Discouragement: A Device of Satan
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Psalms, chapter 42, verse 1:

Psalm 42:

1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Notice particularly the last verse of that Psalm:

Psalm 42:

11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Review

We have been thinking about the Devil: what kind of creature he is, how he makes every effort to wage war against the children of God, and how he wins victory over God's children. We have thought about his origin. We have thought about his doom and his destiny. Of late, we have been thinking about the devices of the Devil, reminding ourselves that the Devil never comes out waving a great big red flag in our faces, and saying, “I am going to get the victory over you.” Rather, he slips up on the blind side of us.

The Bible describes the manner in which the Devil deals with us as the children of God, and you do understand that I am talking to the children of God. The Devil is not going to bother you if you do not belong to God. He never bothers anyone who belongs to him, and he never bothers anyone who is not causing him any trouble. If the Devil never presents any problem to you, and if the Devil never makes any effort to lead you astray, you can be assured that he is not very much worried about whether you are going on with God or not. I am talking to the children of God.

The Bible describes the method in which the Devil makes war against us by such words as devices, wiles, and snares . All of these words suggest that the Devil is a sly old rascal who is going to do everything he can, in a sly way, to bring about our downfall.

So we began to think about some of the devices which the Devil uses to bring about the downfall of the child of God. In our last message, we talked about the device of doubt. The Devil causes us to doubt, and when he causes us to doubt, he has got his foot in the doorway and is ready to bring about our downfall indeed.

The Device Of Discouragement

Doubt is followed by another very, very useful device on the part of the Devil, and that is the device I want us to think about now—the device of discouragement. Doubt gives way to discouragement, and the Devil uses discouragement more frequently, I think, than any other one weapon to bring us to the place where the Psalmist was when he said, “I am cast down. I am disquieted. I don't know which way to turn.” He listened to his friends, who said, “Where is your God? You are always talking about what your God can do. Where is He? Why doesn't He do it?” The Psalmist reached the place where he had to hang his head and say, rather apologetically, “I don't know where God is. I don't know why God does not work in my behalf.”

Then the Devil slipped up alongside the Psalmist, as he slips us alongside us, and said, “See, God is not interested. God does not care. God is not even faintly interested in you.” And discouragement takes hold.

In order that we may understand the devices of the Devil, I would like for us to examine the Word of God with regard to the reasons for discouragement, the results of discouragement, and the remedy for discouragement if we are the children of God.

Discouragement Follows Victory

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Numbers, chapter 21. The Bible is full of illustrations of great spiritual truths, and it is amazing how many illustrations are taken from the life of the nation of Israel. The New Testament tells us the reason for that. The New Testament tells us in I Corinthians, chapter 10, that everything that happened to people in the Old Testament was written down in the Bible so that we might examine those experiences and profit from them. Notice in the book of Numbers, chapter 21, verse 1:

Numbers 21:

1And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
2And Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
3And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
4And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: [now notice]and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

That is as much of the story as we are going to read because time will not permit an examination of the entire story. I want you to learn two lessons from this passage of Scripture. First, discouragement always follows victory. Will you keep that in mind? They were going into the land. The Canaanites were there. The Israelites were about to be overcome, and they prayed. They said, “If you will give us victory over these Canaanites, we will do thus-and-so.” And God gave them victory. They won the battle.

Discouraged Because Of The Way

What is the very next thing that you read? Look at verse 4:

Numbers 21:

4And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

Discouragement followed victory! But what was it that discouraged their hearts? That is what I want you to see because the Devil uses the most simple things to bring about his victories over us. They were discouraged because of the way, and that is the second lesson I want you to learn.

You and I are not going into the land of Palestine. We are not traveling through the land of Canaan, but we are traveling. We are told in the Word of God that we are pilgrims and strangers. We are told that this world is not our home. We are told that Heaven is our home, and we ought not to do anything except just travel through. That is all.

