There are many reasons why we may get discouraged in this life. We live in a world that is hostile towards Christ and those who believe in Him and live according to the principles of His Word. But God doesn't want us to be discouraged. There are some very serious consequences when a child of God becomes discouraged.
I. Wrong Things People Do When Discouraged.
A. They pray the wrong prayers.
1. Moses: Nu. 11:14-15
a. The people had been complaining and the Lord judged them with fire. v1-2
b. They began to complain again about only having manna to eat. v10-13
c. Moses was so discouraged that he prayed for God to kill him.
2. Elijah: 1Ki. 19:10
a. God had proven Himself in power and might by sending down fire from heaven at Elijah's request.
b. God had wrought a great victory on Mt. Carmel through Elijah.
c. He was now on the run from Jezebel and prayed for God to kill him.
B. They say the wrong things.
1. Note: Nu. 21:4-5
2. The people spoke against God, and they spoke against God's man.
3. God did not take into account that they were discouraged...he judged them quickly for their sin.
4. Many times we say things when we are discouraged that we will regret later...but a word spoken cannot be reclaimed.
C. They think the wrong things.
1. Note: Mt. 11:2-3
2. John was the one who was the forerunner of the Messiah.
3. His entire life and ministry was one of preparation for the coming Christ.
4. He declared Jesus to be the 'Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world'.
5. However, now he was in prison and was discouraged greatly facing an unknown future.
6. He began to question his very faith in Christ.
7. We must be very careful what we dwell on with our minds.
8. Note: Ph. 4:8 "Think on these things..."
D. They see the wrong things.
1. Note: Nu. 13:25-33
2. "...we were in our own sight as grasshoppers..." 6" : 66" : 60.5'
3. There is no question that there were giants in the land, but they weren't 60ft tall!
4. When we are discouraged our problems look much bigger than they really are.
5. Caleb and Joshua saw the same sights that the other spies saw, and their testimony was that God was greater than all the obstacles that they saw in the land.
E. They do the wrong things.
1. Note: Nu. 20:7-11
2. This would be the sin that would keep him from leading the nation into the promised land.
3. People have quit jobs, quit church, and quit on their marriages because they were discouraged.
4. Moses would be able to see the land, but he would never possess the land that God had promised, he lost that because of his disobedience.
F. They will end up in the wrong places.
1. Jonah wound up in the belly of the whale.
2. Abraham found himself down in Egypt.
3. Elimilech and Naomi took their family to the heathen land of Moab.
4. Peter warmed himself at the enemy's fire.
5. Thomas missed Sunday night church and missed seeing the resurrected Christ. 4.
G. They will develop the wrong spirit.
1. A spirit of murmuring and a critical spirit.
2. Note: Ps. 119:165
3. A spirit of defeatism...ready to give up and quit.
4. Our will needs to be broken, but not our spirit.
5. Bitterness will destroy us. "Looking diligently...lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." cf He. 12:15
II. How To Beat Discouragement.
A. Realize that it is an act of our will.
1. We are equipped to handle every problem that may come our way...and that includes discouragement.
2. We have the Holy Spirit...
3. We have the Word of God...
4. We have the privilege of prayer...
5. We have brothers and sisters in Christ...
B. Maintain a right attitude; regardless of circumstances.
1. Joseph stayed right...
2. Daniel stayed right...
3. Paul and Silas...
C. Remain stedfast and unmoveable. 1Co. 15:58
Some people set themselves up for discouragement. They fail to take advantage of what God has equipped us with to overcome it. Beware of this. Satan cannot have our soul, but he can attack and oppress until we are discouraged and then we will do, or say something that could ruin our testimony and effectiveness for the rest of our lives.