Believers need to shut the door on discouragement as this is one of the devil’s many strategies that he uses against Christians. Discouragement is a spiritual battle and must be fought with spiritual tools.
Other strategies the enemy uses are distraction, disruption, defeatist attitude and busyness are some that come to mind. You might be able to add to this list to be on guard against.
If not defeated, discouragement can lead to giving up, depression, despair, melancholy, or hopelessness and even suicidal ideation.
Discouragement isn’t just for bloggers to deal with: moms, dads, wives, husbands, business people, students of all ages, those in ministry and leadership, and those in the workforce, all deal with discouragement at some time or other.
We’re going to look at the steps to take to shut the door on discouragement. But first, let’s check out some stats.
Frequency of Discouragement
In a recent reader survey conducted among the Go – Gather – Grow subscribers, 41% state they experience discouragement every few days while 16% state they experience discouragement daily or once a week.
Why is this, I wonder? Are we that much of a threat to him?
Oh, yes we are! We are a major threat to his plan to discredit Almighty God! John 10:10 tells us that his plan is to kill, steal and destroy anything that gets in his way. And sometimes that is you and I.
When I look at this graph, I see that discouragement hits us at varying times, from daily bombardment to monthly attacks.
We are doing something right!
And that is something to cheer about, as it is an indicator that we are doing the work of the Lord and are a threat to the enemy. So, keep doing what God has called you to do!
Realization of Discouragement
While it is interesting to know that we are not alone in this battle, it is also interesting to see how long it takes to notice when we are being discouraged.
I am pleased to see that a whopping 83% of believers realize within hours that they are being attacked with discouragement.
If we were to pay attention to the causes of discouragement, we would find that it has everything to do with the Lord. We are praying, we are teaching the Word, we are sharing the gospel, we are walking in the Light, we are serving God in everything. The enemy is not happy with us and therefore he throws the dart of discouragement at us.
Hold up your shield to deflect that dart!
The purpose of discouragement is two-fold: satan’s plan is to steal the victory God has determined for you (your destiny) and to deflect the glory from God to himself.
As disciples of Christ, we can shut the door on discouragement through spiritual warfare. We need to be aware of the tools the enemy uses to defeat us and to step up to do battle with him. Our battleground is right here, right where you are.
Recognition of the Signs of Discouragement
From the readers’ survey, here are some recognizable signs of discouragement to be aware of:
- when thoughts or comments become negative
- little things go wrong
- a general feeling of ‘blah’
- think that nothing you do matters
- worry over situations beyond your control
- noisy mind
- feel rejected, feel not good enough
- lack of motivation or excitement
- the desire to leave the situation without dealing with it
- comparison with others
- jealousy over what someone else has
When we recognize these signs indicating we are discouraged, we can then immediately begin to shut the door on discouragement.
Steps to Shut the Door on Discouragement
You recognize you are discouraged. Good. Now you need to apply these steps to shut the door on discouragement. In other words, no longer entertain discouragement, no longer allow it to get the best of you.
Knowing that the enemy will use this strategy to defeat you, here are the steps to deflect the darts:
- Pray daily. Do not neglect your time of prayer with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Seek the Spirit’s help for your day’s activities, that He would lead you. Ask for an awareness of what goes on your surroundings in the spiritual realm.
- Study His Word. When you are knowledgeable in the Word, you are aware of your authority in the Word and can refute the enemy when he dares to come near you. Resist the devil and he will flee, James 4:7
- Get some exercise. Physical activity is good for the body, soul and mind. A simple walk would do wonders to clear your thoughts and fill you with energy.
- Ensure you are getting enough sleep at night. Your body needs rest to refuel.
- Evaluate your tasks and do what needs to be done to serve your family and ministry.
- Continue in your ministry. Do not give up. God had has called you for a purpose and your work isn’t over yet until God says it is over.
Prepare for the Battle
There are a few things you need to do and know before you go to battle. This battle is done in prayer, not with any people, as you are standing your ground spiritually.
- Pray. Before entering the battle, pray for heavenly wisdom (James 1:5) and anointing. Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you, to give you boldness and to bring to mind what needs to be said.
- You need to know WHO you are in Christ. You need to remember that Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell within you. 1 John 4:4 reminds us of this fact that greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
- When you became a disciple of Christ, a believer, you obtained the fullness of God in you (see #1). With this fullness, you received the authority to use the Name of Jesus. Luke 10:19 states Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
- In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul states the clothing we are to wear in battle: the armour of God. So ensure you are suited up properly, that everything is securely fitted and that your sword is sharpened. A dull blade won’t do you any good.
Now that you are properly attired, you are armed with the knowledge that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world, it is time to shut the door on discouragement.
- Pray. Declare the word of the Lord and shut the enemy down. Pray in the spirit and pray with the understanding, 1 Corinthians 14:15.
- Resist the devil and he will flee, James 4:7. You may need to repeat this a few times but eventually he will flee when you stand firm on your ground.
- Expect the victory!
Would you like to read a Spirit-filled prayer to fight discouragement? This post, How to Pray to Win the Fight Against Discouragement may encourage you in your prayers.
Encouragement for You
My readers have some encouragement for you when you face discouragement.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
- Remember that you are a child of the living God.
- Keep focused on Christ and follow His leading.
- If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you are encouraged to take that step of faith and ask Christ into your heart.
- Remember how great our God is and that His mercies are new every morning.
- Don’t give up. Rest if you must, but don’t quit!
- Choose to trust God and His truth, not the lies of the enemy.
That’s a Wrap!
Well, I have experienced discouragement and so have you. The good news is that now we are aware of this strategy the enemy uses against us. And since we are aware, we can be forearmed next time. We have the steps to take and it won’t be long that the enemy won’t be using this strategy on you anymore. But, sad to say, he’ll find something else. But, rejoice! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world and you’ll be armed and ready for that too!
As I look this post over one more time, I see a common thread. Do you see it?
It is vital that we spend time in prayer to be full of wisdom and anointing which we need for our daily walk with the Lord.
So, sweet sister, I pray you are encouraged by this word today. The next steps are yours to shut the door on discouragement. Is there anything else that you would like to add that I have not considered? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Free Stock Photo: Linford Miles of Unsplash