Are You Feeling Disappointed or Discouraged? Should You Be...?
Did you ever find that the more you do with Jesus Christ, the more discouragement seems to try and hit you?
Satan's strategy is to disable and try to take Christians out of God's plan, to cause them not to want to follow Jesus and do what He has said. Discouragement is one of satan's greatest tools.
Discouragement and disappointment both comes our way to throw us off track and make us want to give up. Both of these things work hand in hand and the enemy will use it against you all of the time. It all usually starts with disappointment and then continues on and then becomes discouragement.
You may ask yourself (or have asked) some of these questions, like many others including myself:
- Why is my life like this?
- Why does my life seem so awful or bad?
- Why is it that everybody else around me seem/is happy except me?
- What is the point of me going on?
Then the reply (thoughts) that you may say or think to yourself is:
- It's not like I can make a difference or be of any good.
- I feel my life has no purpose?
- If God hears my prayers, then why doesn't He answer them?
- Why this and why that?
- The list can go on and on…
If you feel yourself so burdened or even overcome that you find yourself asking any of these questions; then you are discouraged. Besides all of this, you are about to give up on God because you do not think that His is there for you, listening to you, care about you or maybe He is not real. If this is so with you, then you are in a state of discouragement.
Here is what David said:
"I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears." Psalm 6:6
"I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God." Psalm 69:3
Also here is some other things that David (or you can even put yourself there)
said to the Lord in Psalm 119:19, 25 & 28:
"I am a stranger in the earth…"
"My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to Thy Word."
"My soul melteth (droppeth) for heaviness (grief, sorrow & sadness; being hopeless): strengthen thou me according unto Thy Word."
David wrote and said these very things to the Lord God of Israel as he turned to Him and poured out his heart to Him; just as you or I can do. And you know what? The Lord heard him and delivered him!
In a brief overview, here are some things about discouragement:
What Does God Say In His Word About Being Discouraged & Discouragement?
Well, God says so very much to us in His Word about this to each one of us who know Jesus and are following Him. He tells us if we should or should not be focused on it and what else He has to say to you. Just read for your self some of the things that He said:
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
"And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8
"Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." 2 Chronicles 20:15
"Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still (take hold of your thoughts & quit listening to satan), and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you." 2 Chronicles 20:17
The word 'dismayed' used in these verses of Scripture means: "to be shattered, be broken, be abolished, be afraid, be scared or terrified, and be worried or depressed." It also means - to be 'discouraged'.
The Lord also said in Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick…"
The word 'deferred' means 'to be drawn out, be postponed. So in other words, when there is some thing that you hope for to happen and it does not happen or does not happen exactly as you thought, your heart becomes discouraged.
On the other hand, the Lord tells you in His Word that you are not to …
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." Hebrews 10:35-36
The word 'weary' used in Galatians 6 in verse 9 means: "to be utterly spiritless, to be wearied out, exhausted, even tired spiritually - to the point that it might not happen."
Then in Hebrews, The Lord was saying that you are not to give up your faith and hope in believing what He has told you, AS IT WILL HAPPEN with great reward! But also the Lord does say that you MUST have patience - NOT that it happens when you think it should or that is was the right time for it to be so - but that is will happen and that time will be in His time - not one minute before or whatever time after.
You must understand one thing, and that is, that God's way and His thoughts are higher and greater then ours.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
In every thing that has been said, obviously if you are discouraged, God doesn't want you to be and it is not His will or doing but rather the enemy/us giving in to those thoughts. This is a problem that needs to be dealt with and there needs to be a break-through on that stronghold in your life
You then will be thinking or even asking your self, "How does one overcome discouragement"? You will need to continue to read this article but number #1, you need to read His Word and go to Him just as God has said in His Word.
The Truth About Discouragement
Every person in life will have their share of discouragement at some point of time and even throughout their lifetime - if not, some more then others. However, your approach to dealing with your discouragement will distinguish you from others. Discouragement happens in all areas of life and to everyone; period. I, personally, have been there more times then I want to say.
Here's what discouragement means, the dictionary defines "discouragement" as follows; "a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage."
There seems to be three levels of discouragement even though it is all connected. The first level is mild discouragement, when only your emotions are affected. The second level is stronger discouragement, when not only your emotions are affected but also your spirit. At this point, other people such as your friends, family, spouse, classmates, or co-workers around you may begin to notice that something is wrong, that you are not yourself. Your spirit, emotions and attitude is noticeably affected.
The third level is disabling discouragement, this is the worst kind. This discouragement renders it impossible for the discouraged person to handle the normal responsibilities of life. They try to escape by sleeping, dull the pain by drinking or using drugs; they try to anesthetize (deaden or kill) the hopelessness through substance abuse and such.
Again, satan is a liar…and discouragement is one of his tactics that he uses all of the time against both sinners and saints. God does not ever want you to be discouraged and He said so over and over in His Word.
Signs Of Discouragement
How do you recognize where and when discouragement takes place, and why it has? The following are some signs or causes of discouragement:
- Unresolved disappointments (first, God said a piece of one thing to you & then you think & add many other things that God did not say but rather you thought resulting in what you thought - not happening)
- Satan instigates it (he tell you things or you hear things in your thoughts - of what other may think or even say)
- You feel nobody is listening to you (it gives you the impression that they don't care - this includes the Lord)
- Constant criticism (from both others & from your self - in looking at your self in comparison to others or what the enemy gets you to think)
- When your best is unappreciated (other don't say thanks or appreciate what you said or done)
- Constant comparison (comparing yourself unfavorably to other people, in who they are, what they are doing & what they may have)
- Bad working conditions (things turned for the worse and you are getting the blunt of it)
- Lack of opportunities (it seems like there is no open door to advance both physically or spiritually)
- You set goals that are beyond your capacity or what you think (first, God said a piece of one thing to you & then you think & add many other things that God did not say but rather you thought)
- Unanswered prayer (you ask the Lord for things that are your earthly desires & not His and is does not happen)
- Not where you need to be with the Lord (you feel convicted about sin & such)
- You feel or think that you can't please God
- Sleeplessness (your mind/thoughts and soul is full of worry that you cannot sleep or rest well)
- Restlessness (absent mindedness sets in and weariness results with everyday life ALL through the day & you feel drained physically)
- Complacency or loss of motivation (loss of interest in what you thought was important or you thought you enjoyed doing, such as eating food even though you might not have eaten for hours or many other things)
- Negative Thoughts (that you are useless, nobody cares about you, that you are a failure, that living life has no value or meaning, God cannot use you & such. Besides all of the things listed above, plus many other things; the ultimate or final thoughts of this are thoughts of suicide)
If you are feeling any kind of discouragement and feel helpless in whatever situation, we encourage you to seek help by crying out to Jesus for He will deliver you and He will set you free from every thing, and by contacting some one you know is a Christian to talk to.
