Discouragement is one of our greatest enemies. And this is not the type of enemy God wants us to love. He wants us to stay as far away from it as possible: It has deadly effects if we allow it to get too close. Yet from time to time, we do cozy up to this enemy.
Everyone gets discouraged. Even great men in the Bible allowed this enemy to creep in. Men like Elijah, Baruch and Jeremiah had to battle discouragement. Elijah was so discouraged and depressed at one point that he wanted to die (1 Kings 19:1-4). It does not matter who you are, anyone can get discouraged. When we experience a test or trial, becoming discouraged is a natural response. But that natural carnal response can be devastating spiritually!
When you become discouraged, your thoughts become more and more inward. When this happens, your prayers and your Bible study deteriorate and can cease altogether. Discouragement can cripple your relationship with God. Satan knows this!
Satan is constantly seeking to enter your mind. He is bombarding you with negative, selfish thoughts. He is broadcasting emotions of dejection, sadness and self-hatred. All he wants you to do is listen to him! If you will yield to him, Satan knows he can distract your mind, twist your emotions, and ultimately cause you to give up—and forsake God!
Satan works in human hearts and minds. He seeks access to your mind when you are struggling. He wants you to descend into a woeful attitude so that you will stop overcoming, stop doing God’s Work and stop looking to God to fight your battles!
The Prophet Jeremiah records a time of discouragement in the life of his scribe, Baruch. Baruch was despondent because he was being ridiculed, criticized and persecuted for helping Jeremiah deliver God’s message. Jeremiah 45 teaches us an important lesson about handling discouragement. It reveals the key problem: Baruch got away from doing God’s Work.
“Baruch believed God had added more grief to his already miserable life. He was very discouraged.” Gerald Flurry writes in Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible. “There is a reason why—he was sinning! Because of that sin, he was about to faint spiritually.”
Mr. Flurry shows that being overwhelmed by discouragement comes from sin! Jeremiah shows that this pattern is exactly what Baruch descended into, yet his experience also shows us how to let God lift us back out of discouragement.
“Baruch was told to remember what he was taught,” Mr. Flurry writes. “He went back to the BEGINNING, when he was taught the vision. That is how he overcame discouragement. His life was again filled with hope” (ibid).
Baruch was suffering from a terribly sour attitude. But he overcame discouragement because he reacted positively to God’s correction and he repented of his wrong thinking.
Believing you are worthless or that nothing matters or that God has forsaken you is wrong thinking!
What did Baruch do after he overcame Satan’s influence on his thinking? He went back to doing the Work! This is a valuable key that we can use to escape overwhelming discouragement: Focus on God’s Work!
Hearts in the Work
If we lack vision, we lack hope. If we lack hope, we cannot do God’s Work. If we fail to do the Work, we fade spiritually. Hold on to the vision God gives us in the Bible by doing the Work. In the process, we will increase our depth of vision, and that will give us greater hope.
Sometimes “put your heart into the Work” can become cliché and we shrug it off. You might be thinking right now, We hear that all the time! Just put your heart more into God’s Work. I am not at headquarters; I am not a staff member. How can I put my heart more into God’s Work?
No matter where you are, you are involved in the most crucial aspect of God’s Work. The Work does not thrive at headquarters or in the field because of new machines or clever thinking. It thrives because of God’s people pouring their hearts into it through prayers! It advances because of God’s people deeply studying their Bibles, fasting on occasion, raising strong families, sharing godly conversation, raising funds together, spending time together.
Do not believe that you are not a vital part of God’s Work! That belief does not come from God. If you would like some specific ways to pour your heart into God’s Work more, here are three:
kpcg is a great way to stay in tune with what God’s Work is doing. Programs like The Key of David, The Trumpet Daily Radio Show, Live by Every Word and Trumpet Hour keep you focused on the Bible and on prophecy. These are great ways to focus on what God is inspiring His message to be and to rekindle your excitement for His Work.
Listen live right here!
2. The Philadelphian
This publication is smaller than the Trumpet and Royal Vision, but in a unique way it can be just as inspiring. Each issue shows how global God’s Church and God’s Work are. Congregations from all over are teaming up to help finish God’s Work. The Philadelphian reports new births, baptisms, anniversaries and activities involving people like you who are part of God’s Family and involved in His Work.
3. Trumpet Daily
If you are feeling discouraged, try staying up to date with the Trumpet Daily program. Stephen Flurry gives inspiring presentations each week. Watching these programs can remind us on a daily basis of how awesome and vast God’s plan is. It is also a beautiful supplement the weekly airing of The Key of David that we all must be keeping up with.
None of these tips replaces or comes before our most important tools in battling discouragement: prayer and study. Fasting may even be necessary from time to time depending on how discouraged we may get. Nevertheless, these additional tools can serve as a great method to boost our resistance to discouragement when it arises.
Baruch was right there serving as secretary to God’s prophet, Jeremiah. He was right at the center of God’s Work. They had the vision, yet Baruch still found a way to fall into discouragement. No matter who we are, we can get discouraged. Baruch became selfish, and God had to remind him that even though life might have been easier if he were in a different situation, the only thing that would save his life for all eternity was holding on to the vision and delivering God’s message. Our situation is no different. If we deliver this message, hold on to the vision, and faithfully support God’s Work, we will defeat Satan and his effort to crush us through discouragement. God is ready and waiting to encourage you through His Work!