BE THANKFUL!  Rising above discouragement, in the final place, requires you to keep on the positive side of life. Get your eyes and mind off of the bad things that are happening to you. Learn to be thankful. Look for things to be thankful about. Write them down. I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how many things you’ve got to be thankful for. It’ll revolutionize your perspective on life.

SING! Once you’re thankful, open your mouth and praise God for all His blessings on your life. Sing out loud. Let the Lord and the Devil hear your song. The Devil hates to hear you singing and praising God. He hates it so much that he can’t stand it. It drives him nuts. And best of all, it drive him away. The Devil just can’t stand to be in the presence of singing, rejoicing saints. That’s one reason why he won’t be in Heaven. He can’t stand to hear God’s people praising God. So if you want the Devil to leave you alone, just open your mouth and sing.

USE THE SWORD! Do you remember how Jesus beat the Devil in His wilderness temptations? Jesus quoted him the Word and the Word shut him up. When the Devil talks to you and tries to get you depressed, discouraged, or grumbling; just quote him the Word. It’s the sword of the Spirit that wounds him (Ephesians 6:17). You’ll be hurting him so bad that he won’t be talking back to you a whole lot. He’ll have to leave you so that he can tend to his wounds. Get your Bible out. Read and write down, or memorize, the verses that really mean a lot to you, especially the ones that speak to your situation. Then when the Devil comes around, get out the sword of the Spirit and let him have it.

To help you get started, here are some promises that you can recite or confess.

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13).
  • God is working in me, both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
  • He who hath begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
  • The Lord will perfect  (complete) that which concerneth me (Psa. 138:8).
  • His grace is sufficient for me (2 Cor. 12:9).
  • The power of Christ resteth upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).
  •  He will not allow me to be tested beyond my ability to endure (1 Cor. 10:13).
  • He will make a way of escape, whereby I am able to endure it (1 Cor. 10:13).
  • Nothing and no one is able to pluck me out of my Father’s hands John 10:29).
  • Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
  • Thanks be to God who always causeth me to triumph in Christ (1 Cor. 2:14).
  • I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from mine enemies (Psa. 18:3).
  • Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered (Psa. 68:1).
  • In due season I shall reap, if I faint not (Gal. 6:9).
  • Whatsoever I desire, when I pray and believe, I shall have it (Mark 11:24).
  •  As I have believed, let it be done unto me (Matt. 8:13).

What more shall I say and where do the promises and comforts of Scripture end? By confessing promises like these, I hope you’re beginning to see that the promises are an immense source of comfort to you. As you get in the Word and meditate on the Word, you’ll find yourself getting your faith, your courage, your joy, and your song, back. These things can’t help but happen when you’re in God’s presence and you listen to what God has to say to you.

KEEP FOCUSED ON GOD INSTEAD OF YOUR TRIALS! Instead of keeping your eyes focused on what’s happening, go back to Calvary. Look at what Christ has done for you. Look at all He’s promised to do for you. Brethren, keep your eyes focused on the promise and let the promise ever draw you onward.

GOD KEEPS HIS WORD! While the way was indeed tough and trying for the Israelites, nevertheless, in the end, God kept His promise to them.  He brought them into the promised land. The Israelites made it. The journey was not in vain! Though it came with much trials and anguish, the Israelites eventually had what God said they could and would have. Canaan became their home and inheritance.

In much the same way, brethren, remember that God has made you a promise. He not only promised to give you something or do something for you: He also said you would have it, you would receive it, you would experience and enjoy it. In other words, you’ll live to see the day when your prayer is answered. My friends, though the journey has been forty years and has involved a lot of trials and anguish of soul, continue to believe and walk on because Ye shall have it. Let the promise of possession keep you moving forward. You’ll not only get the answer, but more importantly, you’ll make it in this walk to journey’s end. My friend, with God by your side and Christ’s power resting on you, you shall make it! May God bless you and walk with you every step of the journey.



When the way gets tough and discouraging you’ve got to fight back and endure. Instead of resigning yourself to what’s going on and wallowing deeper and deeper into self-pity, murmuring and discouragement; you’ve got to do something good for yourself and that is fight back and endure.

(A)  A True Perspective Of Discouragement.  Most people tend to see discouragement in terms of what’s going on around them and what’s happening to them: they look at the way life is going and because life isn’t going very well at the moment, they get discouraged.  While these things that are happening to you cannot be denied, you must nevertheless get a fresh or a true perspective of discouragement and see discouragement not so much in terms of people, situations, or the Lord’s demands; but rather, in terms of Satan coming against you, attacking you, discouraging you, and trying to get you to quit.

Satan is using what’s happening to you–he’s working through it all–to get you to quit the journey and give up on the Lord: “The Lord’s way is just too hard! The Lord is just too unreasonable!”  And if the devil can’t get you to quit, he’ll at least try to get you to have lousy attitudes and start criticizing and complaining. Why? Because Satan knows that a bad attitude and a bad mouth will get you into trouble with God (i.e. the fiery serpents of God’s chastisement). And when you get into trouble with God, the potential is there for you to get even more discouraged, thus increasing the likelihood of you giving up on the Lord. Discouragement, I am saying, is a spiritual warfare. Satan is out to get your soul!

(B)  A Time To Fight Back.  Viewed in this light, discouragement is not a time for self-pity, but rather, a time to fight back and fight for your life. I’m talking about fighting the devil back and resisting those spirits of self-pity, discouragement, despair, criticism, complaining, and any others that might be coming against you. Quit feeling sorry for yourself! Take authority over these demons and command them to cease their activity against you and go in the Name of Jesus. Instead of listening to them tell you how rotten God, Christianity and the Church are; refuse to listen to them, control your mind and what you think on, and keep your mind under the blood of Jesus. Friend, you’ve got to quit listening to the devil!  Quit listening to his lies! Instead of letting the devil hang around to talk to you some more, command him to go away in the Name of Jesus.

