Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jer 32:27)

In our last day of this series on discouragement, I want to remind you that when we read God’s Word, we are constantly reminded that He is our Creator, our Comforter, our Teacher , etc. Nothing is too hard for Him. Neither is your discouragement too hard for Him. Therefore, if you remain in your state of discouragement, it is not because the trial is too great for the Lord. My friend, you remain in your state of discouragement because you wish to.

Take your eyes off you and your circumstances and place them on the Lord. He has been where you are. He understands every detail of your situation and wants to help you. Don’t you want to help your children when they are in trouble? Surely you would not sit idly by and watch your child suffer, would you? Of course not! All the more for your Heavenly Father!

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Heb 2:18 )

Noah Webster defines succour as:

Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; as, to succor a besieged city; to succor prisoners.

Isn’t that encouraging to you? The Lord desires to run to our side, to support us, and relieve our distress. I don’t know about you, but this characteristic of God reveals a compassionate and loving Father! Allow Him to succour you, my friend! Submit to Him and allow Him to heal you from within!

The next 15 days of our series will be on “Encouragement”! This will be like a wonderful refreshing Spring rain to our souls! I pray that this series has helped you through your trial of discouragement. If you have been blessed, I would love to hear from you.

Under Thy Wings

I find sweet comfort under Thy wings
No matter what difficulty or trial
As long as my eyes are focused on Thee
On the pages of my blessed King James Bible

A fountain of life for the thirsty soul
With refreshment along life’s walk
Providing direction through valleys and hills
Giving warning when the enemy knocks

How I thank Thee, oh Shepherd of my soul
For protecting me from the enemy’s snares
Under Thy wings I do safely abide
As I find peaceful rest in Thy care

Kate Plourde
July 20, 2006

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. (Psa 138:8 ) In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul. (Psa 138:3)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. (Psa 138:7)

As we wind down this 15-day series on discouragement, we have seen a pattern for the discouraged person. The discouraged one focuses on today’s problems rather than counting the blessings God has already given. Also, the discouraged one does not spend the time that is so desperately needed in God’s Word. Consider it “supply and demand” but in reverse. The more your trials are demanding of you, the more you must go to your Supplier!

Again, David knew from where his help came. He did not wait until he had reached the pits of discouragement. He knew that God would perfect him – whether the days were good or when the days were filled with turbulence. God is a God of motion, my friend. God does not stand still in His work for us. Notice that Psalm 138:8 says that God will perfect that which concerns you. This is in the future tense. It is an on-going effort by the One who created you. He can and will bring your through your discouragement if you allow Him.

Perfect Love

Adrift upon life’s stormy billows,
True despair sets in as darkness falls.
The tempest raging, days turn to night.
Can peace be found amidst it all?

My heart is discouraged, my eyes dim.
It is exhausting to seek the cure.
But I know that His Word is my salve.
It is healing and peace, He assures.

A glimmer of hope, Oh soul rejoice!
The Shepherd’s hand wipes away my tears.
Each drop replaced with His light and peace,
His perfect Love casteth out all fears!

Kate Plourde
August 15, 2006

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

As I reflect on times of discouragement in my own life, I noticed that during my deepest moments of discouragement, I was not seeking God – therefore, I was not trusting Him – nor was I pouring my heart out to Him. In fact, this was the furthest thing from my mind! How sad is that? The solution to all our problems lies within this one verse. IF we do our job in the first two parts, God has a promise awaiting. This verse is so poignant that David tells the reader to pause and think about it when he inserted “Selah.”

What’s our part? Firstly, we must trust in God at all times. It’s amazing how that little three-letter word was inserted there, isn’t it? David didn’t say just “some” of the time but at all times. Secondly, David says to pour out our hearts to God! He doesn’t say to pour out our hearts to our spouse or best friend, but to God. Many times we are quick to tell others of our problems and fail to tell the Lord. I know what you’re thinking, “Kate, God already knows what my problems are so I don’t need to tell Him!” Yes, this is true. However, I don’t believe that pouring our hearts out to God is for His benefit, but for our benefit. God knows that we are emotional beings because He created us. He knows that man has a need to cry out in time of need and desperation. In fact, Christ experienced this in the Garden when He asked the Father to remove the cup that was before Him (Luke 22:42). However, notice that Christ quickly inserted “not my will, but thine, be done.” He trusted His Father. Christ fulfilled Psalm 62:8, my friend. He trusted, He poured His heart out AND He received the promise.

