- Christmas time and with the holidays come a lot of stress and the
disquietude of this time of the year drains all of us no matter how spiritual we may be.
There are church responsibilities, family responsibilities, friendship responsibilities
and the list goes on. There is only 24 hours in a day, even at Christmas time. This time
of the year is probably the most beautiful though, since there are so many houses lit up
and the night time is filled with those lights and for a brief moment even the unbeliever
knows something is different about this day. Yet the unbeliever being attached to this
world does not know the real reason they are putting lights on their house. To them it is
a festival of lights and good cheer and being nice to those they even hate. There are many
who do not celebrate Christmas for they say it is a pagan holiday.
- Christmas comes at a special time of year and it does not come on the birthday of the
Lord Jesus since He was born in either September or October. The Shepherds were still in
the field which means the temperatures were still warm enough to allow them to remain
outside with their flocks. December 25 is a very appropriate day to celebrate the birth of
the Lord Jesus. When one looks at the calendar, we see the 25th comes only about 1 to 3
days after the winter solstice which means the beginning of winter. When the sun passes
the solstice at this time of year, the days begin to get longer and the sun gives more
light and slowly the winter fades into the beauty which we know as spring.
- Until we see spring come on the scene with all its regenerating beauty, there is still
the matter of a few more months of winter which means a few more months of cabin fever and
for many it means increased isolation or loneliness. At least in the summer you can sit
outside and putter around in the garden or work on the property or something akin to that.
Just this past week, isolation got the best of me for a while. It got to the point I sent
out a despondent e-mail to a few friends stating that I felt like quitting the ministry
and just leaving it all behind and the reason I gave was there was no response to the
truth and the lethargic mindset of many Christians caused me to stand still and ask if it
was worth it to spend hours in front of a computer studying the Bible and disseminating
truth when it is always trashed by the majority of so-called Christians. Bible truth is
hated in the churches and I was tired of getting thrown out of them for standing for the
- Well as you can tell I was off course for a while and I had my eye focused on the
worldly response to Biblical truth. Then a good brother in New York State sent me two
e-mails: One was a personal letter advising me to check my motives and the second one was
an article he wrote concerning missions and he used the ministry of Isaiah as his subject.
Both of these communiqués played
a great part in my spiritual restoration by getting me to realize I had my eyes in the
wrong direction. I was looking for sunrise in the west.
- At this point I want to share some reality principles with you which will help when you
become spiritually discouraged or want to give up like I did. It is good to note that God
didnt throw a lightning bolt at me instead He raised up a brother to fight the good
fight with me. I am sure that those preachers on this list can identify with the fact that
if you constantly minister and minister without being ministered to, you will become
drained and eventually discouraged. Let us now attend to some of those principles.
- How to Fight Discouragement
- God is Close
- Sometimes when we are discouraged we feel God is so far away but the truth is when we
get ourselves off track He is right there to restore us. God never moves away from His
children but He is always faithful and ready to hear our prayers. Many times we dont
go to God because we believe we can fix our discouragement on our own and this is a big
lie. God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows exactly how to restore us.
Never make the mistake in believing that when we get off track God is ready to throw a
lightning bolt at us. He does not do that, He is the embodiment of love toward His
children. When David sinned with Bathsheba and was finally confronted with his sin, he
asked God to restore him. (Psa 51:12 KJV) Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and
uphold me with thy free spirit. If God is willing to restore David back to a right
relationship with Him, would He not do the same thing for you.
- Keep your expectancy low
- If there is one area I have made a mistake in all my 20 years of being a Christian is
setting my expectations of Christians too high. This is a great mistake and has many times
sent my spirit plummeting. As we get closer to the last day, I am finding out that the
majority of Christians have departed from the central and cardinal truths of the
Scriptures and this is why they have become deaf to the truth. Let me impart one major
truth that can keep you from being discouraged in this area. Whenever you give truth to a
Christian, always give them a photocopy. In other words, when they reject it and throw it
away, you will have the originals. You are not responsible for their willful rejection of
truth. If you bring them truth, you have been faithful in your duty but keep your
expectancy low for the reception of truth and this holds true for your friends also.
Remember Jobs three friends? They no doubt knew him for quite a while but when they
were confronted with truth, they completely misunderstood the truths about God. They did
not say what was right concerning Him as the majority of Christians do today. Try telling
a free will, love gospel Christian that God does not love everyone, only His elect and see
what happens. Dont expect too much from the majority of modern day Christians. I
- Realize your Position in Christ
- Every true Christian is a son or daughter of the living, omnipotent God. Discouragement
will come to each Christian but because of our position in Christ, we never have to accept
a perpetual state of living in discouragement.
- (Psa 42:11 KJV) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within
me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and
- If you notice in this verse that it is not the flesh which becomes discouraged or cast
down but the spirit. Our spirit controls our flesh. If we are walking according to the
spirit, we will have victory over the flesh and the world but if we walk according to the
flesh, we will succumb to sin. The flesh is neutral, it is like money, it can be directed
in a good or evil direction. I am not saying that all discouragement is a result of sin. I
am saying that the flesh will follow the leading of the spirit. If I am discouraged in my
spirit then the adverse feelings come into my life and if we live in this type of state,
then even physical sickness can come from it. This is why the Psalmist asks his soul why
is it cast down? In light of our relationship to God, what right does it have to drag him
down? The Psalmist sees the fact that he will not always be discouraged but that he will
praise God once again who is his spiritual health. When discouragement starts to set in,
that is the time we need to seek the Lord, not wait until you get to the point of wanting
to give up, like I did. Living in a perpetual state of discouragement does not identify on
the outside with who we are on the inside. Blood bought children of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We of all in this world have the most to be joyous about. This is why I do not understand
why so many true Christians want to walk around with long faces and no smiles, do they
think they impress God with their facial morbidity.
- Your Possessions in Christ
- If there is one thing a Christian may look to during a time of discouragement, it is the
fact of all God has given us in Christ Jesus. Let us look at some of those things and when
we begin to reflect on these things the discouragement will begin to dissipate.
- 1) (Eph 1:7 KJV) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of his grace;
- Here we see the believers are a redeemed people by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ
and this resulted in the full forgiveness of our sins past, present and future which are
according to the full riches of His grace. Each true believer receives the grace of God
which undergirds our eternal salvation.
- 2) (Rom 11:29 KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
- Here we see that once God bestows upon His children the gift of salvation, He will never
recall it. We are totally secure in our salvation. We did nothing to earn it and we can do
nothing to lose it.
- 3) (Acts 10:34 KJV) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive
that God is no respecter of persons:
- Here we see that God does not play favorites. He loves His children equally and all will
receive the same inheritance of eternal life and the social or financial status here on
earth means nothing to God since God sees the bigger picture for His children.
- 4) (Eph 2:6 KJV) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
- What is that big picture? This verse gives us a little insight to the fact that God
views this whole world as over and His children up in heaven already.
The discouragement we have here on earth may seem pretty large at the time but
when we place it next to the magnitude of God, we can have assurance that our
discouragement will fade right into the hands of our Heavenly Father. Now push the button
to take us to the lobby. (12/17/00)