We have and will experience all kinds of disappointments, no matter what - guaranteed. Disappointments are a source for great discouragement, if you let it.
Disappointment works hand in hand with discouragement and the enemy will use it all of the time against you. It all usually starts with a disappointment and when you let this disappointment get to you, it then continues on and becomes discouragement.
Disappointment comes when things do not happen the way we think and expect them to happen. This is what I call "stinking thinking" which stinks because those thoughts we had are of the flesh - carnal / your own understanding (Rom. 8:13, 13:14; Gal. 5:16-17, 6:8) and not what the Lord has both told (spoken & written Word) you, as both His thoughts and ways are greater then our as He has said in Isaiah 55:8-9. This kind of stinking thinking will always get you in trouble.
"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:5
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8:8
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14
The Lord has made it very clear in His Word that our natural minds cannot understand the way He works and the way He thinks. No matter how much of the Bible we have read, studied, or memorized; we cannot begin to understand it. It is only by revelation of the Holy Spirit that we can come into the knowledge of it.
Remember, discouragement is not a physical fight done in the physical realm; instead it is a mental and spiritual fight that done in the spiritual realm. And the battlefield is in your mind.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Also the Lord said in Ephesians 6:11-13,
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness (wicked spirits) in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (*Details of the armour of God - read Eph. 6:14-18)
You can clearly see in His Word that this is not a physical enemy and fight that you encounter but also that your thoughts and mind is the place where you get attacked.
You will also want to read these articles about 'Spiritual Warfare & Weapons
' and 'The Mind of Christ vs. Our Mind
Examples Of Others In The Bible Who Went Through Discouragement
There are many accounts of different people in the Bible who went through discouragement, how they dealt with it and what the Lord did.
The Children of Israel
Do you remember the account in Exodus 1:7-14; 5:1-23 & 6:9, about the children of Israel who were in bondage and slaves of the Egyptians?
Their bondage was become so extremely oppressive that they had lost all hope of ever being redeemed from it. The children of Israel were so taken up with their disappointments and discouragement in the midst of their troubles in life that they did not heed God's promises to them and what He has said in His Word.
To them in that period of time, it looked impossible to get out from under this constant bondage and torment that they were going through and their future looked bleak, as it always will be when listening to the enemy and not listening to the Lord, in doing the same old thing - day in & day out.
But in the end, the children of Israel listened to the Lord and He set them free from the bondage that they were in. And the Lord will do the same for you, if you turn to Him and listen to Him and not the lies of the enemy!
As you read through the Bible, in Exodus and Numbers, about Moses you will see at times how he was discouraged. Moses was the one that the Lord had chosen to use to set His people free. Think about it; there were over 3.5 million people according to history that came out of the land of Egypt and Moses was to lead them to the 'Promise Land'.
Here is just one account of Moses being discouraged, in Numbers 11:10-15:
"Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. (vs. 10)
And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? (vs. 11)
Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? (vs. 12)
Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. (vs. 13)
I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. (vs. 14)
And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness." (vs. 15)
Can you begin to imagine how it would have been to be in his shoes, to hear all of the murmuring and complaining? And then on top of it all; that they also would say all kinds of different things to and about you?
This was not just one or two people but a whole group of people - most of the 3.5 million. This would be so hard!
After all that Elijah had been doing according to what the Lord had commanded him to do and the Lord faithfully confirmed it, he faced discouragement. You can read for yourself…
In 1 Kings; chapters 17, 18 and 19, you will read that Elijah:
- Declared that there would be no rain for a certain amount of years because of the sin in the land (vs. 1)
- The Lord told Elijah where to go; and He feed and gave him water (vs. 2-7)
- A widow's food & oil was multiplied for many days (vs. 8-16)
- The widow's son coming back to life (vs. 17-24)
- There was a sore (bad) famine in the land (confirmation of God's Word - ref. 1 Kings 18:1-2)
- King Ahab's wife, Queen Jezebel was killing the prophets of God (Kings 18:3-4)
- Confronts the false prophets & the Lord proves who He is and who He is with (Kings 18:17-40)
- Elijah tells King Ahab that it is going to finally rain & it did (Kings 18:41-45)
- Elijah outran the chariot of King Ahab - of which, could only happen by the miraculous power & strength of God (Kings 18:46)
- Elijah feared for his life and ran because of what Jezebel said (Kings 19:1-3)
- Elijah was scared and ready to give up because of what he had heard; Elijah went into the wilderness that he may die. Elijah was thinking and listening to every thing that he was thinking or hearing from the enemy & everyone else, but he was not hearing from the Lord… Elijah was looking out for himself (the flesh - poor me) instead of what the Lord would do (Kings 19:3-4)
- Even after all of this, with the Lord providing and strengthening Elijah for what He wanted to reveal to him and for him to do…Elijah was greatly discouraged - telling the Lord that he was the only one left, in following Him and doing what the Lord said (Kings 19:5-18)
You might say or wonder, "How in the world could Elijah do or say this, right after the Lord did so many things with Elijah and he witnessed it - if I was in his shoes it would have been different."
Really - are you really sure? Do you remember those times of discouragement that you went through and what you thought or said then? Even though it was different - was it not really the same?
