The consequences of despair- Part 2

By Dave Henning / November 23, 2013

In today’s post, Charles Stanley concludes his discussion of the four consequences of despair.

2.  Poor testimony.  Dr. Stanley states that Satan’s goal is to “damage your testimony and squelch your effectiveness for the kingdom of God”, to stop us from revisioning our calling.  When despair is our primary response, there’s nothing in our witness to recommend Jesus to the unbeliever.

3.  Self-destructive actions.  We may seek to alleviate our despair in worldly ways that actually will increase our bondage and deepen our isolation.  In fact, the author notes, our choice of activities may not even make sense to ourselves.  Such activities won’t satisfy our deep longing in our hurting souls.  Only Jesus can do that.

4.  A desire to quit- permanently.  When the burden of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss seems too great to bear, we may choose to walk away from our ministry or vocation.  Yet, as Dr. Stanley emphasizes, there’s always hope in God.  John Donne, the 17th-century English author, struggled with horrible physical ailments, poverty, and depression.  Five of his twelve children died young.  However, Donne affirmed God’s goodness in Mediation XVII of Devotions upon Emergent Occasions:

“Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it and made fit for God by that affliction. . . . Tribulation is treasure . . . we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it.”

Today’s question (from Charles Stanley): How difficult is it to choose to trust God despite your circumstances?  Why do you think it is so much easier to succumb to your natural feelings of defeat? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “God’s perfect provision for Elijah- and us!”

Special note:  Thanksgiving Short Meditation, “Weekends with Mickey”, will post on Monday.

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Dave Henning

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