You’ve not only got to take authority over the devil and your mind: you’ve also got to take authority over your emotions. Discouragement is an emotion common to all human beings. You’ve got to fight back and refuse to get discouraged over what’s happening to you: tell yourself you’re not going to feel that way and stop yourself when you begin to feel discouraged. It’s a real discipline and it takes a lot of work, I know. But then, working to stay alive has always involved a lot of work.

Ask a climber trapped high atop a mountain, or a camper lost in a vast wilderness; ask a survivor trapped underneath the rubble of a building, or a soldier in the midst of war. It’s a fight to stay alive when you’re being threatened with death. Overcoming discouragement is a fight: it takes work. And no one can do it for you but you yourself.

Whenever my mind and emotions begin to get the best of me, I always come back to Philippians 4:6,7. First, I pray and commit my need to the Lord (verse 6), then I claim and confess the promise of verse 7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (my) heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Brethren, take your discouragements to the Lord and claim His peace.

(C)  A Time To Go To The Lord For Refreshing. When the way becomes too hard and tiresome, my friends, go into the presence of the Lord and seek His refreshing and renewing strength. Instead of getting bitter and angry at God for allowing all these things to come upon you, go to God and ask God for grace and mercy and strength.

God’s way may be hard and demanding, but He’s promised to give you strength for the way: He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31).

In other words, if you’re faint and weary, you can go to God for the strength to go on. And when God’s done with you, you’ll have the strength, you’ll have the courage, you’ll have the umph to go on: you shall run, you shall walk–without getting weary or faint. You say you’re discouraged and can’t go on? You don’t want to go on? Dear friend, go to God and you’ll get the want-go back!

When bad things are happening to you, you can go to God not only for strength, but also for wisdom as to how to handle a particular situation that’s troubling or discouraging you.

  • When the Israelites were ready to stone Moses because there was no water to drink, what did Moses do? He went to the Lord and asked for wisdom. And God, in turn, showed Moses what to do (Exodus 17:3-6).
  • When the Israelites were defeated at the battle of Ai, Joshua went to the Lord with his “Why, Lord?”  And God, in turn, showed Joshua what the problem was (Joshua 7:5-13).
  • When the Amalekites invaded Ziklag and took the women and children of Israel captive, David’s men talked about stoning him; they blamed him for what happened. And what did David do? He went before God’s presence and encouraged himself in the Lord. And God, in turn, showed David what to do (1 Samuel 30:3-8).
  • When Hezekiah received troubling news about his pending death, he cried out to God for mercy. And God, in turn, answered his cry and gave him an additional fifteen years to live (2 Kings 20:1-6).

In these and many instances, the great men of God went into God’s presence to seek His wisdom, counsel, and courage concerning the troubling things that happened to them. Brethren, it works the same way for you. When trouble strikes or threatens, go to God and let God direct and encourage you.

And while you’re in God’s presence, don’t forget to pray in tongues. You build up, edify, and strengthen yourself as you pray in the Holy Ghost. You may not understand how it works–the important thing is, it works!  As you do it more and more, I think you’ll find that praying in tongues is a really good way to get your mind off of the troubles: it helps you put things in proper perspective.

(D)  A Time To Concentrate On Enduring.  When discouraging things are happening to you, that’s not the time for criticism or complaining. Rather, it’s the time to die out, overcome, obey the Lord, and endure the trial or hardship. While it’s certain that tough things are happening to you or around you, I can’t help but feel that there’s bad things going on inside of you–bad things like,

  • you’re not wanting to go through the trial–that’s why you’re discouraged!
  • you’re not wanting to do what God is telling you to do–that’s why you’re discouraged!
  • you’re not dying out to people who are mistreating you or causing you some grief and hardship–that’s why you’re discouraged!
  • you’re not crucifying, putting away, and repenting of some lousy attitudes–that’s why you’re discouraged!

Brethren, when the way gets tough and discouraging, that’s the time to concentrate your efforts on enduring. What all is involved in enduring?

  • Instead of resisting the trial, submit to it. Concentrate on letting the trial do the work the Lord wants it to do in you.
  • Instead of resisting the persecution, face it and submit to it. Concentrate on letting the likeness and life of Christ shine through you. Determine to be Christ like in the way you respond to your persecutors.
  • Instead of running from what God wants you to do, die out to Self and obey the Lord. Get rid of the lusts, fears, or attitudes that are hindering and preventing you from obeying the Lord.
  • Instead of resenting and despising the Word of the Lord, admit the unscripturalness of your present opinions or beliefs and give them up. Concentrate on taking God at His Word and accepting what He has said in His Word as the ultimate standard of everything you believe.
  • Get rid of lousy attitudes. God, through the hardships of life, is exposing these   attitudes that have got to go. Concentrate on getting your attitudes right.
  • Take control of your tongue and keep it from complaining. Concentrate on learning to face life’s trials and hardships without complaining.

I’d like to say a final word on enduring by saying that enduring the trials and hardships of life means you endure them non-resistantly, without retaliating against those who are causing you so much grief. Human nature being what it is, it’s so easy to start thinking of ways to get even with the people who did you wrong; you start devising ways to repay them, you wish and pray that bad things would happen to them. This, brethren, is not the spirit of Christ (Luke 9:51-56). If there’s any retaliating or judging to be done, let God do it–that’s His business, not yours.

When Moses asked the king of Edom if the Israelites could pass through his land, the king’s refusal was most unkind and unjustified–especially considering the fact that the Israelites were his brethren and relatives. In many respects, the king’s refusal and insistence in this matter was the cause of the Israelites’ complaints and discouragement. But the Lord would not allow them to take revenge against the Edomites: Meddle not with them (Deuteronomy 2:5). This word ‘meddle’ means ‘to stir up strife or to engage oneself in strife against another’. In other words, the Lord forbade His people from antagonizing or going to war with the Edomites.

