Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Discouragement: A Weapon of the Enemy

You know the feeling. Nothing seems like it will, or even could, go your way. You wonder why you should even bother. Someone is whispering in your ear, reminding you of all the reasons you should quit. You aren't good enough, you don't know enough, no one wants to hear what you have to say. They will laugh at you, they will stare at you, they will stop talking to you and instead gossip about you when you leave the room. Then as this whisper grows louder, almost into a shout, your self confidence shrinks and your fear builds. You can't do this, it must be a mistake. God couldn't possibly have wanted me for this. If God really wants me for this than someone will approach me, I don't need to step out on my own.

But sometimes we all need not to just step out, but leap out on faith!

I need to be reminded of this often myself. I fall into my emotions so easily. Satan uses those opportunites to his best advantage. Preying on me at my lowest point. I don't get a reply as soon as I expected, or things don't go exactly as I hoped and I start wondering what I did wrong, if I am good enough, if I made a mistake thinking God could use me, or even more crazy- did God make a mistake Himself in laying something on my heart, in giving me a mission for Him?

I know, crazy right? God doesn't make mistakes, not once in His infinite existence. So what would make me think He is going to start now? No, God knows what He is doing, and He knows what we are capable of, though it may not be easy or comfortable for us.

Personally, I have been struggling with a lot of discouragement lately. Part of it is getting caught up in all the 'what if's and fear that comes with doing something new. I try to keep in mind why I am feeling discouraged though. Why is Satan taking this opportunity to fill my mind with self doubt? Could it possibly be to prevent me from my mission because of the good it could do? What a positive thought! If Satan is trying so hard to keep me down, I should want to go forward and make that leap even more! There is no better way to beat the enemy than by doing as God wants me to.

So when you are feeling discouraged, like you couldn't possibly make a difference or matter that much for God to use you; remember Satan obviously thinks you will matter or why else would he be kicking you while you are already down! Often if the task seems too easy with no obstacles, that is when we should be reevaluating our direction. Praying for God to show us His path, and not taking our own. If Satan isn't attacking and throwing down obstacles in the way, it may be because he doesn't see us as a threat!

I say bring on the hardships! Its when I learn the most and can truly know I am on the road less traveled. After all, the road less traveled, the narrow path, is bound to have more bumps and branches in the way verses the common, easy path.

...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy
that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and was set down
at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such
hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in
your souls. ~ Hebrews 12:2-3

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be
safe. ~Proverbs 29:25

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