What promise? The promise is the refuge which God provides when we trust Him and pour our hearts out to Him. Noah Webster defines refuge as:

Shelter or protection from danger or distress.

Christ went to His death so that was not protection from danger. However, His protection was from distress, which was evident in His immediate submission to the Father’s will after He cried out. Christ knew where His help came from. His discouragement was replaced with submission. Jesus knows what we are going through because He went through the same thing! For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15)


Looking Up to the Hills

My eyes look up as they search for help
Toward the hills where the promise lies
The Creator’s not far, He works His way
Toward me from the other side

He guides my walk and protects my feet
From stumbling on the rocky steep
Great comfort lies within my heart
Knowing that He shall never sleep

Christ is my shelter, He provides me shade
During the fiery trials of life
Under the shadow of His wings
Peace and comfort throughout the night

This Keeper of my soul so vigilant
Protecting me through life’s storms
And watches over me with such care
Not just today but forever more!

Kate Plourde
August 11, 2006

Thank you, Brother Jerry, for planting this idea in my brain as I was reading your comments to yesterday’s blog!

Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock? And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1Co 10:4) Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed. Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

My heart is discouraged, my eyes dim.
It is exhausting to seek the cure.
But I know that His Word is my salve.
It is healing and peace, He assures.

Excerpt from Perfect Love

Psalm 57:1-2, [To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (1) I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. (2)

Does this sound like one of your prayers, dear Christian? David had a way with words, didn’t he? I’ve always felt that God placed specific accounts in His Word for us to walk away with a golden nugget to enrich our spiritual walk.

David not only had a way with words, but he had a way of letting his Heavenly Father know exactly how discouraged he was. David was aware that God already knew what was in his heart. Yet, David took the time to specifically spell out every detail of his trial and the way he was feeling. David leaves no doubt to the reader, and to God, of what is on his mind.

As you deal with your discouragement, stop and look at the way David’s petitions to God are laid out:

o David cries out and pleads to God
o David acknowledges that he trusts God
o David recognizes God’s provision during his trial
o David knows that God will take care of everything

What a pattern to follow! God already knows what you are feeling, dear Christian. But putting our thoughts into words bring closure somehow. That is why I love writing so much.

In closing, don’t you just love the analogy David uses about being in the shadow of God’s wings for shelter? One can only experience the shade of a tree or its protection from a passing rain if one stands under that tree. You cannot enjoy the shade and protection by watching it from afar, can you?

It is said that the Canadian goose allows the young to huddle under her wings next to her body for shelter and warmth. What a lovely picture! When we run to the Lord, as David did, we are not only sheltered from the storms of discouragement, but we are kept “warm.” You cannot be kept warm at a distance, my friend. You must first draw close to God to receive His warmth. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. (Jam 4:8a)

How I thank Thee, oh Shepherd of my soul
For protecting me from the enemy’s snares
Under Thy wings I do safely abide
As I find peaceful rest in Thy care

Kate Plourde
July 20, 2006

(Psa 19:8 ) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

What are cataracts? According to Webster, cataracts are:

A clouding of the lens of the eye or of its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light.

Do you have spiritual cataracts? When one is discouraged, his spiritual eyes have become clouded. Why do I say that? If you suffer from discouragement, look at your Bible reading life. ARE you reading? Chances are you are not because you do not feel motivated to read. Cataracts are progressive. One does not develop them overnight. In fact, many times one does not know that they even have them until their vision has been obstructed quite a bit. It’s the same with our spiritual eyes, dear friend. You allow discouragement to come in bit by bit and then deep discouragement has arrived! What’s the remedy?

(Psa 51:10) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Confess your sin before God – tell Him you’ve failed and have allowed your spiritual eyes to become clouded. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart and to renew your spirit! What is the result of such a prayer?

(Psa 51:12) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

God will restore your sight and your joy. Noah Webster defines uphold as “To support; to sustain; to keep from falling or slipping.” The Lord will keep you from falling and slipping with His free spirit! How? If you stay in the Word and allow the Word to cleanse you, the Lord will clean your heart, renew your spirit and restore your joy, and will keep you from falling!

Oh Christian, isn’t that a beautiful picture of the love of our Heavenly Father? Won’t you overcome your discouragement today? You can – with the Lord’s help.


Psalm 121:1-5: [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (1) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (2) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (3) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (4) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (5)

Discouragement surely brings heavy and weighty burdens upon our shoulders. It is the devil’s tool, not God’s. Christ promised us that His burden was light in Matthew 11:30. The Psalmist must have been experiencing such burdens of weight. So much so, he lifted his eyes toward the hills because he knew that his help was coming from there. The help was not in the form of soldiers or friends and family. Verse 2 clearly says that his help was coming from the Lord! God knows of the burdens and comes to the rescue.