Now look at what happened to Job and what he went through…not just himself personally but what happened to what he had possessed or owned, his family and friends who were suppose to be his close friends.
In the book of Job, you read …that everything seemed to be going great for Job and he had everything that he had dreamed about, have ever wanted or ever worked hard for…and then it was taken all away from him in an instance. Hhhmmm - really…put your self in his shoes and think about it.
Don't you think that God was trying to say some thing to Job/you or trying to get your focus on Him with what was going on at that moment? Or would you try and put the blame on someone or even everybody else around you with the finger pointing - but not realizing that you have 4 other fingers pointing back at you…or would you really take and examine yourself before the Lord and His Word to see what was going on before doing the blaming to take the guilt away or lessen it?
Abba Father, God of Creation, wanted to both test Job but also bring Job into a deeper understanding and knowledge (knowing Him) of Him in where he stood (that Job both knew & didn't think that he was there - a reality to himself). Not just where Job told people that he stood and knew the Lord but for him to live it and experience it.
In the book of Job, through the whole 3rd chapter, Job cursed the day of his birth. He was so disappointed and discouraged; it was over for him - at least he thought. He was so besides himself and probably angry with God.
This happened after Job's three (3) friends who were close to him in Job 2:2:11-13 told him that some thing was wrong after mourning and comforting him for seven (7) days and nights. Job's friends did more than some people would or might do for you today. As most people, friends or family would 'sell you out or send you under the bridge' in today's slang for - you are messed up - we don't want to be known by other people or to have others say that you have known them or have been around you.
In the end, God revealed Himself to Job and where Job, in his heart (knowing Him - not about or of Him), stood with the Lord. But the Lord revealed to Job a deeper understanding of Himself and blessed him exceedingly (physical & spiritually) following this very difficult and trying time in his life.
You know that every one (even those close to you) and the enemy was telling him/you that you were finished - that it was over. It is never over - UNTIL Pappa (Abba Father) says that it is; no matter what happens, what it may appear or what people may say - no matter how close they are to you. What He says and does - is the final answer!!!
Take a look at what happened to David in I Samuel 30:1-6,
"And 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; (vs. 1)
And 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. (vs. 2)
So 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. (vs. 3)
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (vs. 4)
And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. (vs. 5)
And 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." (vs. 6)
While David and his men were out doing what the Lord had told them, the enemy came in took everything that they had including their wives and family and burned their homes and such to the ground. Everything was completely destroyed and lost.
Now if you were one of David's men, you would be so upset and angry. You can only imagine the thoughts that they had going through their minds and what they might have been saying to each other. And you could think that they had every reason to think or say such things.
But what if you were in David's shoes (as might be the cases with what you are going through now)
, it would seem a bit different then just being one of David's men. Not only did David lose what his men had lost but now his men were very distraught and mad at him. They have even talked about stoning (killing)
Can you even begin to imagine the things and thoughts going through David's mind in dealing with what had just happened to him, on top of all of this, David was now hearing what his men were saying to him and how they were blaming him for what had happened. My goodness! This would have been very horrible and painful to go through.
Here you had people who you knew and were your friends, and in the midst of a bad time they completely turn on you; blaming you for everything that has went wrong and saying all kinds of horrible things to you.
It makes you wonder if David, just as some of us have experienced; you realize that maybe these people who called themselves your friend - were really not your friends after all. Because it sure seems like maybe they only were friends with you in the good times but when things happened not according to plan or did not happen as they might have thought, they had nothing to do with you - the friendship is over. These so-called friends now wanted to tell everybody how bad of a person you are, that it was all your fault for what happened or didn't happen, that you coaxed them into doing it, you made them lose everything and that their life is completely ruined.
As I would say "Who need enemies when you have friends like this"! You know what I am talking about if you have experienced something like this.
After all of this and during this time of great despair, you know what David did? It says in 1 Samuel 30:6, the last part, that he encouraged himself in the Lord. Right here with what David did, we can both learn and know what we too must do in order to break all of this disappointment and discouragement. It really is that simple - you are to encourage yourself in the Lord!
Now this account about David did not end there, even though it was good for David to encourage himself in the Lord and he was encouraged. It continues on in 1 Samuel 30:7-8:
"And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. (vs. 7)
And 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." (vs. 8)
Just as David did, you too are to get before the Lord and pray, asking Him what it is that He would have you to do. Did you notice that David actually asked the Lord some very specific things?
Another thing that we learn is that the Lord heard David's prayer and answered him. Just as David, the Lord will hear your cry and answer you (Jere. 33:3)
. The Lord did not just answer David in what he had asked but the Lord also told David that he would fail and that he would recover all. Isn't the Lord good?
After David went and sought the Lord in prayer, and the Lord answered him and He told David what to do. Let's see what else happens with David, so continuing on in 1 Samuel 30:9-20:
"So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed. (vs. 9)
But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor. (vs. 10)
And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; (vs. 11)
And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. (vs. 12)
And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. (vs. 13)
We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire. (vs. 14)
And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company. (vs. 15)
And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. (vs. 16)
And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. (vs. 17)
And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. (vs. 18)
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. (vs. 19)
And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil." (vs. 20)
In doing what the Lord had said, not only did David and his men recover all that the enemy had stolen and taken away from them, including their wives and family but also their other possessions - they also received or got all of the spoil (things)
that the enemy had stolen from all the other towns and cities that they had attacked and stole from (verse 14 & 17b)
. This was definitely was a lot of loot. Now you can see the whole picture of what they got in return for doing what the Lord had told David!
When you look at verse 19 of 1 Samuel 30, you see that David recovered all. But that was not it. In verse 20, it says that David took or kept all of the flocks and herds from the other towns and cities, as they were driven before the all of the others. It was because David went through and suffered more because of what his men had said and wanted to do to him.
Here is the thing, one to remember - no matter what; when the Lord restores, it is always greater then what was taken by the enemy! He is a just God and He always keeps His Word! He is ALWAYS there!!!
