How are you? At this moment, how are you doing? Perhaps you are on the mountaintop ... or maybe you're camping out in the valley? Or maybe someone you know is going through a tough time.

 

I think it is safe to say that discouragement comes to the best of us. One of the most difficult things in life is to stay encouraged. The stuff that keeps us going continually leaks out. It seems we are so fragile, prone to live by our feelings and emotions, so easily discouraged.

 

Think about it. It really doesn't take much at all to get discouraged. It can be one look or one word, someone's silence, a telephone that doesn't ring or something we expected that didn't happen. The smallest thing can trigger discouragement. Even our own imaginations, which may have no concrete basis, can trigger its downward spiral.

 

Where does it come from? Sometimes it feels like ice cold wind that makes us shiver deep within, and like dominoes, all hope tumbles down and we land in the pit of despair, stripped of all joy and hope and feeling so helpless. There may be a thousand reasons for discouragement, but one thing is for sure: There is someone behind this sinister force. Our enemy: Satan.

 

His Most Subtle Tool

It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale.

On the date of the sale the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. There were a treacherous lot of implements. Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on. Laid apart from the rest of the pile was a harmless-looking tool, well-worn and priced very high.

 

"The name of the tool?" asked one of the purchasers.

 

"Oh," said the adversary, "that's Discouragement."

 

"Why have you priced it so high?"

 

"Because it's more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a person's heart with that one, when I cannot get near him with other tools. Now once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It's a badly worn tool, because I use it on almost everyone since few people know it belongs to me."

 

The devil's price for Discouragement was so high, he never sold it. It's still his major tool, and he still uses it on God's people today.1