Take comfort, oh Christian! This same God who will give you the help you need, created heaven and earth! If you have cancer, you would go to a specialist, an oncologist – you would not go to a heart specialist, would you? When your burdens overwhelm you, go to the One who is able to alleviate those burdens. Our God is our keeper, the Psalmist says. He is our Watch Tower! Be encouraged!


Discouragement – A Tool of the Devil
By: Author Unknown

Once upon a time it was announced that the devil was going out of business and would sell all his equipment to those who were willing to pay the price.

On the big day of the sale, all his tools were attractively displayed. There were Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Malice, Deceit, Sensuality, Pride, Idolatry, and other implements of evil display. Each of the tools was marked with its own price tag.

Over in the corner by itself was a harmless looking, wedge-shaped tool very much worn, but still it bore a higher price than any of the others. Someone asked the devil what it was, and he answered,

“That is Discouragement.”

The next question came quickly.

“And why is it priced so high even though it is plain to see that it is worn more than these others?”

“Because, replied the devil, It is more useful to me than all these others. I can pry open and get into a man’s heart with that when I cannot get near him with any other tool. Once I get inside, I can use him in whatever way suits me best. It is worn well because I use it on everybody I can, and few people even know it belongs to me.”

This tool was priced so high that no one could buy it, and to this day it has never been sold. It still belongs to the devil, and he still uses it on mankind.

Psalm 13:1-6, How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? (1) How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? (2) Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; (3) Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. (4) But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. (5) I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (6)

I do believe the Book of Psalms records the most accounts/verses about discouragement. David went through difficult times. As a Psalmist (or writer), he was able to put his feelings in writing. I must admit, there is something “therapeutic” about writing about my difficulties. As a result, I always manage to encourage myself! Let’s review what David did to encourage himself and how it affected his discouragement.

We see from verses one through three how David is petitioning the Lord. I love how David isn’t afraid to explain to God just how he feels. Do you struggle putting your thoughts into words in prayer? Why not write them as David did? Verse one clearly shows that David felt as though the Lord had forgotten him and that He had hid His face from David.

We see in verse two that David wasn’t seeking counsel with God but within himself! His heart was full of sorrow. I’ve been there, haven’t you? Discouragement brings such sorrow! It seems as though there is just no light at the end of the tunnel. How can a discouraged and sorrowful heart then give wise counsel? That’s what David was telling God he was doing. No wonder his discouragement and sorrow went on for days. At that point in time, David wasn’t seeking to encourage himself. But David had a wonderful way of turning his sorrowful times around. This is the key. He did not have the Word of God right at his fingertips as we do today. He poured his heart out in writing to God. I’m thankful he did, aren’t you? Today we all glean from David’s experiences.

David did not wallow in self-pity or mope around the house for very long. When I read this Psalm, I see a progression. I see David questioning God as to why He is so distant from him. I see David petitioning God to put the spark back in him. Lastly, I see David’s efforts in encouraging his own heart in verses five and six. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. (5) I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. (6) I also noted the progression of David’s encouragement in these verses. Firstly, despite everything going wrong around him, David remembered God’s mercy and His salvation. What a great gift we’ve been given! We’ve been given eternal life – never more to worry about hell – only wonderful thoughts of Heaven! Rejoice! David was remembering and counting his blessings! This action brought singing and recognition of the blessings God had given him. These are no longer the words of a discouraged man!

Christian, you are not alone in your trials. God has left us many examples in His Word of those who have experienced what you are experiencing. Take action and glean from what He has left you because the cure is there. Follow David’s pattern to encouragement:

(1) Tell God what you’re feeling
(2) Ask Him for help
(3) Rejoice in your salvation
(4) Count your blessings!

Joseph Oatman wrote over 5,000 gospel songs. A couple that he is best known for are: “Higher Ground” and “No Not One.” But one of my favorites to sing when I am discouraged is:

Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

Job 1:21-22, “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (21) In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (22)

The Book of Job, in my opinion, is one of the best books (along with the Book of Psalms) to read when you are discouraged. It is common knowledge to the believer that Job had patience (hence the quote “He has the patience of Job!”) and Job was given many trials. Job’s account was placed in the Scriptures for a reason. I often go into my reading of the Word of God wondering why God wanted this particular reading in His Word. This method helps me to glean from the passages I am reading. I ask questions like: When did this account take place? What is this account all about? Why did God allow this account to happen? What have I learned from this account?

