“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very things I hate. But if I do the very thing that I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:14-17). So describes my battle with discouragement!
Hey Gang: I confess I have spent a lot of time lately with the Apostle Paul, for I find myself doing the thing that I hate far too much. The past eight years have been very hard on this old man and the run up to the election was especially difficult. I have found myself in a constant battle with discouragement and depression. O, not of the real deep seated dangerous type, but deep enough that I have to constantly remind myself that the “Battle is the Lords” and His “joy is my strength”.
I have finally bitten the bullet and have started to cull out some of the accumulated piles of materials from my past and came across this old story that kind of ties into the Scripture of the morning and my constant battle with my battle with discouragement.
It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. There were many implements: hatred, envy, jealousy, doubt, lying, pride, and so on. Laid apart from the rest of the pile was a harmless- looking tool, well-worn and priced very high.
“What is the name of that tool?” Asked one of the purchasers. “Oh”, said the adversary, “That’s discouragement.” The purchaser asked, “How come the price is so high?” His response, “Because it’s more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open and get inside a person’s heart with that one, when all else fails and once I get inside, I got ya! It’s a badly worn because this is the day of discouragement and few people really know that it belongs to me.”
How about you? Have you ever been discouraged? How many know that being legal guardian for a barn full of young folks who came to me because they did not make good decisions, herding a staff of equal size and being concerned constantly that there would be enough gold in the coffers to pay the liabilities of the day, might have some discouraging opportunities. But I do not recall any time, in my tenure as Exulted Eagle of the Village, when I was in constant war and my encouragement registered empty, as in the past eight years.
But as a good friend once said when we were dealing with a crisis at the Village, “Keep your head up for this, too, shall pass”. I thought when the election results were in and God had spoken, you do believe that God places kings on thrones and removes them, don’t you? We would bury the gauntlets and take up our plow shares and work together to repair the devastation left behind by the former resident of the White House. O, how wrong I was. I find it impossible to watch the news for five minutes without feeling pangs of discouragement beginning to rage in my heart and soul.
Paul had many opportunities to be discouraged but he was locked into God’s support system. He passed that support system on to us in I Corinthians 10:13 (with a slight modification) “No discouragement will overtake Me but such is common to all, and God is faithful, who will not allow me to be discouraged beyond that which I am able to handle”.
Joshua 1:9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.
There are many power verses throughout the Word, seek them out and get them firmly planted in your heart, mind and soul. You will surely need them in the coming days, weeks, months and even years.