Thank you, Brother Jerry, for encouraging me to cover the first part of this verse and elaborate on it a bit. As we review the first part of the verse, let’s rest on the word afflicted for a bit. Noah Webster defines the word as:
AFFLICT’ED, pp. Affected with continued or often repeated pain, either of body or mind; suffering grief or distress, of any kind; followed by at, by or with; as, afflicted at the loss of a child, by the rheumatism, or with losses.
We can see that the state of discouragement is covered in this definition. David’s solution to this was prayer. The Word says it is to your benefit!
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16)
Confess your discouragement to God and to dear saints who will pray on your behalf. Furthermore, you want to make sure that the Lord will hear your prayers. When you send a letter to IRS, you send it certified mail and return receipt requested to ensure that it gets there. Your prayer life will be hindered if you have unconfessed sin.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: (Psa 66:18 )
Your prayers will go unanswered if you have unconfessed sin. Someone once said “Keep your accounts short with God.” That is good advice. Now you can lift up your needs before the Lord and be healed from your discouragement. The latter part of James 5:16 states that a righteous man (covered by the Blood of Jesus) who prays specifically for his needs before God with fervancy (such great desire) will profit much! God desires to answer our prayers, my friend.
Once our heart is clean before the Lord, we can go before Him with boldness knowing that all hindrances have been removed and His ear is at our mouth.
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. (Eph 3:12) The sin of discouragement has been forgiven; the Father will hear our prayer because our righteousness lies in Christ; and now we can go before the Father with boldness knowing that He will provide encouragement to our heart.
Sometimes it is easier to encourage others than ourselves. Oh how true this statement is! But encouraging ourselves is do-able! David encouraged himself in the Lord ( I Samuel 30:6). That’s is why James provided the latter part of today’s verse. Yesterday’s devotional covered this – reading Psalms is a wonderful way to encourage your spirit. Also, surround yourself with saints who will encourage your heart and pray for you!
Here is a beautiful poem, written by Brother Jerry in 2001. It is so appropriate and I know it will bless you as much as it did me!
A Friend When You Need One
It’s so easy to get discouraged,
To be downcast or in despair.
When you feel all alone in your wilderness,
And it seems that no one cares.That’s when temptation hits the hardest,
Where the battle is nearly lost – or won.
When you stumble through dark valleys
And gloomy shadows hide the Son.
In your loneliness and your struggles,
Here’s a solution that may seem odd –
Don’t look around to man for comfort,
Instead, with hope, look up to God.
Jesus will provide the grace you require
And His Word will light the way.
All you need is faith to claim His promises,
And your night will turn to day.
The Lord knows your each and every need –
He knows, before you even ask in prayer.
Just keep on being faithful to Him,
And, in time, His answer will be there.
So instead of giving up in disgrace,
Do the work that must be done;
You will find that as you run the race,
God will bring a friend when you most need one.
December 8th, 2001