Discouragement has one main purpose, to steal your hope.
Discouragement can come from all different sources, at any given moment, and stay for varying amounts of time. It seldom warns you of its arrival time or when it may be departing. But when it arrives, it always has the same effect, we begin to feel hopeless. Smiles are faked so we can cope with those around us, but when we’re alone, tears easily fall as the pain consumes our minds and fills our heart’s emptiness. Sleep is hard to find, and when found becomes our main source of comfort because it’s the one place we can forget. Even now as some of you read this, you feel lost, deep in the clutches of discouragement. You’re looking for some way of escape but all you see is more pain. I’m here to tell you, There Is hope!
The enemy’s goal is to steal your hopes and dreams.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are (1Pet 5:8-9). The enemy of your soul is after your hope. He knows if he can steal your hope, he can steal your dreams and visions. The Bible says this about your hopes and dreams, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29;18 KJV). The enemy’s plan is to lie, steal, and cheat you till you have nothing left to give those around you. If you have hope, you’ll have something to offer the hurting souls of this world. If not, you will perish just like them. This is why he is after your hope.
Hope is the anchor that holds you in place as the waves crash heavy and relentless against you.
For some of you, discouragement has been lingering for so long you’ve begun feeling like God has somehow forgotten or maybe even given up on you, or moved on to better people with less problems and mistakes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. First, be patient. Know that God would never leave you in this situation for longer than He knows you can handle. Also, He’ll never stop loving you. The Bible makes all of this very clear! Hebrews 6-17-19, “God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeablebecause it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”
Sometimes God wants us to go through these times of hopelessness, not to destroy or punish us, but to build us up! He has a plan for your pain.
I know it sounds crazy, but God does often times uses discouragement to shape us into his likeness. I started out with a scripture in Exodus about the children of Israel and how they wouldn’t listen to Moses because of their discouragement. You see, Moses had to go through the same type of discouragement before he could bring the children of Israel out of theirs. Look at all the discouragement pouring out of Moses as he speaks to God after spending 40 years in the desert and feeling completely forgotten about.
And Moses said unto “God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
And Moses answered and said, “But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord has not appeared unto you.”
Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” (Ex 3:11, 4:1, 4:10 and 4:13)
The discouragement from forty years of being separated from his people only helped him understand better the pain and discouragement they were going through. James says some crazy things about our pain and why we go through it. “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray, ask God. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be pushed away when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” (worry brings doubt) are like wind-whipped waves (they have no anchor). Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way (there’s no faith)” (James 1:2-7 The Message).
Now remember the words of Paul in Hebrews 6:19, “Hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”
God will bring you out when you’ve become what he needs you to be.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1Pet 1:6-7 NLT).