Text: Numbers 13:25-33; Numbers 14:1-10
We need to understand some of the characteristics of discouragement. Firstly, discouragement is contagious and could spread, like a spirit, from one person to another. So, you must be very careful if you are around someone that is deeply discouraged. Such people are full of complaints and would complain virtually about everything around them and if you keep on staying around them, before long you will begin to share their views. They do not see light at the end of the tunnel and, so, are never hopeful.
Secondly, discouragement is universal. It comes on anyone irrespective of race, colour, religion, age, tribe, social or economic status. Saints and sinners alike face it; no one is immune to it. We all have to overcome it.
Thirdly, discouragement has a spirit behind it. It is not from God, hence He told Joshua several times to guard against it and be strong.
Lastly, discouragement often comes unannounced. That is why you must guard your heart with all diligence. If this evil giant gets into you, it can cause your whole life to sink. It is of the devil and if you give it attention, it will set you on the wrong path of life.
Discouragement has a lot of terrible consequences. One of them includes suicidal tendencies. Once attention is given to it, the devil will creep in to lecture the victim. The Devil will speak in deceptive voices that will make the victim to commit the evil. So many people have lost their lives, today, through this means. In 1 Kings 18, we see how Elijah defeated 450 Prophets of Baal. After that victorious incidence, he received a letter of threat from Jezebel, the Queen of Baal and Mistress of witchcraft (1 Kings 19:1-6).
This highly anointed man of God suddenly forgot his divine backing and fled for his life. He was so overwhelmed by discouragement that he requested to die. There are so many people out there, today, in similar situations. The clergy, the professional class and even couple in their marriages, are not left out; they want to give up. May God intervene speedily in their cases in Jesus’ name.
Again, discouragement can make a Christian to backslide. If you are experiencing delays or disappointments in any area of your life, do not give up. Hold on to God and in due season He will come through for you.
Another consequence of discouragement is that it can make a man to abandon his dreams. The Israelites, in our Bible text, got so discouraged that they lost the desire to possess their promised land. So many people, today, are faced with oppositions in life and have abandoned their lifelong dreams and vision.
Also, discouragement can lead to physical and psychological illnesses like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and so on.
• Rev. John Okene, Divine Touch Int’l Ministries, Warri, Delta State. Email: [email protected]. Prayer line: +2348135952623