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Discouragement is not something that usually happens in a split second. It is sneaky. It creeps up on you slowly. The devil will introduce a negative thought one day then another negative thought the next.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.
(1 Peter 4:12)
We are not to think it is strange when the enemy comes against us with fiery trials. We are not to see this as something unusual because he is evil and he doesn't like us. As a matter of fact, he hates us because we have dominion over the Earth and, as children of God, we bring the presence of God wherever we go. We release the power of the Holy Ghost and shut the devil out! If we see the devil or his demons doing something, in the authority of Jesus' name we get rid of them. Therefore, he is going to do everything he can do to stop us.

As a born-again child of God the devil has no spiritual hold on you anymore, but he still has access to your soul.

And your soul is where you make decisions. Therefore, he does everything he can to get control of your soul. If he can get control of your soul he can thwart the purposes of God in your life and affect the lives of everyone around you for evil instead of good.

There are many ways the enemy will come at you, and you need to guard your heart and mind from these strategies and traps. He can use other people or circumstances to snare you, but if you are not ignorant of his devices and your mind is renewed to the truth, you can keep from being deceived and led astray.

One of the powerful things the enemy uses to influence us is discouragement. God says throughout His Word that we are to have courage, and the opposite of courage is discouragement. The devil wants you to think that you don't have the strength or the ability to do what God has called you to do. He wants you to believe that you are worthless and hopeless when it comes to your marriage, your kids, your job, or whatever challenge you face.

Discouragement is not something that usually happens in a split second. It is sneaky. It creeps up on you slowly. The devil will introduce a negative thought one day then another negative thought the next. After about a week of meditating on all this negativity you begin to lose heart. You slow down. You are discouraged and you might not even realize it. All you know is you are sad and have no energy.

David showed us how to deal with discouragement. He came back from winning a big battle only to find that the enemy had burned the city of Ziklag, carried off his and his men's wives and children, and stolen all their possessions. Today it would be like coming in from a hard day's work to discover that somebody had stolen all the furniture in your house and had kidnapped your family. That would discourage you!

In David's situation, however, he faced not only the loss of his family and possessions, but also the wrath of his men. They began to take it out on David! They blamed him for everything and turned on him. Nobody was there to encourage David. He stood alone. No wife was there to lift him up. No children were there to love him unconditionally. He couldn't even watch Monday night football because his television was gone!
David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
(1 Sam. 30:6 ) (italics mine)
Sometimes you have to encourage yourself, and the only way to encourage yourself is in the Lord. Go to the Word of God. Get alone with God and say, "God, I need some encouragement. I don't have anyone here at the house. Nobody in the church seems to be reaching out to me. It looks like things are going wrong at my job, and my supervisor doesn't understand what I'm trying to say. Lord, show me in Your Word what I need to think about all this. Give me some encouragement."

The great thing about turning to God for encouragement is that He will not only strengthen you and lift you up, but also He will give you wisdom on how to handle the situation or circumstances that have tried to discourage you.

When you go to the Lord for encouragement in His Word, you are putting yourself in position to be transformed!
David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
(1 Sam. 30:8)
David completely defeated discouragement by getting a word from the Lord. This word from God lit up his spirit and renewed his mind with the truth that if God is for you who can be against you (see Romans 8:31). As a result, the Bible says in 1 Samuel 30:18-19 that David and his men went out and recovered everyone and everything the enemy had stolen from them.

David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all.
(1 Sam. 30:18-19)
The next time discouragement tries to capture your soul, stop it! Get your Bible, play a message on tape or CD, or turn on Christian television to get your mind renewed. Find out what God has to say about your situation. The Comforter will comfort you and teach you what you need to know to overcome and get the victory in that situation. You will be transformed!

Source: Transform Your Thinking, Transform Your Life by Dr. Bill Winston
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Bill Winston
Web site: Bill Winston Ministries
William (Bill) Winston is a visionary leader with an insightful awareness of what people need to succeed and how he can empower them for success.

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