We all have it in our minds at one time or another – that raging voice of discouragement, accusation, and despair leveled at us by our old enemy, Satan. He tells us that we will never amount to anything, can’t do anything right, and are nothing but a disappointment – and always will be. But what we don’t often realize is exactly why he does this to us. Why does he fight so fiercely to discourage and tear us down?
The answer is simple: his ultimate goal is to get our eyes off Christ and onto our own shortcomings. The most effective way he can do that is by speaking to us the lies of discouragement. He loves to see the rotten fruit that ongoing, relentless discouragement cultivates in our lives – the subsequent practice of turning inward and placing our focus on ourselves, how we can “better” ourselves, how we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, all the while forgetting where our focus was always meant to be: on Christ.
But I have good news! There are four simple truths you can remember which will help you silence the enemy’s voice and take it captive to the reality of who you are in Christ!
- Remember Who He Is
First you have to remember Who God is in order to know who you are and where your true identity is found. God is the Creator of the universe, the One Who holds everything together, the perfect, sinless, faithful One, and the One Who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on your behalf – because that is how much He loves you! He created mankind at the beginning of time so that He might have a relationship with us. Then, when we broke fellowship by choosing sin over Him, He made a way to restore a right relationship between us once again.
- Remember Who You Are
That amazing, awe-inspiring, infinitely loving and holy God you just read about is the One in Whose image you were created! He’s the One Who, before the beginning of time, designed good works for you to walk in and fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). You are God’s daughter, His ambassador, His child adopted into His family, a co-heir with Christ, and a priest in the priesthood of believers. That is who you are. And that means that you can turn a deaf ear to the voice of discouragement, intentionally choosing instead to listen to the voice of truth Who is “among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17).
- Remember Where Your Strength Comes From
The wonderful news is that when the voice of discouragement comes – and it will come at some point! – you are not left alone without help, hope, or defense in sight. Instead, we are told that in Christ’s strength, we can do all things (Philippians 4:13) and that God has provided us with His very own armor to fight each and every attack Satan may ever attempt to wage against us (Ephesians 6:10-18). We need only put on the armor, take deceptive thoughts captive to the truth, and rather than buy into the lie of self-help, trust in Christ for our strength and help.
- Remember Who is Ultimately Responsible for the Results
While human responsibility is a thing, we do have choices to make everyday, and we are called to obedience and faithfulness in our daily tasks, one very important, refreshing thing to remember is this: God is ultimately the One Who will bring about the results. Discouragement is most prevalent when we begin to heed the lies associated with our callings and what we will or will not be able to accomplish. The enemy likes to tell us that we will never be able to fulfill the calling God has placed on our lives, but Paul offers us the truth which is the antidote to that lie. It is found in 1 Corinthians 3:6 which says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” You never have to feel as if you are going to let God down, destroy His plan, or ruin something, because He always, always finds a way to bring good out of everything and see His plan through to the end.
What I want you to know, friend, is that for every single discouraging lie the enemy could ever send your way, there is a truth in God’s Word to combat it. You need only take it, meditate on it, and send it firing in the enemy’s direction.