Like the atomic bomb of an army’s arsenal, I believe discouragement is one of the most powerful and decimating of Satan’s weapons against us. Discouragement is often the basis on which we give up on our walk with God and on the mission He has called us to. Once we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Satan cannot remove us from the family of God. However, if he can manage to discourage us, he can render us useless to the Kingdom of God.
Discouragement can come in many forms, but in my life, it most often comes from those around me disapproving of me, my looks, or my work. I can quickly be shot down by harshly spoken words or a condemning look. It is literally as though someone robs the strength from my body. Satan is an expert at knowing just how best to discourage and defeat us, and when we find our identity and worth in anything or anyone other than Christ, we open the door to Satan’s discouragement.
Maybe you have experienced this as well. If you have, let me encourage you that there is hope! Though Satan’s attacks are strong, we serve a much stronger God who offers us protection against discouragement. What is this protection? I’m so glad you’ve asked! It is the truth of our identity. When we understand the truth that our identity is found fully and completely in Jesus Christ and not in the approval of others, we can stand strong against discouragement.
The story of Nehemiah is an amazing picture of a man who was used mightily by the Lord because he found his identity and affirmation in the Lord and not in what others said about him. As he led in the re-building of the wall around Jerusalem, he was bombarded with rumors about his character, his motives, and his safety (Nehemiah 6). Yet, he recognized them for what they were, attacks from the enemy without a basis in truth. Nehemiah said,
“For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, ‘Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.’ Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9
If Nehemiah had found his identity in what was being said about him, he would have jumped off that wall in order to address the rumors. The calling God had placed on his life (re-building the wall) would have never been completed, and the enemy would have had victory. However, Nehemiah faithfully remained on that wall, finding his value and calling in God alone, and recognizing the lies of Satan’s attempt to discourage him.
If you find yourself struggling with the battle of identity, being bombarded by the enemy’s discouragement, I encourage you to claim these facts as truth about who God says you are in Him:
- You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
- You were created purposefully (Jeremiah 1:5)
- You do not have to live in condemnation (Romans 8:1)
- You are a co-heir with Christ Jesus, a daughter of God (Romans 8:15-17)
- Nothing can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39)
- Your weakness allows God’s strength to be made known (2 Corinthians 2:9)
- You have been called to walk in the worth of Christ alone (Ephesians 4:1)
“Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9b).
About the Writer:
Kate has the privilege of serving as the Girls Ministry Director at Frist Baptist Dallas. She has a heart for helping girls come to know and build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She is also contributor to Lifeway Girls Ministry resources.