The other thing to remember is:
In the midst of discouragement, David took responsibility for his discouragement, he did not blame any one else for what had happened or was happening to him. David did not wait for someone to come along and encourage him, as there was no one else, other then the Lord. This is what David out of this predicament that he was in.
In 1 Samuel 30:6, we read, "…But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." He had to encourage himself in who God said that He was, what He would do and what He has done, even in time past for David. David discovered or realized this and then he personally took responsibility for his discouragement and he turned to God and His Word; and he overcame it.
Just like Moses, Elijah, Job, David and many others who were before you…you too will encounter and go through many different things in your walk with the Lord, in serving and following Him - trial or temptations - but the Lord is there - HE REALLY IS. You just need to reach out to Him and focus ONLY on Him; and not listen to the things that others say or that the enemy is constantly saying to you in your thought.
God's Solutions to Handling Discouragement
The question that many people have and ask is: "Why does discouragement plague so many of us"? This happens both to those who know and are following Jesus, and those that do not know Jesus.
If you look through the Bible, you will see that discouragement has been in existence from Genesis (since Adam sinned) and can be found in the lives of many people throughout the Bible, but yet it still happens today to many people. Satan has learned to attack the minds and thoughts of people, making them discouraged and ultimately becoming depressed. It is his goal to entrap people and discourage them so that they give up hope with ANY thing that they are doing, including in serving and following Jesus.
But, Jesus Christ came to deliver us from these vicious attacks of the enemy against our mind and thoughts. He told us many things in His Word in what to do to, in regards to dealing with these attacks and how not to open up your self for it to happen in the first place.
Here are some of the things that Jesus said:
Guard your gates…your ears, eyes and mouth. Your eyes, ears, and mouth are the primary gates to our inner man - your heart and soul.
Guarding these gates is about being intentionally aware and mindful of what we allow ourselves to see, hear, and say as it will either bring you encouragement and life or discouragement and death.
- Guarding your eye gates simply means 'watching/being careful of what you watch' of which includes what kind of movies, television shows, looking at others and such. The enemy will tempt you to look at all of the wrong things.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
If you allow a free flowing stream of worldliness into your eye gates, then you know what the outcome will be, as Jesus just said it in Matthew 6:22-23.
- Being aware of what you allow in your ear gates is very important as this is where the enemy likes to attack you. You will need to identify what you are hearing, if it is of the Lord and His Word or of flesh or of the enemy. The enemy likes to say things to us to see if he can get us to believe a lie, and if we fall for it this will get us disappointed, discouraged and even to fall into sin. Remember what satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3) and got her to believe him and because she believed what he told her, she did it and sinned against God.
Jesus said in John 8:44, "…He (satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
You have to treat your ears like security gates that are protecting you from the garbage (things not from the Lord) that tries to enter your mind.
Jesus said in John 10:27, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." If truly know Jesus, you will know His voice when He speaks to you. And because you hear His voice, you will be encouraged and your faith will increase.
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
The reason your faith builds up in you is because you heard His Word, both written and spoken, and you know that when the Lord says some thing - He will always do it!
So in reality, your ears are your faith gates…as faith is an action word (James 2:17, 26)! You act on what you believe - no matter if it is some thing you know, the enemy told you or the Lord tells you. That is why it is so important to watch what you hear.
- Lastly, you must remember that it is a short trip from your mouth to your ears. By watching what comes out of your mouth, you can guard your heart. Whatever you say will, in turn, reinforce what you're already thinking, be it good or bad. If you're prone to speak negatively about yourself, your situation, or others, then it won't be long before you reap what your mouth has sown.
Here are a few things the Lord said in regards to our mouth:
"He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction." Proverbs 13:3
"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." Proverbs 18:21
The Lord sums it all up with these words in Proverbs 4:24-27, "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
Speaking and hearing good words…makes the heart glad - it encourages you…
Everything that you both hear and speak affects you. It affects you mentally, emotionally and physically. Those things will either encourage you or they will make you feel disappointed and discouraged.
"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad." Proverbs 12:25
"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24
"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22
What the Lord said in His Word is really what happens. Words of hope, words of life - His written and spoken Word, it encourages you, gives you hope, makes you happy and full of joy.
Put on the full armour of God - Be equipped with Jesus!
First thing, Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 6:10, "…Be strong in the Lord, and in the power (kratos) of his might." Paul was reminding you that you need to be strengthen in the Lord with His power - 'kratos' which means "mighty with great power, dominion power"; in that He gives you the ability, force, strength.
How does this all happen? It is Jesus and He is our full armour both defensively and offensively. (Note: You will want to read these articles about 'Spiritual Warfare & Weapons', 'Spiritual Defensive Weapons' and 'Spiritual Offensive Weapons'.
In Ephesians 6:11-18, the Lord said:
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (deceit, trickery, tactics) of the devil. (vs. 11)
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (vs. 12)
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (vs. 13)
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (vs. 14)
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (vs. 15)
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (vs. 16)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (vs. 17)
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (vs. 18)
Jesus is our whole armour - He is:
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
- the Truth (John 14:6),
- our Righteousness (Jere. 23:6; 1 Cor. 1:30),
- the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 2:14; Isa. 9:6),
- the Shield of Faith (Psalm 3:3, 28:7; Heb. 12:2),
- the Helmet of Salvation (1 Thess. 5:9; Isa. 43:11; Acts 5:31) and
- the Sword of the Spirit - the Word of God (Heb. 4:12; John 1:1-5; Rev. 1:13-16)
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:12, 14
He is our every thing, so if you know Him - you have every thing you need to live for Jesus and have a victorious life!
The key to the armor of God and putting it on and having it in force in your life is knowing Jesus - not just about Him, but knowing Him as a friend, spouse or other family member.
It's knowing and reading the Word of God, daily renewing your mind to truth, filling your mind with truth and building your faith up with the truth who is JESUS. This knowing and understanding of who He truly is and does what He says - this is what arms and defends you against the attacks of the enemy against your mind/thoughts and gives you power to attack him on his own turf. Of course that means that you are obeying that truth that you know, walking in obedience to His Word in your daily life for that is how the Word has power in your life.