Despite all of the trials that Job experienced, Job remembered His God. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (Job 19:25) Job’s friends were quick to judge his trials accusing that they were a result of sin in Job’s life. Great friends, huh? The Word says that Jesus is the friend who will be closer than a brother to us. “…and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Pro 18:24)” Job knew where his strength came from. Job turned to the Source in spite of his friends. Where and who do you turn to in your discouargement? Is it your spouse? Is it a close friend? Is it your Pastor?

Your Saviour and Brother is there to give you sweet rest from your state of discouragement. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Mat 11:28 ) How can you get that rest? Spend more time in the Word. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luk 4:4) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:7)

I believe that we get discouraged because we feel that we cannot handle the trial that has been allowed in our lives. My friend, God would be a cruel and heartless God if He were to give you more than you can handle! There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Co 10:13) The temptation to be discouraged can be overcome – God promises to provide a way for you to escape this temptation of discouragement. God is not a liar. His Word is clear as to what you must do. Get in the Word, my friend! That is the source of your encouragement.

A search for the words “lift up my” in my Bible software came up with some excellent verses to encourage the heart!

[A Psalm of David.] Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. (Psa 25:1) Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Psa 86:4)

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Psa 119:48 )

[A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:1)

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. (Psa 143:8 )

Fear and Discouragement are Brothers

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mar 4:40)

Fear and discouragement go hand-in-hand. When we are discouraged over a set of circumstances, we’re fearful that these circumstances won’t work out to our liking. For example, finances. I remember prior to salvation, as a young married couple, my husband and I got into credit card debt. We both were discouraged. I remember staying up at night worrying and trying to come up with a solution but no solution could be found. I got more and more discouraged and then I became afraid. I was afraid of losing our car, our home, etc. Praise the Lord I was saved and delivered from this!!

My friend, this is a problem with a solution! Jesus, Himself, said that fear (and discouragement) comes from lack of faith in Mark 4:40. You do not need to stay discouraged. The longer you stay in this state, the harder it will be for you to get out. You must recognize your condition and immediately deal with it. Otherwise you are inviting the devil to bring you down deeper and deeper.

Get into the Word of God – force yourself to do so. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) The Word will build your faith and will help you cleanse yourself. Encouraging one’s self is an on-going process – it’s not something you do once in a while. You wouldn’t miss a meal, would you? Without eating, you would get sick and eventually die. It’s the same with your spiritual body.

As you read the Word and encourage your spirit, you will be building your faith. You will see that the Lord will take care of those details which discourage you even when you think it is hopeless. God sees the “big picture” and knows exactly what you need. You must trust Him to do so. The Apostles in the boat were frightened and Jesus was right there with them. Well, my friend, you have Jesus’ Spirit living within you and He is right there with you as well. “… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb 13:5) Your Heavenly Father knows your “make up” as He created you. He knows just how much you can take. You may not see an “end” to your circumstances, but stay strong in the Word and your faith will carry you through. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (1 Pet 1:6)

How can one rejoice when they are experiencing numerous trials and tribulations? Is this possible to do? It is possible if you are walking in the Spirit. If you are suffering from discouragement, however, this verse in 1 Peter seems “out there”! This verse seems like an impossible task.

Everyone I have spoken with who has suffered from discouragement at one time or another has admitted that they are guilty of two things: (1) focusing their thoughts on their problem, and (2) not being in the Word as they should. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Gal 6:8 ) What are you sowing, Christian? Step back and look at your life – the results of sowing will appear in what you are reaping. Discouragement is not a fruit of the Spirit. The Word says that the fruit of the Spirit is: :… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23) I don’t see discouragement in this list, do you?

Since the Word says that these are the fruit of the Spirit, it stands to reason that no sowing is being done in these areas to reap these fruit. Christian, examine yourself. If you can get to the root of this discouragement in your life, you will overcome it. The Word is our guide – the Holy Spirit is our Teacher. I know I sound like a broken record but, “Get in the Word”! Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) If you’re not reaping to the Spirit, then you are reaping to the flesh. There is nothing good in the flesh. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: …(Rom 7:18 ) Therefore, if you are reaping to the flesh it stands to reason you are not in the Word for the Lord tells us that if we hide the Word in our hearts (through reading and memorizing), we will not sin against Him. Since discouragement is not one of the fruit of the Spirit, it is a work of the flesh and is sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

It is easier to understand now how Paul could rejoice through numerous trials. Paul walked in the Spirit and the Word encouraged his heart. How else could he be singing with Silas in prison at midnight (Acts 16:25)? If anyone had the right to be discouraged, it would be Paul and Silas – but yet they were found singing! When was the last time you felt like singing in the wee hours of the morning while you were discouarged? Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (1 Pet 1:6) The Book of Psalms is filled with encouraging verses. Our Heavenly Father knew we needed these – He placed those words there just for you! Read Psalms 84, 121, 139 to name a few.

