The arrow of discouragement

Nehemiah 6:9: For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

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Have ever been struck by the arrow of discouragement? It’s really a messed up feeling. Here you are doing all you can trying to give your best, going all the way, but a malicious lie is spread against you about your motivation, about your person. It is all targeted to discourage you and you should to do what Nehemiah did, he prayed.

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You will only open yourself to be unduly influenced by discouragement by not taking prayers seriously because it is through it that you create a shield around you to block the arrow (Ephesians 6:10-18 [18]). Beware of people with sharp tongues. The bible says some people’s words can cause harm just as if you were hit by a sword (Proverbs 12:18).

People can also be discouraged if with all their efforts, they do not see the result they want. That may be a good thing; to make reassess the way we do things and move in the direction of change. The vision does not need to change but you can change the methods, change the form.

Nevertheless, don’t allow  discouragement to twist your perception from “all things are working together for me,(Romans 8:28)” to, “everything and everyone is against me (Job 6:4, 16:10-11)!”

When the sword of discouragement strikes it comes with the poison of depression which causes dark clouds to cover your thinking and the devil is happy to have you where he wants.

Paul the apostle had many opportunities to be discouraged but he reached deep within himself to tap into the Spirit’s wellspring of joy within him so much so that he flows abundantly in encouragement to others (2Corinthians 1:3-5).

What should you do when struck with the arrow of discouragement? You should see what God wants you to see. When you see things from his standpoint, from his presence, you would come to a different conclusion. (Discouragement could come when you come to the conclusion Satan wants.) Go to God’s temple, see from his standpoint and come to his different conclusion (Psalm 73:1-28 [17]).

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Nehemiah was able to see the discouragement arrow coming and was able to dodge it. He recognised that his opponents wanted to create fear in him, to slow their advance in the building of the wall (same as whatever God is building through you). As we see Paul saying we should not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy (2Corinthians 2:11).

Discouragement can also come when things are not shaping up the way you want or as fast as you want. And the end of discouragement is disillusionment and depression.

Disillusionment can be good if it causes  you to lean less on your own understanding and lean more on God’s (Proverbs 3:5-7) but it must not get to depression where your creativity gets shut down. But even at that you have a decision to make: will you choose to hear what God has to say like Habakkuk and bring back your joy (Habbakuk 1:1-4, 2:1,3:17-19) or you listen to the debilitating lies of Satan.

What God had the Israelites do when bitten by snakes was to look not at the snake but to look at a brazen snake hung on a stake which according to Jesus was a type of himself. Therefore look to him the poison of depression does not stand a chance.

Prophecy: Though the storm may rage and the thick clouds gather, you will climb on my high mountain and they will scatter.

Question: why is discouragement such a big weapon of the devil?

Prayer activity: I stand against all forces of discouragement against my life in Jesus’ name.

Tomorrow’s topic: The Lord’s property


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