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.

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