What a tremendous testimony you would have and the ability to help others through their discouragement if you would allow the Spirit of God to dwell in you and encourage your heart the same way He did Paul and Silas. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. (1 John 4:13) Yes, that’s right – help others! There’s nothing like a good dose of doing for others to help us take our eyes off our own circumstances. God allows trials in our lives for a reason – it is to mold us into His image and then we take what we have learned and try to help someone else. Why would someone who is discouraged listen to someone who has never been through it? How would they know?

A Christian with the purpose of helping someone else to overcome discouragement is a Christian who is in the Word daily and has taken his eyes off his own circumstances. This same Christian is walking in the Spirit and reaping the fruit of the Spirit. Won’t you take that first step in this walk?

2 Cor. 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Discouragement is the devil’s way of keeping your eyes off the Lord and on your circumstances, my friend. It is as plain and simple as that. I love this verse in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4! This verse clearly spells out how Paul kept his spirits up and kept himself from being discouraged. The solution is so simple! If you discovered you had a kidney infection and the doctor recommended an antibiotic, would you take it? Or, would you live with the pain from the infection instead? You would be quick to take the antibiotic so that you could remove that infection from your body and be rid of the pain. The Word is your antibiotic for your discouragement.

Discouragement brings about all kinds of pain: emotional, physical and most importantly, spiritual. There is nothing that hurts a heart more than being out of fellowship with God. It makes a person miserable and adds to the discouragement. Paul says in verse 16 that the outward man is perishing (I don’t believe he’s referring to death but the fact that we are continually dying due to our sin). He goes on to say that the inward man is renewed day by day!

Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Give us day by day our daily bread. (Luk 11:3) I do not believe that Jesus was telling us to ask the Father for daily food for our physical bodies here. Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-32 that we shouldn’t worry about what we will wear or eat because the Father would provide those for His children. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Mat 6:31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Mat 6:32) Jesus is teaching us that by faith we should depend on the Father to supply our needs. Do your children have to ask you for food and clothing? Of course not! You automatically know that your children have these needs and you provide these needs for them. In fact, you would think your children don’t trust you as a parent if they kept asking you for food and water and clothing, wouldn’t you? Think about it!

I believe that Jesus was teaching us in the Lord’s Prayer to ask the Father for our daily spiritual food from the Bible. God won’t force feed the Bible to you, Christian. This is something you have to do on your own. This is your effort in getting close to God. God is a Gentleman and won’t force Himself on you. You must first seek Him; you must first draw nigh unto Him. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (Jam 4:8 ) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33) As we draw close to God through the Word, God will provide us with exactly what we need.

You will not get rid of your discouragement if you are not in the Word day by day. God has given us promises in His Word to provide what we need if we seek. The Word of God is filled with verses which will encourage any heart. But you cannot be force fed, my friend. You must feed yourself otherwise you will continue in this state. It is your choice – it is your antibiotic – it is your solution.

2 Cor. 4:8, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

As I read this verse, it amazed me how consistent Paul was in his walk. Have you ever been troubled on every side of your life? Usually, we have troubles in one or two areas but there is at least some stability in the other areas. Paul states that he was troubled on every side. I’ve been in this situation once or twice in my Christian walk and it was a very difficult time in my life. However, I remember drowning myself in the Book of Psalms and feeling the Lord’s presence through it all. Psalm 27 was especially a blessing to me during these difficult times. My discouragement lasted but a short time and was replaced with that peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Paul said that although he was troubled on every side he was not distressed. The Lord brought him through – a peace was evident by his testimony in 2 Cor. 4:8. Can you say that about your trials?