Resists the devil…
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (destroy): Whom (the devil) resist stedfast in the faith…" 1 Peter 5:8-9
The Lord was warning us in 1 Peter that you are "to watch; give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed; to be awake and alert" at all times for enemy and the tactics that he uses, so that way you will not fall into his trap. But rather you will immediately identify him or the things that he does and you can resist him.
You may ask, "How does one resist the devil?" Besides all of the things that Jesus said in His Word, it all comes down to what He says here in James 4:7-8:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
When you submit to God which is to humble your self and in doing so you are getting close to God. That you examine yourself to see that your heart is in alignment with God and that there is no open door in your life for the enemy to gain entrance into or have a foothold because of some sin or disobedience to God and His Word.
Then you can resist satan in Jesus - the Name of Jesus and he will flee from you. Jesus is our Shield of Faith (Psalm 3:3, 28:7; Eph. 6:16; Heb. 12:2)
and the faith with which you are to resist him, that the Lord was speaking about in 1 Peter 5:9.
Don't give the devil (the enemy) any access, place or open any door
Don't ever give in to any thoughts, ideas or temptations that the enemy tries to bring to you for one moment, otherwise by entertaining the thought or temptation you just opened the door to him for more and more thoughts and temptations. The result then is you actually do those things.
This why Jesus clearly said in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."
Just as Jesus said in His Word, you are never to give the devil a place, opening or an opportunity because if you do there are a couple of things that will happen.
- You just disobeyed the Lord in what He said for you not to do in His Word, which disobedience is sin.
- Because of your disobedience, you opened up the door and you gave satan a place - a right to be there and now he has a stronghold in your mind and thoughts.
- Satan then will continue to assault your thoughts and mind with a flood of lies which will bring you disappointment, discouragement and get you even to commit more sin.
Exactly just as the Lord said in Isaiah 59:19, "…The enemy shall come in like a flood…"
Satan seems to be very cunning and slick, but in truth he really is not. Jesus warned us repeatedly about him and it is because not very many don't know, listen to Him or even read His Word. But oh how many times does he have a heyday with both sinner and saint alike because they don't know and understand his tactics. Only if everyone would read and study God's Word so that they would both learn more about Jesus as He continues to reveal Himself through His Word and about all that He says.
Jesus did say in 2 Timothy 2:15 that you should "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
And if you were doing exactly what Jesus said then you would know what was going on and happening, and you would not be surprised. Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
Now let go into this subject in a little bit more so you can see more of the whole picture and begin to understand some of what the Lord Jesus was trying to teach us in His Word.
Here is another one of those things that Jesus was trying to make you aware of and for you to both know and understand…
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
First in verse 3, you read that each and every one of us are living and walk in the flesh, just as Jesus did when He was on this earth, except He was without sin. We all will be tempted at many different times in our life, even as Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4:1-11. The thing is…the devil - satan/demons are not flesh as you and I but they are spirits and are in both the spiritual realm that is even more real then the natural realm as stated in Ephesians 6:12:
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness (wicked spirits) in high (heavenly) places."
In this passage of Scripture, you can see the different levels of authority that these fallen angels have, starting with those who (principalities)
are under satan and on down all of the chain of his command. But you will also see that it is not someone/s that we are or can fight against in the flesh but only in the spirit.
Next in verses 4-5, you can also see four (4)
different things that the Lord said that you were to do in this spiritual warfare, not in your strength and power but His. They are:
- Pulling down (destroy - tear down) of strongholds
- Casting down (get rid of - eliminate) imaginations
- Casting down (get rid of - eliminate) every high thing
- Bring or take EVERY (all) thoughts captive (no free reign - to arrest, to stop at once)
Those are some very specific and very important instructions
that the Lord gave for you and me. Have you been doing what Jesus said? Or have you been allowing this to take place in your thoughts and mind?
And if you have, then you are be disobedient to the Lord and His Word which is sin and it opens the door for the enemy to wreck havoc in your life. You have just given satan the right (authority & power - now a stronghold in your life)
and you have empowered him to go do what he likes to do…which is to bring destruction and destroy every thing in your life (hope, peace, joy & such)
and what the Lord has said to you.
In Corinthians 10:5, did you notice that the Lord didn't say, "to only take some of your thoughts captive?" The Lord said "to take ALL of them captive." In other words, if a thought pops up or comes up in your mind, you must immediately analyze (discern) the thought to see who it came from. Is this thought beneficial to God's purpose or your own? Is it carnal, selfish or destructive? Or does this thought encourage and build up? You are the one who must decide what thoughts you will allow to be in your mind, of which you will entertain and think about.
The reason for this is because God, the Creator of all, gave all people including you a free will and an ability to choose. Here are a few verses of Scriptures in regards to what the Lord said about this:
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil." Deuteronomy 30:15
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Deuteronomy 30:19
"…Choose you this day whom ye will serve…" Joshua 24:15
"…But hath power over his own will…" 1 Corinthians 7:37
Jesus said in John 5:30 that "…I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me."
You are the one who makes the choice - to do what you do or not do. No one makes you commit the act to sin or anything else that you do. You are the one who chose to listen and entertain the thought or thoughts which then you actually commit the act or do it. You can see how things begin to grow from just one thing or thought…just like a flood as the Lord said in Isaiah 59:19.
We all have heard, at one time or another, people including children say: "so and so made me do it" or "the devil made me do it." This is another lie (sin)
because you are the one with the freewill and the one to choose what you just did. You cannot blame any one - but ONLY yourself!
The truth is, you chose and allowed to listen to those things (thoughts)
that either the devil or some one else said, and then you acted upon them in do it.
For example, you are feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your heart about your sins…and then you either make the choice to repent and cry out to Jesus to forgive you or you choose to say that you will not repent of them and continue to go on deeper into darkness and sin.
