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What Does the Bible Say About … DISCOURAGEMENT?

Why are we so easily discouraged?

The Sacrifice: The Cost of Never Giving Up!

Have you noticed that all of us humans have at least one thing in common? We become easily discouraged! When adversity stirs up in our lives and trouble stares us in the face, we tend to isolate ourselves. And in so doing, we lose all energy for making a God-difference in this world.

Violette was born in Paris in 1921. Growing up, she spent time in both Great Britain and France. On Bastille Day, 1940, her mother suggested that she invited a French soldier from the free French forces to dinner to celebrate with the family who resided in Great Britain at that time. Two months later they were married, and her husband, Etienne, was send to West Africa.

Violette gave birth to a daughter on June 8, 1942, and she named her Tania. Unfortunately Etienne would never be able to meet his daughter. He was killed in October of that year, during the battle of El Alamein.

Violette could have become easily discouraged, but she didn’t. When she was approached to join Special Operations Executive, whose goal was to organize, train and supply the underground resistance forces in France, she quickly joined up. She then underwent several months of training before she participated in her first mission on April 5, 1944. The mission was a complete success.

Days before D-Day she accepted her second mission in France. Her task was to create as many disruptions among the enemy forces as possible, in support of the D-Day landings. On June 10, 1944, while driving to make contact with another circuit, she was stopped at a Nazi road block near the village of Salon-la-Tour. One of her two passengers was able to escape, but Violette and Dufour, the other passenger, were forced to fight for survival.

Knowing how important Dufour was to the circuit, Violette insisted he get away, while she gave him covering fire. She was arrested and sent to Ravensbruck where she suffered from forced labor and near starvation. Nevertheless, she never gave up.

Sometime in January, 1945, Violette, and two other British spies, were led through an alleyway into a yard near the camp cemetery. They were forced on their knees and shot in the neck. Even though she lost her life, Violette was more than victorious, for she never gave in to discouragement.

In 1947, Violette’s four and a half year-old daughter Tania, received the George Cross on her behalf.

Imagine if Violette Szabo had given in to discouragement. What would have happened to the cause? Imagine if many of the Allied forces had also become discouraged? Would France and the rest of Europe ever have been liberated? But they didn’t cave to discouragement. They had a mission!

Why are we under attack? Simply said, “The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night . . .” (Revelation 12:10, NIV2)

We have an enemy that is more than determined to lead us into discouragement. Why? The answer is found in Hebrews 3:13-14: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

The evil one’s purpose is to harden us by “sin’s deceitfulness”!!!

What happens when we are completely discouraged? We isolate ourselves and we stop reaching out to others. After all, when we are feeling discouraged, how can we even imagine helping others! And so God’s work is stopped in its tracks, and we find ourselves “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”. We have been completely neutralized by the enemy, totally cut off from all sources of encouragement! We become puppets of the enemy, whose only purpose is to destroy us (See John 10:10)!

We have been told that we can learn a lot from history. It’s so true!

When don’t people listen to God’s message?

“Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” (Exodus 6:9, NIV2)

What hinders us from being victorious in the name of the Lord?

“After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them.” (Numbers 32:9, NIV2)

What is the message that God is trying to give us?

“See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 1:21, NIV2)

“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15, NIV2)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.” (2 Chronicles 32:7, NIV2)

Why shouldn’t we let ourselves be discouraged?

“For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15c, NIV2)

“There is a greater power with us than with him.” (2 Chronicles 32:7, NIV2)

Why do we try to carry these burdens by ourselves, when the battle is not even ours? Why do we convince ourselves that discouragement is our sole venue? Isn’t the One who is with us far greater in power than all of our adversities put together?

In all reality, we let ourselves be defeated way too easily, me included! “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NIV)

Victory is ours, if we stand firm and trust in the promises from God. King David confidently could declare “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” (Ps 27:3-5, NIV) We can be confident as well.

Would you like to be an overcomer? Put your trust in God. Hope from God is what will sustain you! Bye-bye discouragement! I now realize that the battle is not mine but the Lord’s! Thank you Heavenly Father!

Rob Chaffart