Brethren, what other people have done to you is, without question, unkind, unjustified, and unchristian; what they have done has truly caused you much anguish and trouble. But the unjustifiableness of their conduct does not justify vengeance on your part; you are still under Christ’s command to recompense to no man evil for evil…Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath (Rom. 12:17,19).  Learn, my brethren, to love, do good, forgive, and forget. You can’t be Christ-like without that.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, The 8th And Final Installment. Here is the key that will keep you above ground. With it, you can lock the door to the pit of discouragement and depression forever. You definitely want to be here.


When the way becomes nothing but one big trial, one big problem, and you find no refreshing oasis or manna from Heaven; this, beloved, is not the way to the promised land. When you know nothing but unanswered prayers, this, beloved, is not the promise God made us. When you walk on without the blessings and provisions of God, this, beloved, is not the way of God. The way of God is the thirst and the oasis, the hunger and the manna, the lack and the provision, the judgments and the deliverance, the weariness and the rest, the warfare and the victory.

  • Matthew 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
  • Mark 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (4) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (5) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (literally, weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities (literally, weaknesses), in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
  • Galatians 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
  • Hebrews 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Not ‘might receive’ as if to express uncertainty or doubt about receiving the promise; but rather, ‘may receive’, expressing the assurance  and certainty of receiving–conditioned upon enduring.)

God not only makes promises: He keeps them. He gives answers to prayer. God not only promises trials: He gives grace, comfort and encouragement to endure them. He makes a way of escape. He provides deliverance. When the way you tread becomes nothing but one big trial without provision, deliverance, help, or answers–this is not the Lord’s way, nor is it the Lord’s doing. And it behooves you to stop and ask yourself why things are going the way they’re going.

You say you’re discouraged because the way is so hard and nothing’s going right. Brethren, could it be nothing’s going right because you’re on the wrong way? Could it be you’re to blame, you’re doing something wrong? When things are constantly going wrong for you and nothing seems to be working, here are some probable reasons you should consider.

1. DIVINE CHASTISEMENT. When you do something wrong (i.e. sin), God deals with you through the convicting work of the Spirit speaking a word of rebuke to you. At other times, He deals with you through chastisement.

Chastisement takes on many forms and the one we normally think of is physical, or bodily, sickness. One of the purposes of chastisement is God calling your attention to the fact that you sinned, you need to repent and deal with the problem. Sometimes, if you’re hardheaded enough, you’ll refuse to admit you’ve sinned; you won’t take care of the problem. Consequently, the chastisement drags on. Hence, the discouragement.

Brethren, could it be that the healing hasn’t come yet because you’ve not repented? Instead of finding fault with God, you need to be honest with yourself, face up to the sin, and repent. As with the children of Israel, no confession or repentance, no brazen serpent or healing.

2. SPIRITUAL OPPRESSION.  Some problems are a matter of oppression. One telltale indicator of oppression is, the problem is incessant and recurring; it’s a continual thing with no lasting relief.  For example, if you’re plagued with constant ear aches, you may be dealing with an hereditary sort of oppression working in your ancestors and family. At the very least, you might want to seek the Lord about coming against a spirit of infirmity relating to the ears.

One thing’s for sure. When the Lord heals, He heals. The problem is taken care of. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any more trials related to that healing. Satan in all likelihood will try to put the infirmity back on you. But as you resist him and refuse to accept the symptoms, the symptoms eventually go. What I’m saying is, when the Lord heals you of heart disease, you don’t live with constant, recurring heart disease. Being healed means you don’t have the disease; you don’t live with the disease or its symptoms. And if you continue to have the disease, then you ought to seek the Lord about an here-to-fore unknown matter of oppression.

You’re discouraged because the healing hasn’t come yet; you’re still experiencing the symptoms. Brethren, it could be a matter of deliverance from oppression. In some instances, the healing isn’t manifested until you’ve first of all gone through deliverance from oppression.

3. FAILURE TO FIGHT. When the Devil’s working you over, he’ll continue to do it as long as you let him do it. He won’t stop until you make him stop. How do you make him stop? You get out of that hole in the ground, stand up to him, and fight him. James 4:7 tells you to resist the devil, and he will flee from you. His flight requires your fight. In the Devil’s temptations of Jesus in Matthew 4, the Devil tempted Jesus three times and every time he tried to get Jesus to sin, our Lord resisted him and the Devil eventually gave up and left Him. The spiritual battles ended when Jesus fought. They ended because He fought.

The classic example of suffering continual harassment is in the story of David and Goliath (read 1 Samuel 17). For forty days Goliath kept taunting the Israelites because none of the Israelites had the guts to come out, stand up to him, and fight him. As long as they stayed in their foxholes, Goliath kept demoralizing them day after day for forty long days. What made Goliath quit his taunts? David came out to the battlefield one day and silenced Goliath’s big mouth. The fight ended when David fought.

Brethren, as long as you cower in the foxhole of fear and doubt, the Devil will keep coming at you. He’ll keep on beating you up. He’ll keep on robbing you blind. Because you’re letting him do it. He won’t stop until you set your fears aside, get out of the foxhole, come face to face with him, and fight him in Jesus’ Name. I know some battles are prolonged because the Devil doesn’t give up easily. But as long as you’re fighting him, he’ll eventually tire of the battle and leave. You’ll get your victory. But if you’re not fighting, then that’s why the battle is prolonged. And that’s why you’re discouraged.

4. SOWING & REAPING.  Some of your problems or sufferings in life may be the result of personal irresponsibility and neglect on your part. This is known as the law of sowing and reaping: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.(8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7,8).

  • For example, if the children are pretty destructive and they do a good job tearing up the house, it might be a spirit of destruction involved. But then, it could also be the fact that you aren’t training or disciplining your children well. If you don’t teach them to not jump on the furniture, they will jump on the furniture and break them. If you don’t teach them to not throw things in the house, they will throw things and get things broken. Children will do what they are allowed to do. They will do what they are not taught  to do. The lack of instruction and discipline always shows up in the children’s behavior and conduct.
  • If you battle constant tooth aches, chances are, you’re reaping the consequences of eating too much sugar.
  • If you go outdoors in the winter without your coat on, chances are, you’ll come down with the colds and cough.

