See if this scenario fits you. Everything seems to have gone wrong lately. Your job is shaky, your health isn’t great, your family has problems, and your finances—well, let’s just say your bank account has acute anemia.
Sometimes life just piles up on you, doesn’t it? You can relate to the person who prayed, “Lord, if there’s any more trouble coming, send it now while I’m used to it!”[i]
In this mess that you’re in, what do your circumstances tell you? That there’s no hope, right? I’m sure it looks that way. But the apostle Paul said, “You are looking only on the surface of things” (2 Corinthians 10:7).
“What do you mean, Paul? The facts are as plain as the nose on your face—I’m in deep trouble!”
Yes, you are, and you’re discouraged. But you may be overlooking the weapon God has given you to fight the enemy of discouragement. It’s called in the Bible the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Sometimes we get so discouraged that we don’t take hold of God’s promises. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, Moses told them God was going to deliver them and take them to a Promised Land which would be their own territory. When Moses told them the good news, the Bible says, “they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage” (Exodus 6:9). In other words, they were suffering so much and were so depressed that they didn’t grasp hold of God’s promise.
Are we so different? Sometimes we’re just so depressed that we don’t hear God’s promise of help. But the promise is true just the same. God says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
God’s promises are the weapon He has given us to fight discouragement and renew hope. In faith, claim them today.
[i] Ray Pratchard, The Healing Power of Forgiveness (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005), 131.