Continuing on, it isn't the first thought that gets you that gets you in trouble because you will have many thoughts enter your mind and some of them will be good and some will not be good. But it is now up to you to decide which thoughts you are going to think about and those that you will not. If you allow that one bad thought to remain and continuing to thinking on it - you just chose for it be there, you will then get many other bad thoughts as the door is open and the enemy will then bring temptation from those thoughts to get you to either say or do some thing that will not be good or have to do with life but rather sinful.
For instance; it isn't the first look or thought that produces lust and sin, but the second look or thoughts. It's your choice in continuing to look and have those thoughts that produce lust and sin when you do it. It is a process, not one glimpse that maybe you couldn't avoid or help hearing and/or seeing.
Here is what Jesus says about it all in James 1:13-15,
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (vs. 14)
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (vs. 15)
So you can see what Jesus was saying in that it first starts with a thought which is a temptation and secondly, once you continue to think about or entertain this thought then you act (conceive, bring forth)
in doing do it which produces or manifests sin. Third and lastly, this sin then brings death because Jesus said that the wages of sin is death in Romans 5:12 and 6:23. The end result makes you feel guilt, condemnation, unclean and dirty, even disappointment and discouragement.
The first look wasn't what did it, but being then drawn away and giving in to the temptation that entices you and leads to sin. If you nip it in the bud, this thought or temptation will have no power over you. If you immediately yield or submit yourself (and thoughts)
to God and resist the devil, he will flee (James 4:7)
and that will end the temptation and to avoid the pitfall or trap of satan to cause you to sin.
This is what the Lord said in His Word about how He would make for you a way of escape...Jesus is your way of escape…
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations…" 2 Peter 2:9
"For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God." Job 34:23
Also this is what the Lord said in Psalm 34:14-19:
"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (vs. 15)
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (vs. 16)
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. (vs. 17)
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (vs. 18)
Many are the afflictions (bad, evil (hurtful), wicked thoughts) of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all." (vs. 19)
When you reject those temptations and thoughts…that the enemy throws at your mind, you then just gave them or the enemy no right or place and overcame the attack of the enemy. But if you give in and begin to think on these evil thoughts, you will sin in doing them. It doesn't matter if it is lust, anger, covetousness, or whatever. "Wrong thinking and allowing those thoughts - leads to sin." Taking ALL of your thoughts captive and casting down EVERY evil imaginations, it keeps you from sin. It is really that simple!
Now going back to 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Jesus mentions these four things and they are 'strongholds, imaginations, high thing (anything that is elevated or held above God) and thoughts.' Here, in brief, is what those things look like and what happens:
- A thought left unchecked (not stopped) will become a stronghold which means you gave the enemy the place, the door has been opened and the right (authority & power) to be there to do as he sees fit and that is not good.
- The thought then becomes an imagination or an image in your mind. It's like when a person speaks a word to you, what happens, you don't see the word, but an image, a picture.
For example, if you own a dog and the person says dog, what comes to your mind is your pet dog, a friend to you. To someone else who doesn't have one and maybe they are scared or afraid of dogs because of a bad experience, they might see in their mind a growling with teeth showing Rottweiler or Doberman Pinscher.
In other words the same word brings up different images to different people. If I say "Jesus" the image in your mind will be in accordance with you know or have read. So when the devil speaks a word to you, what do you see? Now you understand what Jesus was saying when He said imagination.
When the devil speaks a word to you and you meditate upon it or continue to think about it; it turns into an image in your mind. And as you give yourself to it or let yourself be consumed by it (giving all of your attention to it); it then can become a stronghold in your mind, one that is hard to stop thinking about it or get out of your mind. It's like those thoughts that have haunted you or hang on to you, as it seems that you cannot shake them. It is because it now has become a stronghold in your thoughts and mind.
You either hear things from someone, the person actually tells you, or the enemy says this & that to you (they think this of you & have told others or they think this of you…etc.), beside all of these things, satan will always remind you of those things that people have said to you in the past that have hurt you very much.
When this happens, it takes or brings you back both were you remember, can hear what was said, and even see it (in your imagination or mind) as though you step back in time to that very moment.
You then begin to feel the same emotions with the anger and it is not just in your thoughts or mind because you feel so worked up in the natural by it. This whole event that you are encountering started as a thought that you left unchecked and then all of these other things came in right behind it, ruining the great time you were having before all of this took place.
This one thought turned into an imagination which then became a stronghold and now is manifesting in the natural. You are now so filled and controlled by anger that it seems like you are no longer in control and that you want to prove that you were right all along and that the other people were wrong in what was said to or about you. Then you strike out at them by either doing or saying things to others that you later regret in doing.
From what was just said here, you can see how the enemy has gained a stronghold in your life because you yielded to a thought and you nurtured and fed that thought. You let it grow and grow until it was out of control, in a sense, that it has the ability to totally consume you and then you do all sorts of wickedness because of the anger such as: "taking revenge, striking out at others in many ways or whatever else one might do."
All of this happened because one thought that was not rejected, cast down and taken captive, but was yielded to and it was allowed to continue on and thus it did. This would not have happened if you did what Jesus said in His Word…period!
The only thing that can conquer your wrong thoughts with is just being obedient in doing what Jesus said in His Word who is the Sword of the Spirit, as He is the written and spoken Word. He is the armor of God that you are to put on in Ephesians 6:10-18 to conquer any schemes, wiles or strategy of the devil is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God - JESUS.
The Word of God is more powerful than any fiery dart (attack) of the enemy that comes by a thought that enters your mind and you can defeat and destroy it by taking it captive as a 'prisoner of war'.
The Word (Jesus) is greater than any thought that the enemy might throw into your mind. Whatever he is trying to get you to think or believe, take it captive (reject it - stop it). In doing so, that thought will have no place in your mind and set you free from whatever the enemy was trying to do and he will be defeated.
You don't have to listen to or believe the lies of the devil that he tells you, but you do have to do your part and do what Jesus said for you to do in His Word to block his fiery darts and it will be all over.
