What does “discouragement” really mean?
To discourage means “to deprive of confidence, hope or spirit; dishearten, daunt.” Afflict, beat down, demoralize, depress, dismay, distress, frighten, intimidate, irk, and trouble are synonyms of the word discourage.”
I had a series of dreams last night, and so I’ve spent some time looking at those, digging into them with the Lord this morning.
I won’t go into all of the details, but in one of the dreams I was facing a female “mountain lion” that was trying to intimidate me. I had gone out to feed my chickens, so I was in the chicken coop, and here is this mountain lion on the outside of the coop, trying to discourage me and intimidate me from getting out, to prevent me from getting away from there to where I needed to go.
Now, don’t worry, it ended okay— in the dream I pushed past this snarling mountain lion, even though I thought it could very well attempt to bite/attack my left hand as I walked by it to get past it, but I pushed through, and I kept going and even though it was showing its teeth and acting like it was going to sink it’s teeth into my hand at any second, she actually didn’t put a scratch on me.
Thank You, Lord. ☀️
Funny thing is, for some reason this “mountain lion” situation kind of reminded me a lot of my rooster, Ray.
Our rooster is a feisty one, and sometimes he tries to intimidate us!
A lot of people might be afraid of him, but really… if you really look at him, compared to the size of a human, he’s tiny! He’s all just a bunch of fluffed-up feathers and “intimidation”—
It’s really just an illusion, an attempt to “intimidate” and to “discourage” anyone from dealing with him.
And I realized that this is really how things are with the enemy that we face. Yes, there is a “danger” there, but we have Jesus living within us! He is with us and far, far greater than anything we could ever have to face!
“You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”—1 John 4:4
Don’t you think it’s far more deadly and dangerous to allow ourselves to be “cornered” and “trapped” because of intimidation and discouragement?
..than to actually trust God and push through in the midst of the “danger?”
“And our enemies said, “They won’t know or see anything until we’re among them and can kill them and stop the work.” When the Jews who lived nearby arrived, they said to us time and again, “Everywhere you turn, they attack us.” —Nehemiah 4:11,12 HCSB
“And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.” So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”—Nehemiah 4:11,12 NKJV
And what do we do when we feel an intense “intimidation” that wants to “discourage” us from what we are to do, what we are to face, the work that needs to be done, trying to keep us from continuing on our path?
An “intimidation” that wants to discourage us from “climbing that mountain” it wants to discourage us from pushing past the thing that’s in our way.
An “intimidation” that wants to discourage us, and cause us to give up hope, to quit trying…
“Then I replied to him, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.” For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished.” —Nehemiah 6:8,9 HCSB
The enemy knows that if we allow discouragement to soak into our hearts, we can become drained spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
He wants to get us to quit.
To give up.
The enemy wants us to think the situation we’re facing is never going to change, he wants us to lose hope that we’ll make it through the thing we’re facing…
“…But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.“—2 Corinthians 2:14
Look at what our God does! ?
As we face “intimidation” and “discouragement” head on, and as we continue to trust God,
even during the tough times,
even when we are pressed and tossed about by every kind of difficulty or danger,
not only does our God lead us in triumph,
but our lives then become “a sweet aroma to the Lord!“
Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that so glorious and beautiful?
How the enemy wants to prevent that…
If you’re facing “intimidation” or if you’re fighting off “discouragement” that’s trying to settle into your heart…
If you’re in the middle of learning how to endure through discouragement, through times that “don’t look so good”…
through what seems like a “set back”…
What do we do?
“What do we do in the face of intimidation and discouragement?”
We remember who our God is!
We dig into His Word!
We dig into His promises!
And He reminds us of who we ARE!
He reminds us that He who lives within us is greater than he who is within this world!
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.“—Ephesians 6:13
We ask Him to help us to see things as He sees them, we ask Him to help us push past the “intimidation” and the attempt of “discouragement” from the enemy! And we thank Him for it in advance!
For we know…
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”—Deuteronomy 20:4
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.“—1 Corinthians 15:57
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”—James 1:4
He’s a good God! He has purpose and good reason for everything He allows us to face!
And we know, that we’ll never have to ever face anything alone.
Our God is with us. ?
Thank You, Father. ?