Do you see what I’m saying? The troubles you’re facing in life may well be the harvest of your misconduct or irresponsibility: the fault is no one else’s but your own. You’re reaping what you’ve sown.

Now just because you’re reaping what you’ve sown doesn’t mean you can’t ask God to help you get the problem remedied. God can heal the tooth aches, He can deliver the kids from their destructive ways. Despite the failures of the past, the problems can still be resolved: they don’t have to go on, you’re not cursed or doomed to live with the consequences of past lifestyles or actions (read Joel 2).

But you’re going to have to change: be moderate or temperate in your use of sugar; diligently teach and discipline your children concerning proper conduct in the house. It takes more than just the prayer of faith to get the answers to your prayer: the answers involve you doing your part. What is your part? Obeying the Lord. In the examples we cited, obeying the Lord means bearing the fruit of the Spirit called temperance or self-control: it means driving foolishness out of the hearts of your children by using the rod on them.

Brethren, the reason why things are going wrong with you is because you might well be doing something wrong. You’re reaping the harvest of neglect or irresponsibility. Things won’t change until you do.

5. THE UNCRUCIFIED LIFE.  Some problems in life are persistent because self is not being crucified on a daily, or continual, basis. The uncrucified self spells problems.

  • For example, you’re discouraged because people let you down. But if you just die out and learn to be more understanding and patient and forgiving, discouragement would not be the problem that it is.
  • You’re discouraged because things didn’t go the way you wanted them to go. But if you just die out and trust that God is in sovereign control of the situation–He knows what He’s doing–then you wouldn’t be discouraged because you’re believing that all things do work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.
  • You’re discouraged because Satan is really giving you a hard time, tempting you, appealing to your lustful desire, making it really hard for you to go on or keep pure. But if you just die out and get rid of the lust, the temptations concerning that lust will eventually quit.

You live in an imperfect, sinful world. Life now is not a Utopia. Things go wrong, they wear out, they break down. Stores run out of things you need and want, restaurants close earlier than you want them to close, offices aren’t opened during the week end. People at times will disappoint you and hurt you, Christians aren’t angels, and even strong, spiritual Christians don’t always do a good job of overcoming and dying out.

Above all, as a child of God, you can’t have it your own way: God doesn’t ask for your opinion or permission. He doesn’t do things your way.  This isn’t a Heaven-on-earth.  As long as you live in an imperfect world, there will always be some sort of problem you’ll run across. And if you aren’t on your cross dying out, the problem tends to be magnified and it breeds more problems. The answer is to die out, overcome evil with good, and rejoice in life’s tribulations and problems.

The way, I have said, is a way that’s paved with trials and tribulations. But it’s also paved with God’s blessings and goodness and answers to prayer. There’s rest and renewing along the way: life’s sorrows are tempered with life’s joys, life’s miseries are balanced with life’s miracles. In other words, God’s way is not one big trial! If your journey is filled with troubles–with no rest or relief in sight–then you’re on the wrong road, you’re doing something wrong, and it behooves you to stop, find out what you’re doing wrong, then get things right. The answer for discouragement is to make what’s wrong, right.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 7. Now comes the nuts-n-bolts of getting up out of that hole in the ground. I’ll be giving you some practical things you can do to get up and stay up. It’s going to be good, so don’t miss out.


2. WHEN THE WAY GETS TOUGH AND DISCOURAGING, PRAY!  Like the Israelites, we complain whenever we go through trials and troubles. We don’t like sufferings and pain. And when the troubles linger and bad news continue to pour in, we get discouraged, depressed, and we give up on God and life.

Brethren, when life gets tough you need to pray instead of complain. Pray about what? For one thing, you can pray and ask God to help you not complain. To help you be thankful. To help you see the good in everything that’s bad around you. To help you see things from a different perspective. From God’s own perspective.

3. GET A FRESH PERSPECTIVE OF THE WAY. When the way gets tough and discouraging, the answer, my friends, is to get a fresh perspective of the Christian life. You see, one reason why people get discouraged when life becomes one big trial and frustration is because they have mistaken notions of the way.

This was the problem that many of the Israelites had. Many of them wanted the desert journey to be trial-and-trouble-free: “Moses, we just came out of one big trial in Egypt. Please, no more trials!”  And while the people longed for the promised land of peace and plenty, I think many of them forgot that it wasn’t going to be easy getting there: there was a vast wilderness desert to walk through first.  Although they were traveling in a desert land, they nevertheless wanted to have in the desert what they had in Egypt. I’m talking about the fishes, onions, garlic, and an abundant water supply.  They didn’t have Egypt’s provisions in the desert. They left one kind of trial in Egypt (slavery) and walked into another trial in the desert (deprivation). This is the reason why they complained a lot. The present way through the desert involved too many trials! Apparently, they thought that when they left Egypt, there would be no more trials.

A. The Way Is a Way of Trial & Tribulation. Have you, like the Israelites, forgotten that you’re in a desert journey to the promised land? Don’t you know that the way you’re in is a way that’s paved with trials and tribulations? Acts 14:22 tells us we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Not just tribulation, but much. A lot of it. We are like sheep destined for the slaughter (Romans 8:36). We are appointed unto the suffering of trial and tribulation (1 Thessalonians 3:4). Brethren, the way is hard and trying. And if you’re expecting life to be a whole lot easier, trial-and-trouble-free, free from the narrow and rigorous demands of faith and holiness, a little Heaven on Earth; then it’s no wonder you’re discouraged! Life isn’t going your way. It isn’t going the way you want or expect it to go. The truth of the matter is, it won’t. Life for the Christian will go the one way God ordained for it to go and that’s around the land of Edom, through the pathway of much tribulation.

