Monday, March 4, 2013
Satan loves to try to discourage us and rob us of our joy as believers. Satan can never snatch us out of the hand of our Lord God, for we are safe in the hands of the Lord forever. So Satan tries to do the next best thing in his eyes. Satan tries to rob us of our joy and effectiveness as Christians.
As a caregiver it is so easy to become discouraged. The heartaches of seeing one’s loved one suffer and deteriorate in his or her body can be very overwhelming. Even the psalmists in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament often expressed feelings of discouragement. In some cases they were experiencing deep trials in spite of their present faithfulness to the Lord God. Hence, they sometimes felt abandoned, crushed, and devalued by God.
Often the psalmists expressed discouragement and perplexity in the midst of their trials. They also, however, expressed faith and confidence in God’s ability to help and restore them. The psalmists further used good battle strategies in facing discouragement. Dear Christian caregiver, perhaps you feel perplexed and discouraged by the difficult circumstances of your care-giving days. The Psalms speak words of advice to you and to all of us in facing discouragement.
One strategy for fighting discouragement demonstrated in the Psalms is prayer. Prayer should be our first recourse for help, deliverance, and restoration in times of trouble and challenge. Prayer should also be our first recourse in fighting the discouragement which sometimes accompanies difficult times. Through the avenue of prayer we can gain peace, joy, and relief from discouragement in facing life’s challenges.
Another strategy for fighting Satan’s attempts to discourage us is a firm confidence in the Lord’s directing and unfailing love, kindness, and faithfulness. We must also pray with the psalmists of old for the Lord God’s guiding and directing light and truth on our paths throughout this life. If we saturate our lives with prayer and the truths of God’s Word, we will have the confidence of the Lord’s presence in our lives. We will also have His joy in full and a song in our hearts. (Psalm 42:8)
Remembering and praising God for His past mercies among His people and in our own personal lives is another great way to fight Satan’s attempts to discourage us. A powerful deterrent to discouragement in present trials and in future challenges is remembering how the Lord God has helped us in the past. (Psalm 77:11-12)
Yet another strategy for fighting discouragement is God-directed self-talk. (Psalm 42:5 & 11 & Psalm 43:5) Saturating one’s mind with God’s Holy Word and then verbally reminding oneself of the awesome truths and promises of God’s Holy Word is one of the best prescriptions against Satan’s discouraging lies.
One final strategy in fighting discouragement is to vow to praise God during our trials and in excited anticipation of the Lord’s answers to our prayers and wonders in our lives. (Psalm 43:4) May the Lord God’s song and joy not Satan’s discouraging lies reside in you, dear caregiver, and in all of us!