Left unchecked, discouragement will become your eyes and ears, determining what you see and hear and how you see and hear it . . . It will cause you to see negative where nothing is negative and miss the positive that is right in front of you.”- Paul David Tripp
In Chapter 8 (“The Discouragement Trap”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp describes discouragement as the spiritual war raging in the heart of every sufferer. This was, Pastor Tripp states, involves a battle for control of your heart as well as whatever functionally rules your heart. This, in turn, shapes the way you see life and your desires. Also, it controls your words and behavior.
Therefore, the author notes, the question isn’t just if you’re discouraged. Instead, the question is what you’re doing with your discouragement. Is you discouragement progressively taking control of how you see yourself, others, and God? As a result, unchecked discouragement robs you of your hope and motivation.
In addition, Pastor Tripp stresses, it’s not sin to be discouraged. Because, at times, we’re all called to deal with difficult surprises. For God’s plans often clash with he plans we have for ourselves. However, even though it’s not a sin to be discouraged, it’s deeply spiritually important how you handle that discouragement.
Most noteworthy, Pastor Tripp exhorts, heed the call to fight discouragement. For discouragement isn’t your friend. And it makes a very bad master.
Hence, in the next few blogs, the author calls our attention to two damaging results. These results occur when we allow discouragement to take root in our hearts in the midst of suffering.
Today’s question: What Bible verses help you fight the effects of discouragement left unchecked? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Discouragement – lens through which you see life?”