Discouragement: Tool of Satan


One of Satan’s greatest tools against Christian leaders is discouragement.  Each one must face it from time to time.  Ministry can be very difficult and we often don’t see the results we would like.  People let us down.  Satan knows just what will discourage us and he uses it against us as he did with Elijah (2 Kings 19).  He did the same with Timothy, who tried to lead a church that didn’t want to follow.  Some people opposed and challenged Timothy and he was unable to bring them under control.  That led to discouragement.

Discouragement can also come when we are physically or emotionally tired.  When we are drained, we don’t have the energy or resources to stay strong.  It’s important to get enough healthy food, rest, exercise and relaxation to stay strong and fight off discouragement.    That was part of God’s cure for Elijah’s discouragement (1 Kings 19:5-8).

Pressure can also cause discouragement.  When we feel we have more to do than we have time, ability or resources to do it, we may want to quit trying and give in.  But remember, Jesus says it is His church and He will build it (Matthew 16:18).  We are just to faithfully do our best, the rest is up to Him.

Another cause of discouragement is when we struggle with a sin that seems to defeat us.  Timothy was often controlled by fear.  When our focus is on ourself and our failures, we will be discouraged.  When we allow sin in our lives, we block God’s Spirit from filling us with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Be alert to when you are feeling discouraged.  Discouragement doesn’t come from God, it is a tool of Satan to defeat and destroy us.  Remember, God doesn’t look at what we produce, He looks at our faithfulness in following Him.  The results are up to Him, not us.  We are only responsible to faithfully serve Him.  We can’t take credit when there is a great response to our ministry, nor can we take the blame when there is little or no response.  That is up to God.

The best way to have victory over discouragement is to remember and rely on God’s promises.  He says He will always be with us (Joshua 1:1-9), never leave us (Hebrews 13:5), not give us more than we can handle with His help (1 Corinthians 10:13), His grace is always sufficient for whatever we are going through (2 Corinthians 12:9) and He will use whatever happens for our growth and His glory (Romans 8:28).

1 Corinthians 4:2 “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

1 Samuel 17:47  7and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear.  For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

When are you most apt to struggle against discouragement?  What must you do to prevent or overcome it?

What promises in the Bible mean the most to you when you are discouraged?

Do you know anyone who is discouraged?  Stop and pray for them right now.  Reach out to them today with God’s truth to encourage them.



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