Sometimes the pilgrim journey can get very discouraging. Sometimes the pilgrim journey can get really rough. Sometimes we can be discouraged because of the problems that we meet on the way. Maybe you are going to Heaven on flowery beds of ease; I don't know. But I am not. I have not met very many people who are. The way can become discouraging sometimes because of the problems. I would like for us to notice briefly a few of the outstanding problems that are related to the way.

Discouragement By Means Of Fiery Trials

Turn with me, please, to I Peter, chapter 4, and notice a thing that is very definitely related to the way. I am not going to suggest that I am making these suggestions in the order of their importance. It is just as they come to my mind.

I Peter 4:

12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Did you notice in the first part of verse 12: “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial…?” God said that for every child of God there is a fiery trial, and you do not need to think it strange because it is there. Now, we do. It seems that no matter how long we live for the Lord, or how deep we go with God, when the fiery trial comes, we wonder why. “Why did it have to happen?”

Peter said, “Don't think it strange. It is part of being a Christian, and when the fiery trial comes, do not be so discouraged that you are ready to give up. Recognize that it is part of being a child of God.”

The Devil would love to discourage you and me with fiery trials. He would love to get us to thinking about the hard time we are having. He is so sly. He slips up alongside us and says, “You know, you had a terrible time, didn't you?” And you get to thinking about it, and you say, “I did. It was just terrible.” And the old Devil says, “Just wait until you get home tonight. You are going to have a worse time.”

And then the next day, he comes along and says, “You know, for the last two or three days you have not had anything but trouble, have you?” And pretty soon you say, “I haven't had anything but trouble for the last two or three days, and I am not going to have anything but trouble. So what is the use? I am just going to quit.” Fiery trials—that is one of the problems of the way.

Maybe you don't find it hard to live for the Lord. Maybe you don't have any problems. Maybe you have never had anything you might consider a trial, but you will notice that when the Bible speaks of trials, it speaks of fire, because living for the Lord is not easy.

Discouragement By Means Of Fear

Turn with me to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 1. All we are going to have time to do is to mention these things and trust the Holy Spirit of God to comment on them in your own heart, according to your own need. Here again is something that is related to the nation of Israel, an example that we might learn from them:

Deuteronomy 1:

22And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
23And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
24And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
25And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God doth give us.
26Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God:
27And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
29Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God,

What was the problem of the way that the Israelites faced in this particular instance? It is a word that is mentioned here in regard to these testimonies—fear. The Devil not only discourages our hearts by means of fiery trials, but he discourages our hearts by means of fear.

Do you know what the Word of God says? “They that trust in the Lord shall be safe.” They will be. “…but the fear of man bringeth a snare.” One of the snares that the Devil lays out for us always is fear, ordinary human fear, that causes us to break out in a cold sweat and causes chills to go up and down our backbone. Fear! Fear makes liars out of us. Fear makes cowards out of us. Fear makes rebels out of us.

If the Devil slips up alongside you and says, “Look here, I want you to tell a big old lie for me today,” you would say, “Why, Devil, I am not going to do it. I am God's child, and I do not lie.” But he scares you half to death, and you lie before you know it.

If the Devil came up alongside you and said, “Look, I want you to step out of the will of God. I want you to rebel against God. I want you to tell God that you are not going to do what He wants you to do,” you would say, “Devil, I can't do that. I have yielded my life to the Lord, and my life is His. Whatever He wants me to do, I will do. I will go where He wants me to go, and I will say what He wants me to say.”

So the Devil comes back when you do not know he is around, and he scares you. He really scares you. And you say, “God, I cannot do that. God, I won't do it.” Why do you do that? Why do you say that? Because you are scared to death, and the Devil puts a mountain of fear in front of you in order to get you to go against God.

Discouragement By Means Of Frustration

Turn, please, to the book of Jeremiah, chapter 45. The Devil not only uses the matter of fiery trials to discourage our hearts. The Devil uses fear to discourage our hearts. And as is illustrated here in Jeremiah, chapter 45, the Devil uses frustration to discourage us along the way. Have you ever been frustrated? You hear a lot about that today. That is why the tranquilizer market is doing so well—because we are frustrated.

