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::Devotional:: ‘Dealing With Discouragement’

February 11, 2010

One of Satan’s most intense fiery darts is the dart of discouragement.  At least it is in my life.  It seems like anytime that one is shot at me, it does some damage.  It breaks down my confidence a little bit and causes a lot of second guessing, self pity, and doubt in what I’m doing; especially when it comes to serving the Lord.

I love to teach the word of God.  Yet, at the same time it is probably the greatest source of discouragement for me.  My most vulnerable time is right after I have taught a lesson and wouldn’t you know it – that’s when the darts start flying towards me.  One time I heard of a pastor who seemed to always have to contemplate leaving the ministry on Monday mornings because of the discouragement he faced in the wake of his Sunday preaching.  I read of another man who had a tremendous impact through the pulpit and yet he privately dealt with depression and discouragement.  Even the prophet Elijah can be found in 1 Kings 18 &  19 under a broom tree dealing with these same things just days after he experienced God on Mount Carmel.  Discouragement is a potent weapon in the arsenal of the enemy.  Satan is not called the accuser of the brethren for nothing.

The Bible tells us that we must pick up our shield of faith, part of the whole armour of God, in order to extinguish Satan’s fiery darts in our lives.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Ephesians 6:13-18

The protection of the shield comes from trusting God and taking Him at his word; faith.  It is looking at a situation from God’s perspective rather than from the perspective of the accuser.  When Satan hits me with “you are weak and incapable”, I put up my shield that says “God’s power is made perfect in my weakness.”  Just before the passage above, Paul told Timothy to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

God is much greater than my strengths and my weaknesses.  Discouragement takes the wind out of my sails for a brief time, but the Lord is always faithful to billow the sails once again through his holy word.  In the Lord I take refuge.  If and when you are dealing with discouragement, I encourage you to dive into God’s word and remind yourself of the wonderful truths God has laid out before us.  He is worthy to be praised, he is worthy to be served.  Extinguish the fiery darts of the accuser with the shield of faith.  With the Lord’s strength, forget what is behind and press on!

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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