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.