The Devil loves to frustrate the children of God. He loves to make you think everything is going along fine, and everything is going to be all right, and then at the last minute he frustrates you. Listen to Jeremiah, chapter 45:

Jeremiah 45:

1The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,
2Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch:
3Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.
4Thus shalt thou say unto him, The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.
5And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.

When you have time, read the chapters surrounding this particular chapter. Baruch had worked so hard. He had prayed so hard for the welfare of the nation of Israel, and then God turned the Israelites over to the enemy.

The old Devil slipped up alongside Baruch and said, “Well, now, all of your efforts, all of the work that you put forth, everything—it has all gone to pot. God is responsible for it.” Baruch got alone with the Lord and said, “Lord, I don't understand it. I just can't understand why You would do a thing like this. It is not right. The Devil told me it is not right. I am completely frustrated. I have wasted all my time and all my efforts. It does not mean a thing.”

Do you know what God said? “Baruch, you have got to learn a lesson.” And I say to you in passing, if you have not learned this lesson, you had better learn it, or you are going to be worse than frustrated. God said, “Baruch, it is My business what I do, and when I do it.” That is what He said, though He did not say it in just those words. Actually he said it in verse 4:

Jeremiah 45:

4…that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.

“If I build a building, Baruch, and if I want to tear it down, it is My business. It is no one else's. If I plant some seed in the ground, and if I want to tear up the plants when they get to growing good, it is My business. It is no one else's business. I am God!”

Then He drove home a real truth to Baruch. “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not. You are not in the picture. The Devil made you think you were, and that is why you are frustrated. The Devil made you think you were the most important person around, but you are not. The sooner you realize that, the better off you are going to be.”

Discouragement Hinders The Work Of God

The Devil discourages. But why? Just so you can sit around and pout? Just so you can sit around all sulled up and do nothing for God? Is that why he discourages you? No, that is not it. The Devil is not primarily interested in hurting you. He is interested in hurting God. He is not primarily interested in bringing you to defeat. He is interested in bringing God into shame. He is not primarily interested in disappointing you. He is interested in making God the laughing stock of this universe. So the Devil discourages in order to hinder the work of God.

Turn back with me to the book of Numbers, to the same passage of Scripture at which we looked a bit earlier. I want to show you something there that explains why the Devil is not primarily interested in discouragement for discouragement's sake. Notice Numbers, chapter 21, the last part of verse 4:

Numbers 21:

4…the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

Discouragement May Give Way To Criticism

Do you see what discouragement gave way to? It gave way to criticism. Now, it is one thing if you sit in your little ivory tower all blue and discouraged. That is one thing, and that is enough. But you know, it is a strange thing that you don't do that. The first thing you know, you become critical. You become critical of God, and you become critical of the servants of God, and the Devil knows that. That is the reason he tries to discourage you. That is the reason he gets you to fasten your eyes on other Christians.

Here is a Christian that you had all the confidence in the world in. You think he is the most wonderful person you have ever met, and you just enjoy knowing him. You know he lives oh, so close to the Lord, and it is just wonderful to be a friend of his. The old Devil says, “Boy, that is what I like. I just love to hear people talk that way, and I just love to have people think that way.” So he slips up alongside you, and he says, “Look at him. Did you notice how he looked at you today? Did you notice that he nearly snubbed you?” You say, “Oh, well, that really is not true. I am sure he had something else on his mind.”

Then tomorrow, you know, the Devil slips alongside him and says, “Now don't stop to talk because you have more things to do than you can get done. Just say ‘Hello' and go on by.” So sure enough, you meet him, and he just says, “Hello.” The Devil says, “You see. I told you so. He does not really like you.” And the first thing you know, you are discouraged.

