are dealing with discouragement, don’t fall prey to Satan’s lies that you can’t have victory. You can. Just don’t fight in your own strength. Fight the fight of faith – in the love, power, mercy, and strength of the Lord! 

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

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