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12. Defeating Discouragement

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In Your Bible Read This

Joshua 1

Here Is Your Memory Verse

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1.9

Afterwards Talk About This

Is anyone in the group discouraged. Be honest because God gives grace to the humble. Minister to each other.

Something To Do Before Next Time

Ask God in prayer to lead you to some people who are discouraged, and begin to minister hope to them. Offer to pray for them according to the answers we have found.

Written Diploma Work

Look at the reasons for discouragement and write two pages on where those reasons could be seen in life today.

Meditate Word By Word On This Passage

1 Peter 5, 6-11

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Niger – 8,000,000 African desert tribes. 90% strong and organised Muslims, 0.38% Christian but open to gospel. At least 19 unreached peoples.

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

I will always remember my friend John. One day shortly after he was wonderfully saved from a life of drug addiction he stood up to sing Psalm 42, verses 1, 2, 5 and 6 in a beautiful deep voice.

“Why are you downcast O my soul,

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Saviour and my God.”

Years later I heard that John had been retired from leadership, and he was very discouraged. What had happened?

Discouraged? You Are Not Alone!

Discouragement is one of Satan’s favourite weapons, and he has used it against God’s people down all the ages. Read what these people said,

  • Moses, in Numbers 11.15
  • Joshua, in Joshua 7.7
  • Elijah, in 1 Kings 19.4
  • Job, in Job 10.1
  • David in Psalms 42, 5 and 43,5.
  • Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 15.10
  • Two disciples, in Luke 24.17.

So Why Are You So Downcast?

Encouragement is when we gain more courage so discouragement means the very opposite and happens when some-thing causes our courage to drain away. Here are some of the reasons why that happened to people in the Bible ~

The Hardness Of The Journey

In Numbers 21.4 the people were tired of their journey to the promised land. The desert was taking its toll.

Rubbish From The Past

In Nehemiah 4.10 the people were worn out moving rubble from the past. That can be true for us too when past habits come back and cause us to fall.

Words From The Enemy

In Neh. 4.11 the local enemies added a stream of discouraging negative words.

Eyes Off Jesus, Back On The World

In Psalm 73, 2-3 the writer testifies that he almost fell when he stopped trusting God and started envying the prosperity of the wicked. Danger!

Secret Or Deceitful Ways

In 2 Cor. 4.2, Paul knows how discouraging it can be when people do selfish things behind your back.

The God Of This Age

That’s Satan, mentioned in 2 Cor. 4.4. God is the One who gives endurance and encouragement, see Romans 15.5, so that you know you who it is that pours out discouragement.

Personal Empire Building

Never carries the blessing of God and always leads to failure and discouragement. See 2 Cor. 4.5

Physical Tiredness And Weakness

In 2 Cor. 4.7 Paul calls us jars of clay to show how fragile we are, and how glorious is God’s treasure within. Remember that jars of clay easily break or crack and that is true of our bodies and minds if we overwork them.

The Dealings Of God

If we forget that the Master potter is always busy moulding, shaping and stretching us to make us more like Jesus, then we can soon become discouraged with some of the things that happen to us in God’s workshop. See 2 Cor. 4.8-11.

How To Overcome Discouragement

There is no one thing that you can always do because as you have seen the reasons for discouragement are so varied. But here are some steps to take.

Recognise The Giants At The Gateway

The two giants who guard the entrance to the promised land even today are called fear and discouragement. If you are hearing from them and feeling their pressure then you know that you are close to your promises.At this crucial time like Joshua you must be strong and courageous and press on in the grace that God gives. See Joshua 1.9.

Understand What Is Happening

In 2 Corinthians 4.16, Paul says not to lose heart because through our troubles we are being renewed inwardly. He says that these light and momentary troubles are achieving something good for us in God.

Hope In God

Even if faith is low you can still hope in God and believe that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. See Psalm 42.5 and Romans 16.20

Confess Your Need, Ask For Prayer

In Ecclesiastes 4.12 we find out that two are better than one, especially if one is overpowered. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself, tell someone and pray together, particularly binding Satan.

Receive From God

Open your heart and let Holy Spirit minister God’s endurance, encouragement, hope, joy and peace to you. Romans 15.5 and 13.

Deal With The Natural Causes

When Elijah was tired and discouraged God sent food and rest for him before dealing with the real reasons and giving him a new word, a new direction and a new hope. 1 Kings 19, 3-18.

Stand On The Promise Of God

Peter counsels us to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, to cast our anxiety on him, controlling ourselves, resisting the devil and helping others who are also suffering. He gives great hope by saying that the God of all grace will soon come himself to personally restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5, 6-11

To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.


People Name Language Population
Andi (Qwannab) Andi 10,000
Caucasian Mountain Jew Tat, Hebrew 15,000


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