PITFALLS OF DISCOURAGEMENT!
Discouragement is the devil’s BIG STICK! When the devil can’t put you out of commission with immorality, drunkenness, worldliness, or some other gross sin; he will destroy your influence for the Lord just as effectively by making you discouraged. No one is immune to discouragement.
Discouragement is dangerous, because it causes us to make mistakes. When you are discouraged you begin to make decisions with your emotions instead of based on the Word of God.
I. Discouragement DISTORTS YOUR PRAYERS. Discouragement will affect your prayer life. You start praying for the wrong thing.
A. Moses was discouraged and prayed to die (Num.11:11-15).
B. Elijah prayed to die (1 Kings 19:1-4). He went from victor to victim–Hero to zero. Beware¾You are most vulnerable to discouragement after a victory.
- Discouragement DECEIVES YOUR PERCEPTION (Num. 21:5). You begin to think the wrong thing. Your eyes are turned inward on self instead of UPWARD on God. You evaluate circumstance in terms of the ability of self. Self is never adequate for the situation, therefore you get discouraged.
- Thoughts that God is out to hurt us (Num. 21:5).
- Questioning God’s leader.
2. Questioning God’s timing– Mary & Martha (John 11:21, 32).
- Thoughts that it would be better if we had not be born (Job 3:1-3).
C. Thoughts of doubt (Mt. 11:2-3).
III. Discouragement DISTRACTS YOUR PERFORMANCE. You start doing the wrong thing.
- Moses got angry and smote the rock (Num. 20).
B. Elijah ran for his life.
C. Discouragement will make you want to QUIT. You lose the heart and will to fight. No longer believes victory is possible.
- Discouragement DETOURS YOUR PATHWAY. You start going the wrong way and end up in the wrong place.
- Jonah headed for Tarshish and ended up in the whale’s belly.
B. Elijah ended up under a Juniper Tree.
C. Some end up in a tavern.
D. Some end up in the wrong church.
E. Some end up in the wrong marriage.
I refuse to be discouraged, to be sad, or cease to try;I refuse to be down-hearted, and here’s the reason why:
I have a God who’s mighty — who’s sovereign and supreme; I have a God who loves me, and I know I’m on His team.
He is all-wise and powerful — Jehovah is His name; Though everything is changeable, my God remains the same.
My God knows all that’s happening — beginning to the end; His presence is my comfort; He is my dearest Friend.
When sickness comes to weaken me — to bring my head down low; I call upon my mighty God; into His arms I go.
When circumstances threaten to rob me of my peace, He draws me close unto His breast and all my strivings cease.
When my heart melts within me, and weakness takes control, He gathers me into His arms – He soothes my heart and soul.
The great “I AM” is with me — my life is in His hand; The “God of Jacob” is my hope; it’s in His strength I stand.
I refuse to be defeated — my eyes are on my God; He has promised to be with me as through this life I trod.
I’m looking past all circumstance to Heaven’s throne above; My prayers touch the heart of God — I’m resting in His love.
I give God thanks in everything — my eyes are on His face; The battle’s His, the victory mine; He’ll help me win the race.