***Remember, take every thought
captive and you will be free from satan's lies which brings discouragement… as the enemy likes to whisper things into your ear - which then becomes your thoughts…that turn into disappointments and then finally it becomes discouragement.
Don't compare yourself to others
The surest way to get discouraged and even become depressed is to compare your self with others, and this is one of the other tactics that the enemy will use against you repeatedly. The enemy will bring thoughts to you that this person is better then you in all that they are doing and such; that they are not going through what you are and it because of 'this and that' and etc. He wants you to open the door so that way he can work you over and bring you completely down.
Some people might look like they're doing a better job or what have you, and in doing so you will get discouraged. As this can turn into coveting (Exo. 20:17; Deut. 5:12), envy (Prov. 3:31) or jealousy…of which is disobedience to God's Word.
The Lord said in 2 Corinthians 10:12,
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (ref. Gal. 6:4)
Always look to Jesus and only compare your self to Him, in all that He did and in all that He says about you in His Word. He is your example! Be a reflection of Jesus!
***In comparing your self to others; this comes from not taking control of your thoughts and then continuing to thinking about those things; and in doing so, you open the door for the enemy to attack you.
Don't remain in the past dwelling on past mistakes, failures, hurts and disappointments
Once these thoughts enter your mind, and they will, don't allow them to come in and don't you think about them but instead you are to take them captive and get rid of them.
Look at what the Lord said in what He had Paul write in Philippians 3:13-14:
"…But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (ref. Luke 9:62)
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old." Isaiah 43:18
Just as the Lord said in His Word, you are not to remember or think about those things/thoughts that were in the past before He saved you, set you free from them and the life you once lived apart from Him.
And if you don't forget about them and think about those things of which the enemy will bring up to you on occasion, you will then open that door for the attacks which will bring discouragement; and besides this, you also then will be disobedient to the Lord in what He has told you to do and not to do.
So why did the Lord say this? He said it because He is doing a new thing in and with you… and this is His promise and word to you as He has said in Isaiah 43:19:
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
Don't give in to the lies of the enemy…listen and do what the Lord says in His Word and not to what the enemy might tell you.
Put your mind and thoughts ONLY on things above - JESUS
Besides all of the other things the Lord said, this is very important to remember and to do. You must 'look and listen' ONLY to JESUS!!!
The reason that this is so is because:
- Obedience to the Lord in what He has said in His Word
- You will not be giving any place to the enemy so that he can attack you with the wrong kind of thoughts
- You will have peace of mind which comes from Jesus
The Lord said in Colossians 3:1-2, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (mind; thoughts) on things above, not on things on the earth."
And also in Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed (put) on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee."
Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
You can clearly see that the Lord gave each one of us a way of escape from the tactics that the enemy will try to come against each one of us with.
By putting your mind and thoughts upon Jesus there will be no room for negative thoughts of the enemy to come. You can do this by reading, meditating and thinking on His Word, and also in talking with Jesus.
Here are some other verses of Scripture in what the Lord said:
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1:2
"When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches." Psalm 63:6
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Philippians 4:8-9
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
When you put your mind upon the things of the LORD, you do not leave room for anything of the world or of the enemy to come in. But if you don't do what the Lord says, you will then experience the chaos of the enemy that will come.
Renew your mind
Your mind (where thoughts take place) controls your body (flesh) and your emotions (spirit), so renewing your mind is a very important thing one must do.
'To renew your mind' means to restore, regenerate, and change the way you think; to take on a whole new thought process (a way of thinking) or mindset.
Here is what the Lord said in regards to this:
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:23-24
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him (God) that created him." Colossians 3:10
So how do you strengthen or renew your mind?
You renew your mind with the knowledge of Truth - the Word who is Jesus.
Look at what the Lord said:
"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Ephesians 5:26
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus 3:5
"If ye continue (remain, abide, not to depart, keep & live) in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32
"My soul melteth (droppeth) for heaviness (grief, sorrow): strengthen thou me according unto Thy Word." Psalm 119:28
You need to renew your mind by reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God. In doing so, you can develop your mind until you are no longer just simply agreeing to the truths of God's Word, but in fact you are actually living them!
When the mind has been renewed with the Word of God, the spirit through the renewed mind can control the body. The soul (mind)
will then take sides with the spirit, because it knows the Word. It is renewed with the Word. It will allow the spirit to dominate. Then God's Holy Spirit will dominate through man's spirit. And if the Spirit of God dominates your human spirit, then you will be living as the Lord has intended for you to live - an overcoming life!
Remember past victories
Another thing that the Lord said in His Word to overcome disappointments and discouragements, is to remember or to think about what God has done for you and about those things that He has used you to do for His glory.
"Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you." 1 Samuel 12:24
"Remember His marvellous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth."
1 Chronicles 16:12 (ref. Deut. 7:18, 32:7)
David remembered how God gave him the victory over the lion and the bear (1 Sam. 17:31-37)
and that gave him the confidence and courage to fight Goliath. You also want to think about how God led the children of Israel out of bondage, protected and provided for them; because God is still doing that today for you and for all of those who turn to Him. Remember how Jesus saved, healed and delivered you when you were in sin and your life was a wreck? You would not have been where you are today - even maybe not alive, if it was not for Jesus!
In remembering and thinking about these things, you will find out that you will be so encouraged and all of the other things that were discouraging you - have left your thoughts and mind. This again goes along with putting your mind on things above - that are uplifting.
Don't be not anxious or worry about any thing
Anxiety and anxious means: "worrying; extreme uneasiness of mind or having fear about some thing; to be unsettled, distressed, troubled, discouraged, uneasy, fearful; having no peace of mind."
Look at what David said to the Lord:
"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:46
Completely let loose of (not to think about or remember again)
"When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:18-19
and give to the Lord any thing that is bothering you or robbing you of your peace and joy that only He can give.
If you don't do so, you will only be plagued by more and more…and then also you will be in disobedience to what the Lord said in His Word.
