Just when I start to feel a little encouraged, after walking a long rough path, the devil rushes in, running at top speed, attempting a headbutt, in order to knock me out cold. The devil plays dirty, and it makes me feel like throwing in the towel. He wants to discourage me, hoping I’ll give up. I scowl and say negative things under my breath. I yell and get angry. I sulk and listen to the lies the devil whispers in my ear.
But, I’ve got his number. The devil, though crafty, is uncreative. He knows our weak spots, and he narrows in when we are most vulnerable. He does the same things over and over again. In my family, he uses sickness and strife to bring us down. He does it when we are looking forward to something, or when are climbing another set of stairs, in order to do God’s work. I hate the devil; I hate that he actually tries to steal from me; the very gift God gave me to share with other people…the gift of encouragement.
Does this mean if I quit doing God’s work, that the devil will leave me alone? Maybe…for a little while…but no, not really. A child of God won’t settle for quitting, anyway. It’s not really in us, because we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, and a desire to do God’s work. Discouragement is an emotion. Emotions are strong, and we can’t count on them to tell us the truth. But we can count on the full armor of God, mentioned in Ephesians 6, to deflect the devil’s fiery arrows. Add prayer, along with scripture, and the devil won’t stand a chance.
My family now prepares for the devil’s attacks. If we are going on a vacation, we start praying against illness. If we are doing a specific task for God, we know we need to pray more often, for each other, and with each other. Yesterday, when I felt like giving up, I decided I would not give the devil a victory. Instead, I chose to write my thoughts, and share one of my favorite bible verses. You don’t have to let the devil bring you down. Instead, you can allow your heart to be lifted in Christ.
I hope these words encourage you today, during the time you need it most. Discouragement is a lie from the enemy. The silver lining is in knowing we can pray away discouragement, in the name of Jesus. When the rain stops, the ground may still be wet and slippery, but the flowers glisten, looking fresh and pretty. The sun always returns.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV