Thursday, February 08, 2007

God's Encouragement through Others

I am constantly amazed at how God uses several avenues to get across the same message to me that he specifically wants me to hear. This has been one of those weeks where everything I pick up or read is centering on the same subject: encouragement vs discouragement. I admit that my basic nature tends to fall into discouragement easily. I tend to want everything to fall into perfect place, and when it doesn't, Satan uses the tool of discouragement to entangle me. I think I have grown in that I don't fall into that trap as easily as I used to, but if I'm not careful, I find myself in my "blue" mood, sometimes not even knowing the source.

At Christmastime, a very dear friend of mine gifted me with Charles Stanley's book "When the Enemy Strikes." When I opened the gift up and saw the title, I admit I flinched a little. My experience in the past has been when I delved into Satan's territory where I learn more of His wily ways, attack comes in some form or another. Satan does not want us to know him for the liar he is. I wasn't sure I was ready for it---it's easier to ignore, right? But last week I finally opened it up. Dr. Stanley is amazing in the way he presents his material in such a simplistic way as to get right down to the nitty gritty of where you are. One of Satan's greatest tools to hinder us is discouragement. If he can get us to think we are not worthy or cannot accomplish what God has set before us, he's won a tremendous battle within our hearts. We need to arm ourselves with the truth of God's Word to be victorious over Satan and his wiles.

Sunday our pastor at our church admitted he had been discouraged that week by an anonymous letter written and placed on his desk, and his message to his congregation was "Be encouraged." He gave us four causes for discouragement: fatigue, frustration, failure, and fear; and the four antedotes for discouragement are rest, reorganize, remember the faithfulness of God in the past, and then rally toward your mission. The key to discouragement is found in James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." His bottom line was---We can rarely control difficult people and circumstances, but we can always control our response. We never give up!

My dear daughter-in-law sent a wonderful note of encouragement to me out of the blue yesterday. I was not expecting it, but it was so timely in coming as to encourage me to continue on with my blogging. Satan loves to whisper discouragement in my ears when I don't physically see results. How blind of me not to realize that God will not allow his Word to return void. He will accomplish his purposes in the Word that goes out in His name. I am always humbled by the fact that He led me to do this blog in the first place. I just want only His purposes to prevail through it. Thank you, dear Emily, for your encouragement to keep on keeping on. I needed that yesterday.

Be encouraged. Resist the devil! Submit yourselves to God!


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