Larry Shankle

Don't Let Discouragement Win



Discouragement can be a bitter enemy.
When you least expect it, this force will show up and do its dead level best to knock you off your feet.

Discouragement wants nothing more than to stand above you, laughing at the fact that you have failed, given up, or fallen short.

The truth is, you’ve been doing your best OR you’ve DONE your best.
The enemy loves to attack christians who are doing their best. He wants to knock them off balance and make them rethink their steps and activities.
If the devil can get you to believe that you are NO GOOD, or that your work DOESN’T MATTER, he will have the upper hand.

The bible is clear: The devil doesn’t play fair.
1 Peter 5:8–9 NLTse
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
9 Stand firm against him, AND be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

The unfortunate reality is that doing your best doesn’t always count.
Time and time again you have tried really hard to accomplish the things you’ve set out to do. If you are like most people, you’ll give up too soon.

You will give in to the softly spoken words of discouragement which simply tell you, "sure it will work, just not for you."
You begin to believe God answers prayers for other people; but maybe, in this one area, just not for you.
You feel like you are the only person not seeing results as your friends, business associates, and those around you seem to step from one success right into the next.

Can life be full of discouragement? Yes.
Do you have to let it win? No.

Here’s the real truth:
Discouragement is only a feeling.

Say that with me...
DISCOURAGEMENT IS ONLY A FEELING.
The great thing about feelings is that they come and they GO. As easily as you can get discouraged, you can move beyond it.

Discouragement is only an emotion.
The funny thing about feelings and emotions is they can feel so vicious, yet emotions and feelings lack teeth.

Let me be clear:
Other people CAN say things that hurt you.
Situations CAN make you feel hopeless at times.
Burdens CAN weigh you down.

LET ME MAKE ANOTHER DISTINCTION:
People CAN do some things that actually do harm to you.
  • They can kill you.
  • They can lie about you. (Which might hurt your family, employment, future, or other relationships.)
  • They can steal from you.
  • They can attempt to harm your character.
However, people cannot actually harm your attitude or mentality until you allow them to win in your mind.
The only thing discouragement has going for it is the bitter tenacity it displays.
It is the fact that discouragement just keeps telling us where we are failing and when we are wrong.
It tells us we can’t win and we won’t overcome. Discouragement seems to scream, "This problem will do you in."
We need to learn where the voice of discouragement originates from; the devil, our own insecurities, and the pain of our past.

Discouragement’s only strength is found in wearing down the will of its audience’s ears.
Are the plenty of reasons to be discouraged? YES.

But as a believer, your belief in the power of God and in his provision for your life needs to be stronger than the feeling of discouragement.
  • You have to make a BOLD decision about discouragement.
  • You must make up your mind that DISCOURAGEMENT WON’T WIN.
  • THEN, DON’T LET IT WIN!

Don’t let discouragement win!


Listen to this passage of scripture:
Deuteronomy 1:19–31 NKJV
19 "So we departed from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as the Lord our God had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea.
20 And I said to you, ‘You have come to the mountains
of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us.
Often, discouragement rises up when we are on the verge of seeing God do something great in our life.
The enemy can’t stand the fact that God has a GREAT plan for your life. If he can undermine God’s plan, he will.
One of his best weapons is the weapon of discouragement.
But, when God has set you up to reach great things, you can be sure you will attain them unless you turn back. It’s an inward choice to continue that is most important in our life.

21 Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.’
22 "And every one of you came near to me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come.’
23 "The plan pleased me well; so I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe.

Before you can overcome feelings of discouragement, you have to be completely convinced that God is GIVING YOU SOMETHING GOOD.
You have to know deep inside that his plan for your life is GOOD.
He hasn't started you off on a path to be healed only to keep you sick.
God hasn’t started you off on a path to grow your faith, only to let it diminish.
God hasn’t set you up to let you down. God doesn’t operate that way.

24 And they departed and went up into the mountains, and came to the Valley of Eshcol, and spied it out.
25 They also took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought back word to us, saying, It is a good land which the
Lord our God is giving us.’
26 "Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled
against the command of the Lord your God;

What caused them to rebel? Was it pure disobedience?
I don’t think so.
I believe their FEAR got the better of them. They were more afraid of what their enemies could do to them than they were excited about the opportunity God placed in front of them.
Fear will cause rebellion. We cannot allow fear to justify our reasons for being discouraged.

27 and you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28 Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and forti#ed up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there." ’

This phrase, "Our brethren have discouraged our hearts" is the key to understanding here.
  • Who is skewing their thoughts? Their Friends.
  • What does discouragement mean in this scripture? The act of causing fear and losing courage. It literally has the idea of melting your heart.
  • What does the word heart mean? The focus of a person’s thoughts, mind, volition, emotions, knowledge of right and wrong...scripturally understood as the HEART.

The discouragement they faced was so bad emotionally that it seemed their hearts were dissolving from fear.
It caused disobedience and rebellion.
Fear and discouragement always leads to SIN.
The devil knows this, and it’s why he tries so hard to bring fear and discouragement into your life.
Left unchecked, these two evils will grow and cause you to doubt God, act in contradiction to his word, and create SIN in your life.
Now...They are about to hear the truth.

29 "Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them.
You have to keep in mind that:
30 The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’

Discouragement is only a feeling.
Discouragement’s only strength is found in wearing down the will of its audience’s ears.

Since God is the God of COURAGE, if he lives inside of you, it only makes sense that ALL DISCOURAGEMENT COMES FROM AN OUTSIDE SOURCE.

Recognize this and flee from it!
Now...I want to give an application for what we’ve talked about.

3 Steps To Overcome Discouragement:
  • Stop listening to the thoughts of defeat. If you lose, so be it; but don’t give up just because a voice in your head says you should.
  • Start listening to God. He is for you, and will never be against you. Once you know the direction God wants you to walk, He will open the doors you need opened.
  • Keep doing your work. Discouragement has the power to wear you down; but this goes both ways. If you choose to keep showing up, day after day, you will make headway in your life.



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