B. A Distorted View Of Egypt & The WorldThe problem, all too often, is people forget what life in Egypt was really like. They look at the present trials and hardships of the way, then look back and see what an easier life they had in Egypt; they reminisce on all the fun and good times they had back then. And when they get to comparing the present to the past, the comparison and memories of the past adds fuel to the discouragement.

But the fond memories of the past are a one-sided picture of Egypt fraught with distortion.

  • So you don’t like having a Moses around to tell you what to do? You want to live and do as you please? Just remember. You had Pharaoh back there in Egypt who told you what to do. He didn’t let you live and do as you pleased. You were his slave and you had to do what he told you to do.
  • So you don’t like the trials you’re going through? You think life should be a whole lot easier on you? Just remember. You had trials in Egypt too! You seem to forget about the taskmasters who whipped and beat you when you didn’t show up for work or when you didn’t do as much work as they wanted you to do. Have you forgotten the beatings?
  • So you lack water in the desert. Big deal! You lacked straw in Egypt (Exodus 5).
  • So you had the fish and onions in Egypt. But if life in Egypt was so good and dear to you, why did you end up leaving? You seem to have forgotten that you got so sick and tired of Egypt. You cried out to God to save you and get you out of there.
  • You say the desert is one big trial and threat to life. How many of your brethren and ancestors did Egypt kill? Brethren, you’ve got to remember that as hard as the present way may be, life in Egypt was harder yet: it was what caused you to leave Egypt in the first place.

C. The Way Is A Way Of Blessing, Provision, & Answers To Prayer.  To this point, we’ve been saying that if the way has become a matter of complaint and discouragement to you, you need to get a fresh perspective of the Christian life. You’re on a journey to the promised land. You’re not yet in the promised land. The desert is not the promised land. Being in a desert means there will be desert trials and tribulations to go through.

Having said all that, we need to say in the same breath that the Lord provides for the care and well-being of His people. He gave water and manna to His people. Not one of three million Israelites died in the desert of hunger or thirst! None! He led them with the pillar of cloud and fire so that they would know the way to go. He protected them from their enemies and gave them victory in war against the Amalekites, Canaanites, Midianites, and more. They walked for forty years, yet their clothes did not wear out, neither did their feet swell (Deuteronomy 8:4). There was not one feeble person in their midst (Psalm 105:37).

Yes, there were judgments of God upon them and thousands of them died. But they died because they messed up, not God. But even in the midst of judgment, God provided deliverance for the millions who survived: the intercessions of Moses brought forgiveness; the censers of incense  stayed the plague; and the brazen serpent  quenched the venom of fiery serpents.

The way, I am saying, was hard. But God proved His love and mercies over and over again: He led them, provided for them, forgave them, healed them, preserved them. While the way was hard, God gave them His blessings and mercies to help them walk the way. Here are some verses you can look up. Exodus 16:35, Joshua 23:14, and Nehemiah 9:19-21.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 6. If life has been one big headache and heartache for you and you’ve not known God’s blessings or provisions, then something is very wrong with this picture. Stay tuned and watch God get things back into focus.



Having gone through the valleys and dark nights of discouragement, all of us should know by now that discouragement is a killer. It kills as it slowly takes our strength, our joy, our courage and faith, away from us. Brethren, it is this knowledge of what discouragement does that must prompt us all to put discouragement far from us. We must resist it and rise above it when the way gets hard and Satan decides he wants to walk with us and talk to us about the hardness of God’s ways.

It’s always easier not to resist or do anything about what’s bothering us. But the more we let discouragement work, and the longer we allow ourselves to be discouraged, the harder it is to rise above it. Why is that? Because we get weaker and more apathetic with each passing hour and with each passing day. It’s hard to do something when you’re too weak to do it and when you don’t even care about doing it. The time to deal with discouragement is now! Let’s nip it in the bud before the venom of fiery serpents takes its toll.

l. DELIVERANCE, HEALING, AND A NEW LEASE ON LIFE BEGIN WITH REPENTANCE.  The first thing you need to do when you’re discouraged is repent for the moaning and bellyaching you’ve done. In all likelihood, if you’re discouraged, you’ve done some of that. You’ve let the Lord and other people know how you feel about the hardness or unreasonableness of this Christian life.

If you read our Scripture text carefully, you’ll see that the Israelites didn’t complain to God. They complained to Moses. But in God’s sight, complaining to Moses was the same thing as complaining to God Himself: And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread (Num. 21:5).

When the Lord chastised them and brought them to repentance, the people admitted they had spoken or complained against the Lord: Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee (Num. 21:7a). While the people complained to Moses, God saw them as complaining to Him. When the Lord dealt with them about it, the people saw their sin and action from God’s perspective. They saw it the same way God saw it: “When we complained to Moses we were also complaining to the Lord!”  Friends, you need to know that when you complain about the hardness of God’s ways, you’re automatically complaining to the Lord. That’s the way the Lord sees it and that’s the way you’ll eventually see it when the fiery serpents start biting.

Now there’s no doubt the way is hard. The children of Israel had to go around the land of Edom. They had to go through barren desert land. There was nothing imaginary or made-up about the people’s circumstances or about the people’s complaints. What the people were complaining about was true! The way was hard!  But JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE VALID, LEGITIMATE THINGS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD COMPLAIN. IT DOESN’T MAKE COMPLAINING RIGHT.

Brethren, the hardness of the Christian life should not be made a matter of complaint! Why? Because complaining doesn’t do any good. I’m wondering if I can just stop here and let these last five words sink fully into our heart: complaining doesn’t do any good! To the contrary, it makes matters worse and it gets you into trouble with God. When the way got tough, the people complained: And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. (5a) And the people spake against God, and against Moses (Num. 21:4,5a).

