(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 )

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