Paul continues to say that although he was puzzled and perplexed about the situations around him, he was not in despair. As he looked at his circumstances, he was not without hope because Paul knew that the Lord was in charge no matter how much chaos was in his life. Can you say that, dear Christian? What did Paul have that you don’t have? Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3)

There’s the word “trust” again. When we trust in the Lord to take care of each situation in our life, He provides us with a peace that is perfect. Isn’t that just like the Lord? He does not provide just a little peace or just enough to get by at the moment. The Lord provides that perfect peace. What do we need to do to receive that perfect peace? Our minds must be stayed on the Lord. Noah Webster says that the word stayed means “fixed; settle; sober.” That depicts a heart that is focused on the Lord; a heart that has been reading the Word and is not swayed by life’s billows. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

The Christian’s life is like an ocean. There are times it is calm and beautiful. There are also times of storm where the waves come crashing down. But remember, my friend, the Lord Himself calmed the seas (Mark 4:39) – He is the Creator of those same seas. He can and will calm the troubled seas in your life. You must trust in Him and lean on Him during these troubled times. Again, that word trust comes into play. When we try to figure out our circumstances on our own, we are overwhelmed by it all. We become consumed with our own problems. The Lord doesn’t want us to be in this state of turmoil. God will work in your situation – it may not be the way you think or expect, but He will work in your life! That is why He tells us to trust in Him and not try to figure things out for ourselves. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5) (emphasis mine).

Remember that God’s ways are not our ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9) Our Father in Heaven sees the big picture. I once read that if we viewed a train running down the tracks from an airplane, we would be able to see where the train had been and where it was going. This helps us to visualize how God sees our lives. He can see where we’re going – in fact, He knows the beginning, middle and end of our lives. It cannot get any better than that. The Lord wants to help us through our trials – He knows the outcome and is capable of providing just what we need to make it through! What great comfort that is!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

I cannot stress enough how discouragement can be alleviated in our lives if we just spend more time at the Saviour’s feet. How? Get in the Word, Christian! It is the Source for healing!

Romans 5:3-4 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (3) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (4)

Have you ever noticed that discouragement is not brought on by happy times? Nor does discouragement appear in our lives while we are having a sweet walk with the Lord. Discouragement always comes when we are in the midst of some kind of trial. These trials come in various forms: long-term physical problems, relationship problems, work-related problems, family problems, money problems, etc. There is not a human being that has ever lived who has not been through trials or tribulation.

How, then, can we overcome these trials? Not everything in life has quick solutions. Nor are there answers to every question. However, the Bible says in Romans 5:3-4 that we should glory in our tribulations. I remember reading this and thinking to myself, “Is Paul nuts here?” There is no way that I can glory in this trial! I do not believe that Paul is asking us to do that. We must read the entire verse to fully understand what Paul’s intentions were. I believe Paul was telling us that we can glory in our trials because trials work patience in our lives. Why patience?

Let’s take the trial of being over weight and dieting. Dieting is not an overnight success. It’s an arduous and difficult thing to do. The weight loss is gradual and at times painful – especially when exercise must be done 🙂 Because of the amount of time it takes to lose weight, we can safely say that we have learned to be patient with the fact that we will not lose 20 lbs overnight. Many trials help us in the patience department.

I think of being persecuted by unbelievers at work as being a trial. Our patience with our co-workers will be a testimony to them when they think about how we did not fight back when we were criticized or when they poked fun at our christianity. There’s also the trial of being married to an unbeliever. The saved spouse surely learns patience as he/she tries to live harmoniously with that unbelieving spouse. That patience, again, is a testimony to the unbeliever.

Another difficult trial for the believer is the one of waiting on the Lord to answer our prayers. God does not always answer yes or no, or even answer quickly. If your trial today fits under this category, remember to trust the Lord. The first blog on “discouragement” touched on this. If we get discouraged because God has not answered our prayer yet or He did not answer it in the way we wanted, we are saying that we do not trust Him. Any of you who have children would be heart broken to see your child in a state of discouragement only to find out it is because he has sat up worrying or wondering if you were going to take care of him! Wouldn’t your response to your child be “You can trust me, honey.” My friend, your parenting skills cannot surpass the Lord’s parenting skills. How much more will He care for you?

Then Paul says that patience brings about experience. Experience, in my opinion, is the best teacher. Throughout my 26 years of salvation, I have seen God’s hand in each trial. You’ve heard the saying, “Hind sight is 20/20.” This should be true in the life of the believer. We should look back after each trial and recognize God’s hand in that trial. We should give Him the glory and honor for bringing us through it. When we recognize His work in our lives at the time of each trial, we form a pattern of history, if you will. Then when the next trial comes, we know through experience that God will take care of this one as well. How can we be discouraged if we know through experience that God will take care of us during this trial?

Paul ends the verses saying that experience will bring hope! Oh what a wonderful word! Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) We hope in the fact that God will take care of our trial. We can’t envision how He will do it, but He will do it. If we have no hope, the Word says it is because we are not in our Bibles. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) You shouldn’t have to wait on your Pastor to preach to you. The Holy Spirit should be preaching to you daily through your Bible reading. The only way to build your faith according to Romans 10:17 is by the Word of God. Do you have little faith? Then get in the Word, my friend. Faith is like a muscle, it must be exercised through the reading of the Word. Little faith equals little reading of the Word. Strong faith equals much reading in the Word. You will get what you put into it and more according to the Word. It is similar to the sowing & reaping teaching. You plant one kernel of corn and you reap a stalk with 3-4 ears of corn with about 800 kernels per ear. You sure do get a lot more reaping than what you have sown! God cannot be out done. If you trust Him, He will bless you. He will not leave you nor forsake you! Heb. 13:5

There are many Christians who are able to overcome trials and they do so because they are in the Word faithfully. They do not neglect the Word when times get rough. Going to God only when you’re in “need” is not the way to build your faith. It’s like only getting fuel for your car once you’re stalled out on the road. By that time, it’s too late. The problem is at hand. You get fuel before the fuel light comes on and avoid running out of gas on the side of the road. It’s the same with discouragement. Don’t turn to God only at the time of discouragement. You should be “fueling” yourself in the Word of God every day. This will prevent you from getting to that point where you feel like you can’t go on. Wouldn’t you hate it if your son or daughter only spoke to you or came to you when he/she was in trouble? On top of that, that same child would not trust you to be able to handle the problem? Again, the Lord is a much better parent than you could possibly ever be.

If you have a problem with discouragement, my friend, then the best scriptural advice I can give you is to get into the Word faithfully. You, too, will be able to say, “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” (Psa 73:28 )

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

Jesus promises to give us peace as born-again Christians. What a lovely and wonderful thing to give someone. Can you give peace to someone else? The only way I can personally give peace to someone else is by not making their life miserable, I suppose. But this is not the peace that Jesus is talking about here. This peace is a rest and quietness from within which goes beyond what a human being can give another. I cannot provide rest and quietness to anyone’s heart. Only the Lord can do that.

How can we as Christians receive this peace that Jesus promises to give us? This peace starts out in our lives the moment we repent and ask Jesus to save us. This peace is knowing that we will never have to worry about going to hell! There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom 8:1)

But there is more peace to follow – Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Mat 6:31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Mat 6:32)

Are you afraid, Christian? What are you afraid of? Unpaid bills? Not knowing what the future holds? Enemies of the cross? Oh dear one, nothing can happen to us without the Lord knowing about it.

1 Pet. 3:12-15, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

Discouragement comes from lack of trust. Have you ever noticed some believers who never let anything get to them? When everything seems to go wrong in their life, you would never know it by their actions? Yet other Christians seem to live a life of constant defeat. What is it that makes the difference? I believe there are two important things a Christian must do to rid himself of discouragement.

(1) Trusting the Lord to take care of one’s problems, no matter how desperate the situation appears, is one key to ridding ourselves of discouragement. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2Sa 22:3)

(2) Filling ourselves with the Word of God is the second key to ridding ourselves of discouragement. Christian, are you stricken with an illness which will be with you until the Lord takes you home? Fill yourself with the Word of God – take comfort in the Scriptures! Encourage yourself with the Word – this was the greatest achievement of the author of Psalm 119, in my opinion. No matter how desperate the circumstances were in his life, he encouraged himself with the Word. DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. (Psa 119:25) This man’s spirit was so down (down in the dumps, if you will) but he knew that God’s Word would quicken him (make him alive) again.

As born-again believers, we have received the Holy Spirit to not only teach us but to comfort us. It is the Spirit that makes us alive in Christ. If we feed the spirit, we will be encouraged in our spirit. However, when we feed the flesh and dwell on our circumstances, we reap discouragement. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom 8:11)

You may believe that this is easier said than done. However, Job was stricken in so many ways yet God encouraged Job to remember who HE was. Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? (Job 40:9) God knows exactly what you need – so much so that the Holy Spirit prays for you when you just can’t! What a loving God we have! Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom 8:26) God knows our troubles and sorrows to such a depth that He provided His Spirit to make intercession for us because He knew that we would not be able to put into words just how discouraged we are! What love the Father has for us!!!

Be encouraged – Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? (Job 40:9) This same God is looking out for you!

All the way my Saviour leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

Fanny Crosby

Image19

~Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In one of my Bible studies, we were challenged to live out the meaning of these verses, starting at home! As we practice doing good and esteeming those in our home more than ourselves, joy enters our hearts and helps us to take our eyes off the discouraging circumstances around us.