  • Now notice that when the people complained about the way, their complaints did not make the way easier. In fact, the way got harder because the people now had to deal with fiery serpents crawling and biting all over the place.
  • When the people complained about their trials, their complaints did not stop or take away their trials. Their complaints brought on more trials (really, chastisement) and these added trials-so-called were even deadlier than the trials that they were already going through with water and food. Their added trials killed many of them.
  • The people’s complaints did not change God’s mind about the way He had chosen for them to go. When God heard their complaints He did not change His mind about the detour around the land of Edom. God stuck to His way. He did not make it easier for the people, He did not choose an easier way.
  • The people’s complaints did not stop them from going the way God wanted them to go. Even though it was harder, more inconvenient, and more time- consuming, God wanted them to go around the land of Edom. That’s the way He led them and that’s the way they went. Their bellyaching did not stop them from going through the trial: they still had to go through it.
  • The only way the people could get out of having to go God’s way was death. Those who didn’t like God’s way and who didn’t repent of their complaining ended up not going God’s way. They died.

The people’s complaints, I am saying, didn’t do them any good. It didn’t help them. When God dealt with them about their complaints, the people had only one choice: either repent or die.

When we complain today because of the hardness or unreasonableness of the way and of the Word, the choice is not as clear-cut because there aren’t any literal fiery serpents around to kill us. We can complain and still live through it: God doesn’t strike us dead. And because He doesn’t strike us dead, that makes it easier for us to go on ahead and complain without giving much thought about the need to repent. No serpents, no confession. No chastisement, no repentance.

You see, it was the chastisement of fiery serpents that brought the people to repentance. If God hadn’t sent the serpents, they would have kept up their complaints. But the serpents brought their complaints to an end: it brought them to confession and repentance of sin.

Brethren, just because God hasn’t sent you the serpents yet doesn’t mean it’s alright for you to keep on complaining about God’s way; just because God’s hand of chastisement hasn’t got ahold of you yet doesn’t mean you don’t need to repent. Friends, now is the time to repent. Do you need serpents before you will repent?  Complain all you want–complaining will not do you any good!

Notice in the text of Scripture that WHEN THE WAY GOT TOUGH, IT GOT EVEN TOUGHER WHEN THE PEOPLE COMPLAINED ABOUT IT. People started dying all over the place because of the serpents. However, it was repentance that brought the bellyaching to an end: it was repentance that brought healing and a new lease on life. When the people repented, God saved them from death.

Brethren, when the way gets tough and you don’t feel like it’s right, you don’t feel like going on, the answer is not to complain. If you do complain, then you need to know that you stand in need of repentance. Without repentance, you, like the Israelites, will ultimately die. The easy way will kill you (Matthew 7:13).Your faithlessness will kill you  (Hebrews 4:11).Your departure from God and His truth will kill you (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Peter 3:17).

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 5. I’ll continue to show you how you can get up when you’re down. The cool thing is, it really isn’t that hard—not if you have a mind to get up and enjoy life again. You’re not doing it alone: God will help you. Check in next time for a lift.




3. DISCOURAGEMENT LEADS TO MURMURING.  Discouragement, despair, and self-pity eventually lead to murmuring. You look around at what’s happening to you. You don’t like it. It’s hurting or adversely affecting you. So what do you do? Like the Israelites, you blame God! And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. (5) And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread (Numbers 21:4,5). It’s all God’s fault! God’s wrong for allowing the trial. He’s wrong for letting the trial go this far. This long. He’s wrong for not answering our prayers.  He’s wrong for not making matters any better. He’s wrong for making life so hard. God’s wrong!

The purpose or advantage of making such accusations against God is it puts all the blame and responsibility on God. You can drop out of the race, you can walk out of the furnace, you can leave the Lord and the church; blaming God and maintaining your rightness and innocence. It’s all God’s fault. And as long as it’s God’s fault, you’re not to blame. You’re not wrong!  So, with this summary judgment, you do whatever you want to do, you go wherever you want to go, without shouldering any guilt or responsibility. It isn’t your fault!

4. DISCOURAGEMENT TAKES YOU BACK.  When you fear for your life and welfare (this desert walk will kill me!), you’ll do what you must to try and preserve it. You see, the Israelites were in a barren desert land with very little food and water. It didn’t look too good for them. The desert didn’t look too promising. There wasn’t much hope that the desert would feed them and quench their thirst. If you read through the entire wilderness narrative (Exodus & Numbers), you’ll find that most of the Israelites’ complaints had to do with food and water: they complained about the desert’s threat to their physical well-being. In a word, they feared for their lives.

Brethren, you’re not in a literal desert. But often times, this life with all its trials is every bit like a desert. And you can get to fearing for your life. How is this trial going to end?  Pondering on the way, it doesn’t look too good and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end well for you. So what do you do? You try to preserve your life and insure your safety or well-being. How do you do that? You quit walking with the Lord, you leave the church, and you go back to Egypt.

For some, (1) Egypt is the world and the freedom to do whatever they want to do. The freedom to be lustful and live for the flesh. (2) For others, Egypt is the false religious systems of man that allow you to believe whatever you want to believe; live however you want to live; without getting any flack or conviction about it. No laws. No rules. God doesn’t really want anything from you. He doesn’t expect you to do anything for Him. All He wants is for you to believe Him and if you do that, you’ll go to Heaven. (3) For still others, Egypt is a no-man’s-land, a barren wilderness. They’re not in the world, they’re not in church. They stay at home, to themselves and go nowhere, spiritually speaking. It’s called spiritual stagnancy, complacency, and lukewarmness.

5. DISCOURAGEMENT KILLS YOU! If you don’t get rid of discouragement, discouragement will ultimately kill you in a spiritual way. It’ll kill you in Egypt. It’ll kill you in compromise and delusion. It’ll kill you in complacency and apathy. Discouragement kills!

Like many of the Israelites, the desert journey ended in death. When the way got tough, the people became discouraged. In their discouragement, they complained and let their tongue run loose against God and against their God-chosen leader. And their complaining, in turn, ended in death: And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died (Numbers 21:6). The Lord didn’t allow His people to complain and get away with it. He dealt with it.