"Casting all your care (anxiety) upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7 (Note: Pro. 3:5-6; Matt. 6:24-34)
Jesus does not want you to be worried about any thing…period!
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." Isaiah 41:10, 13
He has said it over and over all through His Word, so all you need to do is that which He has said. It then will all be over!
And if you are like others (many others)…You are not the only one…
Who have stumbled and who are in disobedience to God's Word; and find that you are in a pit of discouragement and despair…
When you have gotten off track and have forgotten what the Lord has said to you in His Word, you can and will cry out to the Lord, at some point of time.
Cry out to God and tell Him of your pain, in what you are dealing with and going through.
Tell the Lord what you are going through and ask Him to help you and give you strength in doing so…
And He will hear and answer you…but the Lord will also remind you of what He has said in His Word in what would happen.
Look at what David said to the Lord in his time of despair and grief:
"…Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee." Psalm 69:1-5 (See also: Psalm 51:1-18, Psalm 32:3-8)
David knew and was convicted in his heart of where he stood with the Lord. But David also knew that the Lord was merciful and forgives… and that the Lord hears and this is what he said in Psalm 34:14-15, 17-20 & 22:
"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate."
The Lord also then said:
"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22
But the Lord also said:
"In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me." Psalm 86:7
***This is God's promise to you! He is ALWAYS faithful and true to His Word - He does what He says…period!!!
"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." Psalm 91:15
"…I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me." Psalm 142:1-7
"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24
"Let not your hearts be troubled…" John 14:1
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage (promise) of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." Isaiah 54:17
IN BRIEF REVIEW…
Disappointments, which then become discouragement, happen because… you allowed it to. You made that choice! It was your decision to make in regards to let yourself be discouraged or not. You did this by letting and entertaining those thoughts that came into your mind and you continue to think about them until you were overcome or overwhelmed by them.
The battlefield (spiritually which will reflect in the natural) is in your mind which also is your thoughts.
You are in control…you have a free will - a choice. You must choose if you are going to do what you want to do and let happen or do what the Lord said to do!
The person, he or she, who controls the thoughts (mind) that enter; you control the outcome…of what takes place.
The enemy has already lost the fight with the Lord, but he can fool you in forgetting that and what the Lord has said in His Word; that he will try to fill your mind with so many things that you have no time to spend dwelling on God's goodness.
If you are or have become discouraged, remember, "You can lose a battle, by your own choosing; but you must not lose the war and give up."
But know one thing, and that is, that you can get up and get back with Jesus and still win the war, the war is over your soul. Don't allow discouragement to destroy your life, because if it does then it will keep you from entering God's kingdom and all that He has planned for you.
"For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again..." Proverbs 24:16 (ref: Job 5:19)
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me..." Micah 7:8-10a
You may ask, "how can a person be just and fall 7 times?" How can the Bible say this? When we would call that same person: "unjust and a hypocrite."
The reason is, that regardless of what you or they did, even being discouraged and losing faith in God, you can still get up and get back with Jesus and STILL be considered 'just' in His eyes because of His mercy and grace. His love is so great; He knows we are flawed and weak. So open your hearts and mind to Him so He can lift you up, as Jesus is merciful and forgives us when we repent; and turn and follow Him.
JUST REMEMBER THAT DISCOURAGEMENT IS:
Discouragement grows out of disappointment that is actually misplaced faith - which is to believe in what a person told you and not what the Lord told you.
- Your choice…you allowed it to happened
- It's universal…it can happen to every one else, if they allow it to
- It's contagious…it can rub off or get one some else if they let it
- It can be temporary or it can destroy life, peace & joy
- Is conquerable…by only doing what Jesus said in His Word…period
If you expect someone (an individual, an institution or a group of people)
to come through on whatever it may be that they have said or promised; and it did not happen - in quote, you become disappointed or even discouraged. The reason you get discouraged is because they failed you; in that you believed in them/what they said and when it did not happen as you imagine or thought.
Disappointments and discouragement can show YOU
where you are standing in your relationship with God in who you are trusting, and that you must depend on God rather than your own resources, skills or connections.
Just remember: "…When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19
This happens when you give the enemy has an open door or place to be, but when you repent and do what the Lord said in His Word…it is all over for the enemy…he is defeated!
"…We (you) are more than conquerors through him (Jesus) that loved us." Romans 8:37
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4
You don't have to allow this to happen to you, if you take control off your thoughts and do what the Lord said in His Word. Because the Lord has given you the tools or means of escape but it is up to you.
Jesus has told us to keep our thoughts, minds and hearts clean (in being focused on Him & what He said)
and to remove all of those negative influences from our thoughts and mind. He desires that we have perfect peace, nothing less.
Jesus does not promise us a perfect life on earth, as satan will come against you; but the Lord does desire for us to have an abundant life and He promises to carry us or be there with us through the hard times when we fail in doing what He said. We will pass through some situations and trials that want incapacitate or take away our joy, if allowed. And still we've been promised victory in this world over them! What an awesome and loving God!!!
REMEMBER… FAITH (BELIEVING & DOING IT) IS THE KEY TO OVERCOMING DISCOURAGEMENT
Remember, "We don't walk by what we see, emotions, feelings or circumstances, we walk by faith."
Jesus told each on of us that we are to:
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
In short, "JESUS", is who He says He is and is what He said in His written Word; He is the answer to discouragement…period!!!
I challenge you:
If you're discouraged, take responsibility for it. You have no control over what thoughts that come to you but you have total control over how you deal with your thoughts or what comes into you mind that you think upon. Encourage yourself by turning to God and to do what He says in His Word. And in God's Word you will find hope, help, and the strength to overcome discouragement.
Never once did the Lord's Word fail or not do what He said - but it ALWAYS did come to pass!
***Note, in regard to all of this, there is a lot to absorb and put to use: You will want to reread this article again and even save it for those times later on when you are feeling discouraged or going through this and seem to forget what the Lord has said to you in His Word. As everyone seems to forget about this, but they do not forget about their wallet or what they hold dear to them…