And what happens? You are talking to someone about that person you thought so much of, and before you know it, the Devil has put a barb of criticism on your tongue against him. His testimony is hurt, and your own heart has been embittered.

You see, it is not just a matter of being blue. It is a matter of what happens because you are blue, and because you are discouraged.

Discouragement Can Become Contagious

Look at chapter 32 of the book of Numbers because discouragement not only becomes criticism when the Devil uses it unreservedly as a device against us, but criticism or discouragement can become awfully contagious. Notice in chapter 32, verse 1:

Numbers 32:

1Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;
2The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,
3Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,
4Even the country which the Lord smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle:
5Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.
6And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?
7And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them?
8Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadeshbarnea to see the land.
9For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the Lord had given them.
10And the Lord's anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying,
11Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me:

Do you understand what we are reading? These twelve tribes went up to the land of promise. Ten of them came back discouraged. They looked at the giants. They looked at the mountains. They looked at everything that was discouraging. And they said, “We cannot possibly go into that land.” Now, it would have been bad enough had they kept that to themselves, but do you know what happened? They discouraged everyone in the nation of Israel so that a whole generation missed God's blessing.

If you are discouraged, for God's sake, stay home. Don't get out in the public until you get the victory because the Devil would just love to have you spread your discouragement everywhere, and it does become contagious. If you don't believe it, try it tomorrow morning. You meet five people. You say to the first person, “This is a terrible day—just awful.” And you say that to the next one, and the next one. And then you all meet for lunch, and you all have indigestion. That is the way discouragement spreads. It can be a contagious thing. That is the reason the Devil wants to discourage you. He is not primarily interested in you. He wants to hinder the work of God because discouragement becomes contagious.

Contagious Discouragement Becomes Curtailment

There is no way for us to know, and we will probably never fully understand until we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, how much of God's work has been hindered because of discouragement. We will never know how many young preachers, when they first start out to preach, are discouraged because of criticism of people who expect them to be preaching as if they had been preaching for forty years. Or how much soul-winning effort has been curtailed, has been stopped, because someone discouraged an individual in regard to the way he wins souls to Christ.

Do you see how sly the Devil is? He would not step up to someone and say, “Don't ever preach again.” He would not do that. But he would find two or three soured saints to tell the young man that he ought to be able to do better than he does, and he accomplishes the same purpose.

He wouldn't step up to you and say, “Don't witness for Jesus. Don't win anyone to Christ.” You would know what he was doing if he did that. So what does he do? He finds a few of the saints of God who are already sitting around ready to criticize, and he says, “Why don't you tell that young man not to witness that way? Why don't you tell him that it is going to offend a lot of people, and drive a lot of people away from the Lord?” And discouragement has won the victory!

Victory Over Discouragement

If the Devil has reached you, and you are in the pit of discouragement, I want you to remember three ways to gain the victory. Or if, in the future, the Devil slips up alongside you and discourages you, and sends you into the pit of discouragement, I want you to remember three ways to get the victory. This is the most important part of what I have to say to you, because really, all we have been doing up to this point is letting you know that if you are discouraged, you are not alone. Discouragement is an old trick of the Devil.

How are we going to win the victory over discouragement? You will not like what I am going to say to you right now, but I have to say it.

Discouragement Is Sin

Turn, if you will, to the book of Romans, chapter 14, verse 23:

Romans 14:

23And he that doubteth is damned [condemned] if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

We are primarily interested in the last statement of this verse. If we want to interpret it in the light of this whole chapter, it is related to things questionable for a Christian. The primary thing is: If you are not condemned, if you are a Christian, you had better not do it.

The principle found in this last statement of verse 23 is more universal than that:

Romans 14:

23…whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

The way to get the victory over discouragement is to recognize it for what it is. It is sin.