Brethren, you can’t complain, criticize and find fault with God and His ways and get away with it. God will deal with you about it. And when that happens, it isn’t very pleasant. God doesn’t take too kindly to your complaints. The way may be hard and discouraging; there may be lots of things to complain about. But considering God’s provision thus far, His miracle of manna and water out of rocks, His many answers to your prayers, and His preservation of your life and soul to date; you really have nothing to complain about! You have no business finding fault with God! That kind of conduct can only lead to your demise in the desert. So you’re not happy with the way things are going? My friends, watch out! Fiery serpents are close at hand.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 4. When you’re down and out, what can you do to get up and going again? You don’t want to miss this next blog. Come on by and, instead of letting the Devil bury you, we’ll get you out of the hole and bury him instead.



Webster defines discouragement as the state of being disheartened or dispirited, not having courage or hope. The word is synonymous with depression, dejection, and hopelessness.

In the Hebrew, the word discourage (qâtsar) basically means ‘short’ and it’s used figuratively to denote being short of courage, patience, or endurance. The idea here in Numbers is one of utter discouragement: the people did not like the way. They were worn out. They had reached the limits of their endurance.


Why did the people become discouraged? They became discouraged because of the way: And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way, Numbers 21:4. They had to go around the land of Edom. The way was long and the land was arid. They didn’t like the inconvenience the Edomites  put them through. So they became discouraged.

It’s not different for us today. Like the Israelites, we become discouraged because of the way. We don’t like the way things are going. We don’t like the trials we’re in. We don’t like what’s happening to us. Things aren’t going the way we want them to go. Our prayers aren’t getting answered fast enough. If at all. We’re tired of the inconveniences and frustrations that are all too common in the way. The journey’s too hard. The way is too narrow. God’s got too many laws or requirements: His standards and demands are just too lofty, too idealistic, no one can live it. There’s so much opposition to us–and it’s even coming from our relatives, our brethren–the Edomites. It’s getting too lonely. We’ve lost too many of the brethren. We’ve got no friends.  The manna we’re getting every day or every week is supernatural, fresh from Heaven. But we’re used to it. We’ve had so much of it that we’ve come to despise it. It’s getting old. We’re tired of the same old manna, the same old message, the same old Word. We want something different. Something easier. Something less convicting or demanding. We’ve walked enough! We’ve suffered enough! We’ve had enough! We’re discouraged because of the way. And as a result, we find fault with God.

The cause of discouragement is painfully simple: it’s Self. We’re discouraged because things aren’t going our way: they aren’t going the way we would like for them to go. The Lord isn’t doing it the way we want Him to do it: the preacher isn’t preaching what we want him to preach; the message and walk aren’t what we want them to be. We’re not getting our way; we’re not having it our way. And because we’re not dying out to our own way, problems arise. Brethren, the Lord is talking to us in this hour about the need for us to die out to our own way. Have we gotten the message yet? Are we dying out yet? If not, then that’s the reason why we’re discouraged.


It’s easy to become discouraged, especially when there are so many discouraging things going on and too many discouraging things happening. And while it’s easy to give in to discouragement, seldom, if ever, do we take the time to consider beforehand what happens to us when we become discouraged.

If people knew there was a bomb in the plane, they wouldn’t fly that plane. If they knew a barge had damaged the bridge, they wouldn’t drive over that bridge. If they knew the salesman was dishonest, they wouldn’t have done business with him.  Do you see what I mean? Knowledge of danger or wrong keeps us from plunging headlong into trouble.

And by the same token, it’s easy to rush into something when we don’t know what lies ahead and don’t see the dangers involved. Brethren, discouragement has its dangers. There are risks involved when we give in to discouragement. And if we had the foresight, I would like to believe we’d think twice and not be too quick about giving in to discouragement. So what happens when we become discouraged?

1. DISCOURAGEMENT WEAKENS US.  One of the most harmful things discouragement does to us is it weakens us. Discouragement affects our spirit. It controls our spirit. Hence, it affects and controls our whole outlook on life: it affects and controls our attitudes and the way we respond to life’s problems or situations. Like a serpent coiled about its victim, discouragement saps all the life, joy, hope, and enthusiasm out of us. It drains us of all our spiritual energies. It weakens us. It causes us to become weary and tired. It robs us of the strength, motivation, or willingness to endure the trial, fight the war, run the race, and finish it.

Beloved, spiritual weariness is Satan’s tactic of the hour. It’s what he’s doing most against those of us who have committed ourselves to the Lord. Do you know why Satan’s fighting hard to discourage us? Because when a person is tired, he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t care anymore. He doesn’t care about anything. He’s deaf and apathetic towards everything else. He can’t do anything. He doesn’t want to do anything. All he wants is rest. He just wants to be left alone so that he can get some rest.

And it’s the same way in the spiritual realm. When you become weary in spirit, you don’t care about anyone or anything. You don’t care anymore. And because you don’t care, it’s very hard for anyone to reach out and minister to you. You don’t hear, you don’t listen, because you don’t care. Nothing matters to you. Nothing concerns you. You aren’t interested. You’re tired. You can’t go on. You just want to be left alone. And when people won’t leave you alone, if the problems don’t stop, you get ugly and mean. It’s like you become another person.

2. DISCOURAGEMENT LEADS TO DESPAIR. It is the nature and work of discouragement to breed despair. When you’re discouraged and you don’t take care of it, you eventually become a very despairing person without faith or courage or hope. You see, discouragement is often what happens when you allow your senses to go uncontrolled. You look at the way, you look at the journey ahead, you look at the trials today, you let your mind reason any old way it wants to. And the result is, you become discouraged because of the way. Discouragement, I am saying, is a product of uncontrolled senses.

