To counterattack disappointment and to hold it at the line of attack so that there is no penetration of your soul, you need to launch the Christian’s Strategic Defense System (SDS) of faith. It’s an SDS that in meekness praises God in every situation by seeing it as God’s sovereign appointment.
Don’t be deceived. In God’s book, meekness is not weakness. The Greek word praus in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount translated “meek” in the King James Version and “gentle” in the New American Standard Bible means “power or strength under control”—it is the gentleness of soul and spirit that trusts God and consequently gives thanks to Him in all things. It is seeing everything as permitted by God and accepting it without retaliation or dispute.
So what if you are not meek or gentle as the Greek is translated—what if you refuse to respond biblically, if you refuse to give thanks in everything, not believing that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you? Then the next “deadly D” that the enemy will launch against you is DISCOURAGEMENT.
When you are discouraged, it is so easy to throw up your hands and say, “I’ll never make it! I’ll never survive. It’s no use. I will never get out of this one.”
To become discouraged is to become disheartened—to be weakened, to lose your courage so that you think there is no way you can win and come out the victor. And really, if you do not deal with discouragement, you lose courage and wave the white flag of surrender when you didn’t have to!
After Moses died, God was very careful to admonish his successor, [esvignore]Joshua[/esvignore], to “be strong and courageous” as he led the children of Israel into the long-awaited Promised Land. God repeats Himself three times in a matter of five sentences as He says to [esvignore]Joshua[/esvignore]: “Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:5-9). Courage rather than discouragement would bring the children of Israel into the promises of God.
The word translated “strong” is chazaq, which means “to fasten on something, to seize, to grip.” “Courage” is amats—“to be alert, physically, mentally, to not fall apart.” Getting a grip on God and holding on courageously is what we are called to do. It will keep us from trembling, as Joshua 1:9 says, from being dismayed—broken down by violence, confusion, fear. Oh how we need this in these days.
[esvignore]Joshua[/esvignore] would have known how discouragement at Kadesh-barnea had brought 40 years of wilderness wandering to the children of Israel—40 years because they focused on the giants in the land and forgot the promises of God. Instead of being strong as Joshua and Caleb suggested, believing God’s promises and facing their enemies in faith, the Israelites were swept into deception by the discouraging report of 10 spies—and for 40 years missed “the rest of faith,” as [esvignore]Hebrews 3[/esvignore] says.
It will be worth your time to read Numbers 13:25-14:38 and list the main events covered in this passage. There are vital lessons to be learned here, for the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction and as examples so that we might persevere and have encouragement [esvignore](1 Corinthians 10:11; Romans 15:4)[/esvignore].
If, dear reader, you’ve been wandering in a wilderness of discouragement, know this, there is a way of escape.
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.