by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you ever been discouraged? Ridiculous question isn’t it? The truth is discouragement hits everyone’s life. Let me ask you another question? Do you think discouragement will be a part of Heaven? Read this verse that comes from the book of Revelation describing our future days with God before you answer that question. Revelation 21:4 NIV “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Could it really be like this in Heaven―no more death, crying, or pain―no more tears? Absolutely! When that time comes, the devil will be banished to the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10 NKJV says, “And the devil (referring to Satan) that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire….” The devil is the author behind all discouragement. God is the author of encouragement!
Discouragement is of the enemy. The word discourage is defined: to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; to dishearten; to obstruct by opposition or difficulty; hinder: to express or make clear disapproval of; frown upon: to discourage the expression of enthusiasm. What is the goal of discouragement? The goal is to steal our courage, to steal our faith, and to steal our trust in God leading our life.
Knowing that you get discouraged at times and understanding how difficult it can be, do you ever try to flip that around by being used of God to be a blessing and encouragement to others? If your answer is I hope so, decide to be intentional and make the changes that allow you to say, I know so! If Satan works to manipulate circumstances and uses people to bring discouragement and hurt, how much more does God desire to use us in the earth to bring miracles and the touch of His love through yielded people? There are multitudes of ways God can and will use a yielded vessel like you! A sincere kind word, appreciating someone’s work effort, an offer to pray right then and there over a problem they are having―there so many ways God can use you to literally pull someone out of a dark place in a moment’s time. God will work through you when your heart is crying out to Him to be used! I see it happen daily in my life. And so I pray that God use me daily!
Discouragement was often the weapon of choice by the enemies of Israel. In the book of Ezra and Nehemiah we read about God’s people coming back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed many years earlier by their enemies. The prophets of that day had told them to go and rebuild the temple. God had even given them favor with authorities that helped enable them to do so. As they began their work, jealous and wicked leaders of the area attacked them with lies, threats, and disparaging their character about their intentions and motives for rebuilding the temple. They even wrote a letter of lies to the very king that empowered them to rebuild the temple. You know what happened? The king believed them. He told God’s people to stop building. The courage of God’s people had been punctured by the discouraging attack of their surrounding foes. But Nehemiah never backed down. He encouraged the people to keep working and they did! With Nehemiah’s leadership, they rebuilt the temple.
Today, we are to be acutely aware that as believers of Jesus Christ, we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit. He lives with us and we are to be that voice of encouragement. A part of our calling as Christians is to remind all of God’s people of His love and promises and point them to the promises of His word. We―you and I, are to be a source of daily encouragement. Hebrews 3:13 (NLT) says, “You must encourage each other every day… so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” This verse reveals that discouragement can zap hope and lead people to give up and instead make hurtful wrong choices. Satan’s goal is to get them to give up on God. People need the touch of God’s love, encouragement, and the promise of His Word to reach into their life daily! And you are to be that encourager!
Do not cave to discouragement regardless of what is going on. If you let discouragement fester, it will steal your hope. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “hope put off makes the heart sick…” Do what David did. Pray and ask God to encourage you! Psalms 138:3 (NLT) says, “As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Then read God’s Word until one of His promises speaks to your heart. And then, you be the answer to someone else’s prayers by bringing them that same word and encouragement and touch of God’s life that He brought you! Do so and they’ll call you “The Encourager!”
“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.” Isaiah 50:4 (NLT)
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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