This is wonderful therapy for the dear Christian who is weary. I speak for myself, and surely I cannot be the only one, when I say that the longer my eyes and thoughts are focused on the hardships of my life, the less they are focused on Christ and His ministry of love and reconciliation. Why would an unbeliever want Christ if he observes me in my discouraged state? Why would an unbeliever want my Jesus if he observes me being grumpy to my own family? An unbeliever would want my Jesus if I were displaying the Lord’s qualities.

Yes, it is work to become selfless. It’s not easy esteeming another better than myself! But the word of God tells us to. (Philippians 2:3) My natural man within me wants everything to be about me! But it’s not all about me! It’s ALL about Jesus Christ! If we are Christians, we should have this same selfless heart every day. And, as Paul points out, we should have this generous heart especially toward other believers!

May I challenge you today to stop focusing on your day-to-day circumstances and start focusing on Christ’s purpose for us? Find someone in need and take action, Christian! Those in need are all around us. Every day I hear of someone committing suicide, or their house has burned down – such devastating circumstances! Let’s have an impact by starting in our own family. Then reach out – stretch your arms as Christ would have you to do and touch a heart in need today!

Do one thing every single day that will impact someone’s life – even if it is simply a phone call or card – there is a heart in need of encouraging somewhere!!!

~1 Chronicles 16:11-12 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

On those difficult days where the trials of life seem never ending, turn your pain to the One whose compassion never ends.  (Lamentations 3:22) Our pains may be physical, spiritual, or they may be emotional. Either way, we are able to turn to the Father and pull from His strength. Relying on our own strength will not yield any good! (Job 9:4) Once we rely on the strength of the Lord, we can be certain that He will direct us. (Psalm 18:32)

Nothing separates us from God’s love!

~Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

God has a remedy to life’s discouragements. Seek Him (Deuteronomy 4:29), His strength (Psalm 105:4) and remember His marvelous works and wonders (Revelation 15:3). When combined with knowing that nothing separates us from His love, we encourage ourselves in Him! (Romans 8:39)

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock?

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed.

~Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 

~Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There isn’t anything more comforting to me than to look at the beauty of God’s creation. Mountains are especially one of my favorite things to behold! What majestic beauty which shows just how marvelous are His works! The same God who created this work of art is also the same God who helps us in times of trouble. He doesn’t take a breather or time out to rest. He’s always there – always present in our time of trouble! Praise the Lord for His mercy and staying power! Notice the end of verse 3? It ends with “Selah.” That means “rest or pause” to think about what was just said. Wow! Meditating on these three verses can bring the weariest soul up from the quagmire of life!

~Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Sometimes our troubles seem so insurmountable that we feel there is no escape. However, the Lord promises to revive us and give us strength to make it through.

~Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

Do you need to be lifted up this morning, dear Christian? Our Shepherd waits to hold you up with His hand! Dive into the Scriptures and find rest in Psalms. I’m so thankful that God saw fit to put this book in the Bible! He knew how frail and weak we are. He knew that we would need this mountain top experience on a daily basis sometimes. If you’re suffering today, encourage your heart because your Heavenly Father stands ready to give you strength and hold you up! He won’t give you more than you can handle – Psalm 37:24a promises that!

~Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

I want to instill in you that when you read God’s Word, you are constantly reminded that He is your Creator, your Comforter, your Teacher, etc. Nothing is too hard for Him. Neither is your discouragement or any of your problems too hard for Him. My friend, you remain discouraged because you wish to.

Take your eyes off you and your circumstances and place them on the Lord. He has been where you are. Don’t you think Jesus was discouraged when He was in the desert for 40 days and nights? He hadn’t eaten – He was being tempted of Satan – He was so physically tried that the angels attended to Him afterwards. Jesus understands, Christian! He understands every detail of your situation and wants to help you. Don’t you want to help your children when they are in trouble? Surely you would not sit idly by and watch your child suffer, would you? Of course not! All the more for your Heavenly Father!

~Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 

I love how God used the word “succour” here! What an absolutely perfect word! Noah Webster defines succour as:

Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; as, to succor a besieged city; to succor prisoners.

Isn’t that encouraging to you? The Lord desires to run to our side, to support us, and relieve our distress! He wants to deliver us from our suffering! That doesn’t mean He will remove our physical issues but He promises to deliver us, to help us through the hard times!  I don’t know about you, but this characteristic of God reveals a compassionate and loving Father! Allow Him to succour you, my friend! Submit to Him and allow Him to heal you from within!