You say, “Don't be so rough. I am not a sinner. I don't get drunk, and I don't dance, and I don't smoke, and I don't go with people who do. I am not a sinner.” Beloved, if you have fallen heir to discouragement, you have sinned. “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” You are never going to have the victory over discouragement until you treat it for exactly what it is—sin. Don't go around talking about your weakness. A lot of people do, you know. “Why, I don't do anything very bad. Of course, I am easily discouraged.”

You sin when you are discouraged, because “…whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” You are never going to have any victory until, when discouragement comes, you immediately confess it, and say, “Lord, this is sin. I confess it as sin, and by faith I trust You to put it under the blood and forgive.” Because the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

You see, the Devil loves to break our fellowship with God. He breaks it by the sin of discouragement. “Well, all right. I am going to treat this thing as sin. I am going to treat it for exactly what it is. Yes, Lord, it is sin.”

“If you lived where I live, and if you did what I have done, you would be discouraged, too. And I would like to know how you can keep from it. If you knew everyone I know, and if you knew how awful they act, and if you got the raw deal that I got, and if people treated you the way they treat me—” My, we can get really upset, can't we? We can be really discouraged.

Take Your Courage from God

What can you do? Turn to I Samuel, chapter 30, verse 1, and let's profit from the experience of another individual who had to combat the sin of discouragement:

I Samuel 30:

1And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
2And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
3So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6And 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:…

Stop right there. It was pretty bad, wasn't it? The whole city had been swept away. All the people were taken captive. Even David's own family was taken. And then, on top of that, everyone was mad at David because he let it happen. He was distressed, wasn't he? He was discouraged. There wasn't any use for him to go to his friends, because they were all mad at him. There wasn't any use for him to have a silly, little pollyanna smile on his face and say, “Well, things are not what they seem.” You can't do that if you are in the midst of smoking ruins. You can't stand around and say, “My house is not burning down,” if the smoke is in your eyes. You have got to go ahead and admit what you see. If you can't be encouraged in circumstances, and if you cannot be encouraged by people, what can you do? Well, look at the last part of verse 6:

I Samuel 30:

6…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

That is where he got his encouragement. He won the victory over discouragement by encouraging himself in the Lord.

If you look around you for people to encourage you, you are going to be disappointed. I hope you won't be too disappointed, but I can save you a lot of grief by telling you that if you look for people to encourage you, sooner or later you are going to be discouraged. So believe David, and encourage yourself in the Lord your God, because He will never disappoint you. Take your courage from Him.

How can you do that? Turn with me to Psalm 119 and notice verse 147. You will recognize that Psalm 119 is one of the Psalms in the Bible which are based upon the Hebrew alphabet. Each paragraph is written under one Hebrew letter that precedes the paragraph, and each paragraph is telling you something about the effectiveness of the Word of God in your life and about how you can use the Word effectively in your life.

Psalms 119:

145I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.
146I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
147I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
148Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
149Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.
150They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.
151Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.
152Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

David was so faced with discouragement when he wrote this paragraph that he prevented the dawning of the day. The word prevent is a good, old-fashioned, Anglo-Saxon word that we do not know much about today. What he means here is that he could not wait for morning to come. Have you ever tossed and turned on your bed at night, and thought about how hard the bed was, and how long it was before the alarm would go off? Did you ever do that? You were preventing the dawning of the day if you were doing that. You could not wait for morning to come.

What did you do? You think about your lumpy mattress and your aching back. That is what a lot of folk do, and when they get out of bed in the morning, they are more discouraged than they were to start with.

But David did not do that. Did you notice what he did in verse 147? He said, “…I hoped in thy word.” In verse 148, he said, “…that I might meditate in thy word.” In verse 152, he said, “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.”

Conclusion

If you want to overcome discouragement, recognize it as sin, will you? Recognize it as sin, and put it under the Blood. Encourage yourself in the Lord, and then spend your time not thinking upon the circumstances, but thinking upon the Word of God. If you spend your time in the Word of God, you will be amazed at the surge of energy and the surge of strength that will come your way to dispel the discouragement, and to enable you to go on for God.

The Devil is sly, but remember this: “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.”


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