July 11-12, 2009
Results of Discouragement 

James 1:2-4

Discouragement is one of Satan’s most effective weapons; he knows that if he can destroy our courage, we’ll be ineffective in accomplishing anything for Christ. Let’s explore the downward spiral that is created by this destructive force.

One mark of discouragement is a divided mind. This underlying distraction affects every area and decision. No matter what you’re doing, it feels as if a dark cloud covers your entire thought life.

Discouragement also leads to the “blame game,” where we feel a deep inner need to point a finger at someone else. You may want to find fault with God because He has allowed painful circumstances in your life, or you may accuse others because of the way they treat you. Perhaps you yourself feel guilty for poor choices or past mistakes. My friend, blame is an empty activity. No healing or restoration ever came from trying to pin responsibility on someone else for the hardships in your life.

Anger is another common indication that one is discouraged. When this occurs, bitterness may develop into a spirit of vengeance and finally retaliation. If you let anger grow and fester without resolution, it easily mutates into depression. In this, resentment acts like a cancer that slowly spreads and destroys your entire life.

The traits described above aren’t what one would expect of a Christ-follower, are they? However, they are all too evident in the church. Ask the Father to search your heart for any trace of these destructive seeds, and to short-circuit the work of discouragement in your life. 

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.