Discouragement is one of Satan's best used tools. And often discouragement
comes through the words and behavior of others. (Defeating Discouragement continued - to read Blog #1)
But there are other causes.
#2 Discouragement - The Way of Life
Life is not all ice-cream and cake. During Israel's trek toward the promised land they dealt with some harshness.
- Bitter water
- The attack of the Amorites
- No food
- No water
- Weariness with the food provided.
The Bible encapsulates Israel's situation:
. . . the soul of the people was much discouraged by the way
The way can be a problem. Because the way is never smooth. And unfortunately we look at others and think how easy things are for them.
It is folly to compare ourselves with others. It is equally foolish to compare the present to yesteryear. Such comparisons are often the birthplace of discouragement. Israel repeatedly remembered Egypt, as though it had been a great place to live. Hindsight is not only perfect, it is also forgetful.
It's In Your Mind
Getting discouraged by the way should be cut away. Spending too much time considering how hard life is, won't make life easier. Is it not better to just get your mind focused and do what you have to do. While discouraged by the way, I've spent more time grousing about a problem than it took time to fix the problem.
Sit in the same classroom with Paul and you will be educated on how to deal with the way.
I have learned in whatsoever state that I am in to be content,
I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound.
Same Old, Same Old
Driving across a desert is exciting, for about fifty miles, then monotony sets in. To get to the promised land Israel walked across a desert. When asked how things were going, dad might answer, "It's the same old, same old." From Egypt to Canaan, Israel did a lot of the same old, same old.
Boredom has sat in. They were tired of manna and hungry for change. They forgot God's provision and protection. While on the way, they came to a point of desiring a "new thing."
Most success requires a great deal of the same old, same old. It is trudging through life determined to not become discouraged by the monotony of the way.
- Every person who has achieved higher education has found it monotonous at times.
- The potter spins the wheel yet again.
- The author, songwriter, or artist - the monotony of cleaning brushes, and putting fingers precisely on the keys.
It's the grind that can get you. The same old, same old of the way.
The remedy for such monotony is to realize every person of accomplishment has been traveled a similar desert. So the question becomes -
What are You Destined for . . . ?
The desert was not Israel's destination. Instead, it was the way to their destination. There would be no possession of promise without this particular journey. And for Israel, the journey and the wandering after Kadesh-Barnea sifted out the faithless.
Some things fall away while in the desert. It is a time of elimination.
Rather than be discouraged by the way, be encouraged by your destination. Israel was being led through a wilderness; there was nowhere to go left or right. It was hostile country where either circumstances or enemies had them under constant attack.
Despite this, it was the right way. This was the will of God. God is with his people in the way, even when you are not enjoying the way - keep moving toward promise. No other way leads to the promise of God.