We all face discouragement in life. But how we respond to daily discouragement is important. The Bible speaks very clearly on dealing with discouragement, which is our topic of discussion for the whole month of March.
Discouragement will lead you to a pit of despair and a loss of hope when left unattended. We have to recognize when the enemy is attacking us and learn how to respond with truth instead of fear. The Lord has given us His Word as a tool to fight discouragement.
We fight discouragement with truth of what His Word says about me and to me. Paul said it the best in Phil. 1:6 (MSG) "There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears."
But discouragement brings doubt, and doubt ushers in hopelessness. Since the pandemic started, as pastors at CrossRoads Community Church, my husband and I have seen tragedy after tragedy. We have witnessed in our own town and church suicide, death, depression, anxiety, fear, hopelessness and despair. It seems as though God has become quiet, and the enemy would tell you that God's not concerned about what is going on in you and your circumstances.
But the devil is a liar. It is his character, and he doesn't know how to behave outside of his character. He has come down with wrath to weary you and to accuse you! He wants to put the blame on you, causing you to believe you have done something wrong, messed up, or don't have what it takes to succeed. That's the voice of the enemy.
I felt led to do a series, How To Tackle Discouragement, because I was discouraged by all the things that were happening around me.
When you feel discouraged, instead of responding with anxiety, use these steps to tackle discouragement:
— Encourage yourself in the Lord.
— Pray in the spirit.
— Turn your anxiety into prayer.
The other day I was in prayer, and I asked the Lord something.
Me: Lord, why have you been so silent?
Jesus (in a still small voice): "Listen!"
Me: Listen for what? Stillness?
Jesus: There is deliverance, victory and healing for a nation in silence—just ask Esther!
The Lord spoke to my heart in complete silence, and this is what I heard Him say:
"Don't be afraid of the silence! Even though I have been silent, I am present! In this "silent" season I am creating a grand entrance of my power—a grand presentation!
"This entrance will escort revelation, deliverance, salvation, freedom and jubilee! This will pave the way for healing of the mind, the soul and the body! If healing comes now, in this atmosphere, you will skip past the revelation, deliverance and salvation!
"So, I've been silent on purpose with a grand plan that will bring freedom, victory and deliverance!
"Don't be afraid of the silence—only listen!"
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