Discouragement is a very powerful thing that does not always come with roots. By roots I mean legitimate causes. Sometimes we can easily see the reasons we are discouraged; our expectations are not met, things are not where we want them to be, failure even though we tried our best. Sometimes it is because of circumstances beyond our control or even caused by us. Then there are other times when there is not justifiable reason, we simple feel discouraged by things in general.
Discouragement does not belong to the children of God. I know we will face it at times but it doesn't belong to us; it is foreign. Discouragement should never be left to take root in us but should be dealt with right away. Confess your feelings. Admit that it is what you are facing. Then ask the Spirit to deal with this thing that is inside of you. Sing, shout, declare the Lordship of Jesus in all things.
The only effective way of dealing with discouragement is to go deeper with Jesus. It won't seem to be working at first and you will really have to push through to get there. I mean, you are going to have to fight. It is a battle to make your flesh submit to your spirit but you can't afford to lose this battle. Why do you think Jacob wrestled with God?
Jacob was facing a very difficult situation. He was running away from one problem only to face another that he had created a long time ago. He had wronged his brother and now he was about to come face to face with him. I am sure you have felt stuck between a rock and a hard place with no easy solution. Jacob did what most of us do in desperate times, he sought assurance from God. Perhaps for the first time in his life Jacob realized that his fast talking would not get him out of this. Filled with fear, anxiety, uncertainty, perhaps discouragement, he would not let go of God until he received his blessing.
I don't think many of us have ever been in this place with God, but we should be. We should all have to face such a time as this, when we are forced to be honest with ourselves and admit our only hope is Jesus Christ. We should all be in that place where we refuse to let go of God, because we have no other hope, until we receive his blessing, his assurance, his promises, his hope, his love.
We are in a time in history when the enemy of our soul is doing everything he can to discourage us. We will have discouragement without root and we will have discouragement with deep roots, like Jacob. Our Father's enemy will accuse us of failure. He will accuse us of what God has forgiven. He will make sure that we see the discouraging things around us and hear the discouraging reports as the Israelites did. And most of it will focus on us. What we did or did not do. Our failures. Our lose. That is how you will recognize him, by his emphasis on you, to provoke your emotions. But knowing this will not be enough to protect your heart. You are going to have to learn to wrestle.
We are warned in Scripture:
My friends, watch out! Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God. You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn. We were sure about Christ when we first became his people. So let’s hold tightly to our faith until the end. (Hebrews 3:12-14)
The Scripture encourages us not to be like the Israelites who listened to discouraging reports and refused to enter into what God had promised. My friends, the end is in sight; now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to press on and we need to watch out for each other, to testify to each other, to lift each other up, to pray, encourage, and love each other.
Don't you dare give up: Don't! Jesus is coming!