When you look at how bad things are going, two things invariably result. First, you despair. You’re so busy looking at the giants and Goliaths that you lose sight of God, you forget what God can do. You don’t see any remedies. You see no door of escape. Hope fades, my friend, when your vision is blurred. WHEN YOU GET YOUR EYES ON CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU LOSE SIGHT OF GOD. AND WHEN YOU LOSE SIGHT OF GOD, YOU LOSE COURAGE, HOPE, AND FAITH. That’s the way it always is! You lose courage, hope and faith when you get your eyes off of God. As a result, because you’ve got no courage or faith, you don’t do anything. You don’t rise up and fight back. You sit still and let the Devil run ram shod all over you. You resign yourself to “whatever will be, will be.”  Little do you realize that with God and with faith, whatever will be, won’t be.

And a second thing that happens when you let your senses wander is self-pity. You look at all the bad things that are happening to you and you get to pitying yourself. You feel sorry for yourself because it doesn’t look too good for you. You become a very self-centered person.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 3. More on the things discouragement does to you. It’s such a sad picture that you just don’t want to have anything to do with discouragement. It’ll motivate you to get out of that hole in the ground and look at the sunshine of God’s love and power.



Numbers 20:14-21 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: (15) How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: (16) And when we cried unto the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border: (17) Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. (18) And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword. (19) And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet. (20) And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. (21) Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

Numbers 21:4-9 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. (5) And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. (6) And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. (7) Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. (8) And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. (9) And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.


Many sermons have been preached on the brazen serpent. And rightly so. But in this series of blogs we want to focus our attention on the circumstances that gave rise to the fiery serpents. What brought on the fiery serpents? As we read in Scripture, the people journeyed from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea in order to compass the land of Edom.

Now the word compass simply means to go around, or bypass; it’s the same thing as taking a detour. Now you know that a detour is seldom, if ever, a short cut. It’s generally the long way around and no one likes it: it’s inconvenient and takes that much more time to get to one’s destination. And this is exactly what happened at Mount Hor.

The shortest way to the promised land was through the land of Edom. Now the Edomites were descendants of Esau. The Israelites were descendants of Jacob, who was Esau’s younger brother. The Israelites and Edomites, then, were relatives. They were family. But the Edomites refused to let their brethren pass through their land.

Consequently, the Israelites had to go around their land. This meant going back down by the Red Sea, towards the Gulf of Akaba, then eastward, and finally back northward around the land of Edom and into the land of Moab. This route, naturally, was a longer one. It involved going through miles and miles of barren desert land, with little food or water. The conditions were right, or ripe, for complaining. And, as you would expect, that’s exactly what the Israelites did.

Now the distressful nature of the journey did not justify or legitimize the people’s complaints. Just because you have something to complain about doesn’t mean you should complain. It doesn’t mean it’s alright for you to complain.

Did you catch what the Israelites said in their confession of repentance to Moses? They said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee (Numbers 21:7). They acknowledged their complaining as sin. Brethren, COMPLAINING IS SIN! And God doesn’t take too kindly to that sin.



When the Israelites complained, the Lord sent them fiery serpents. Now these serpents were not serpents of fire. They were not serpents that were somehow mysteriously set on fire. Rather, fiery serpents denote the burning sensation that is felt when one is bitten by such a serpent. The bite would become inflamed with heat and poison. In a very real and felt way, it burned. As a result of these serpentine bites, many of the Israelites died. God punished them for their complaining. Their complaints resulted in their death.

What I would like for you to see from the text of Scripture is, the fiery serpents began with discouragement: And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way (Numbers 21:4). The fiery serpents began with discouragement. And for many of the Israelites, they ended in death. The people were discouraged with the way. And as a result, they died in the way. Discouragement ended in death.

I suppose it comes as no news to you that the same holds true today. Many in the Christian way have become discouraged with the way. The journey has become a matter of complaint. There’s always something to complain about. People are not shy about letting us know what they don’t like about the preacher or the church. And just like the Israelites, the congregation has become a little more sparse as fiery serpents slither their way through the camp, releasing their venom on those who find fault with God and the way. The discouraged among us are dying. Many have already died. They’ve left the Lord and have gone back to the vomit of the world. They’ve forsaken the truth for something easier and more palatable to the flesh. And while many have already died, more are on the way. Are you one of these of whom I speak? Have you found fault with God and the way? Are you ready to give up? Are you ready to leave the Lord, the church, and the Christian life?


My friends, don’t throw in the towel! Don’t be so ready to quit. Sure, the trials are fiery. But so are the serpents! The road to Heaven may not be heavenly. But the easy way to Hell is definitely hellish! You don’t turn away from the Lord and go to Heaven to be with the Lord! When you choose to live without the Lord now, you’ve chosen to live without the Lord for all eternity. When you turn away from God and go back to the world and the sinful life you once knew, you’re going down the road that will lead you to Hell. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (39) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:38-39).

Sure, you ‘re discouraged. Who of us doesn’t battle discouragement at some time in the way? You’ve got to remember you’re not the only pickle in the jar. You’re not the only lobster in the pot. You’re not the only catfish in the pan. The way that’s hard for you is the same way that’s hard for the rest of us. We’re all in this journey together. The things that are discouraging you are discouraging us too. We lack the same bread and water that you do. We travel through the same barren desert that you do. You’re not alone.

But some of us have, by God’s grace, managed to get back up, rise from the ashes of discouragement, and press on in the Christian journey. You can too! We looked at the brazen serpent. And so can you! Discouragement doesn’t have to end in death. You may have found fault with God. You may have been bitten by serpents. But it’s not over yet. You’re still here. You’re still alive. Don’t sit there and let the serpents bite! Don’t let the poison take your life! Do something good for yourself and look! Look at the brazen serpent. Look to the Lord. Look to the promises. And look at what God has to say to you in this hour. God has lifted up the brazen serpent for you! And it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived (Numbers 21:9). The brazen serpent was meant to heal and deliver and restore life to all God’s people. And that, my friends, includes you! The brazen serpent is still lifted up. And it’s still lifted up for you.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 2. I look at what discouragement does to you. How it affects you. It’s not anything you don’t already know. But you need a good talking-to to help you see what you’re allowing discouragement to do to you. If you want to wake up from the nightmarish dream that your life is, come by next week for our next wake up call.