William Andrew Dillard
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Often, an overcome saint is the result of the war with the beast ( evil esp. in government), Rev.13:7. An interesting consideration is: has this happened before? Is there a precedent that could possibly prepare one for that possibility? Consider the following:
The terms “discourage” or “discouraged” appears only a few times in the Bible. Most of the appearances are in the Old Testament with one in the New Testament. They are all directed to or about God’s people. It is also interesting to note that usage is few, but employs several words to cover the idea’s spectrum. The Hebrew terms so translated are:
“Qatsar,” in Numbers 21:4. The word means primarily “to be short; hence, impatient, vexed and or grievous.” Here it depicts the reaction to hardships in the way of the Hebrew journey from Egypt. They were not discouraged because of the way, but in the way due to so many obstacles as well as the absence of the few conveniences of life afforded them in Egypt.
“Nuw,” in Numbers 32:7, 9; this term is primarily meaning “to hinder, forbid, disallow, refrain, or frustrate.” It depicts the state of the Hebrews after the evil report of the spies, turning them away from entering the Promised Land.
“Macac” is translated “discouraged” in Deut. 1:28 and means “Dissolve, melt, drop off.” It describes the heart of the Hebrews upon the report of the giants being in the Land of Promise.
“Chathath,” in Deuteronomy 1:21. This means “shattered, dismayed, broken, afraid.” It was used here in the negative as an admonition of encouragement for the Hebrews to take the Land of Promise.
Collecting the meaning of all these words, one finds that the Bible warns God’s people to NOT be impatient, vexed or grieved; to NOT accept hindrance, forbiddance, frustration or restraint from doing God’s Will; to NOT be shattered, dismayed, broken or afraid in heart and spirit; to NOT dissolve, melt or drop off in service and faith in Him.
Does the going get a little rough sometimes? You bet it does! Does Satan use the above named tactics to discourage, dissuade, and negate one’s discipleship? You bet he does! But to Israel, the Promised Land was still there and God’s victory was theirs for the claiming. To those who are standing for the Lord and His Word today, the reward of faithful service is still there and the Captain of the Host of the Lord is still present to give the victory.
So, let us all be aware of Satan’s tools of discouragement, and in the words of the beloved apostle Paul, “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9. The battle with the beast, and its outcome is every Christian’s war, and there are tremendous blessings for the Christian victor. In Christ you will be such a victor!
Tag Archives: discouragement
William Andrew Dillard
FEBRUARY 13 – Discouragement
Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
How many have the problem of discouragement? I certainly do. There are times where I start packing books because I am ready leave. Then I see that the Lord is not done with me here. Yet I still want greener pastures. I want a place where people are eager to go to Church and make that the highlight of their week because we are living in a day and age where the Word is PRECIOUS.
When I say the Word is precious, that means that there are few that are willing to stand for the whole counsel of God. There are too many preachers and saved that are willing to compromise where Jesus did not compromise. I believe that God put every wore in His Bible for us to practice in our life. Isa_28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
The Old Testament has precepts (principles) for us to practice. If it does not have principles then it is useless for everything except history. The New Testament serves as a guide book for the saved. It is not available for us to pick and choose. There are few want to grow into a mature child of God. They live on mild and pablum, they live on memes and slogans. This is very discouraging for one that has that desire to teach and preach the whole Word of God. We are raising bottle babies because some in the pulpit are not getting into the meat of the Word and some in the pews are not accepting the meat of the Word.
It is high time we got off the bottle, threw away the binky, and started growing in the knowledge of God. Jesus even faced this problem. Some disciples turned and walked away because they would not accept the truth.
Let us GROW UP. May move from the milk stage in flourishing born again children of God.
“And because iniquity shall abound , the love of many shall wax cold.” Matt. 24:12
The past few decades of vaunted progress have given Adam’s race no few creature comforts, not the least of which is air conditioning. It is almost a necessity in southern parts of the country where high temperatures and equally high humidity send all who are able scurrying to the cool indoors. Of course, a very large crowd of Christians will endure extreme heat, humidity, rain, etc. for hours at a sporting event, but would never subject themselves to a short worship service if the air is not conditioned for comfort. This underscores the point I am attempting to make.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, the common word for “cold” as in lower temperatures is “Qal.” Its Greek equivalent in the New Testament is “psucho” which specifically refers to a lowering of temperature by the process of blowing or evaporation; the same thing as modern air conditioning. Metaphorically, it denotes a cooling of love, zeal, desire for a thing, and names the responsible, causative agent: the abounding of iniquity. To be more specific, it is the individual reaction to the abundance of iniquity. What does this mean?
Iniquity is sin, to be sure, but a specific type of sin. The term means “no law” or “without law” and specifically to proceed in religious affairs not knowing, nor wanting to know, what the rules of God (His Word) teaches. In the vernacular it may be stated, “I know what I want to do, or believe, so don’t confuse me with the facts.”
It is sometimes difficult for New Testament church members to follow the plain teaching of the Word when others all around them make a loud claim to be Christian, but have little to no regard for the Word. Such cooling for God, His Word, His church is not a sudden turn of events, but a slow, consistent process. Discouragement pervades the psyche of the nominal Christian who is by virtue of spiritual immaturity, totally unsuited for pressure, ridicule, or persecution in any form. He then finds himself aligning more closely with the unfaithful and practitioners of iniquity: thus is he air conditioned, air conditioned, cooling, colder, cold! One need not be highly intelligent to identify this as a current, widespread reality, but though it is happening as Jesus said it would, one does not have to be identified among the “many” in that process.
Consider that “God reacts to man as man reacts to God!” is indeed a true statement. Hear the apostle James, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” There is much joy and excitement in witnessing this age come to a close. Doubtlessly, but though troublesome and sometimes most stressful, this is the grandest time to be a knowledgeable Christian on the planet, but you can’t see it if you have waxed cold.
Sound doctrine is right thinking that reflects what the Bible says about ourselves, our God, and our world. Our challenge, therefore, is not to learn to talk and act like theologians, but rather to know and believe what God has said (I Timothy 1:3,10; II Timothy 3:10,16; 4:2,3; Titus 1:9; 2:1,7,10).
In God’s eyes, belief is more important than behavior. That’s not because what we do is not important. It’s because thoughts are the seeds of actions. Negatively put, misbehavior is usually an expression of misbelief. While physical factors may play a supporting role, misbehavior is usually rooted in the misbeliefs that occupy our souls.
Nothing cures wrong actions better than right thinking and sound doctrine. Without right thinking we follow feelings and desires into dark swamps of personal deception and eventual self-destruction.
Doctrine is far more than heavy words like:
- Pneumatology – the study of the Spirit.
- Soteriology – the study of salvation.
- Eschatology – the study of endtimes.
- Ecclesiology – the study of the church.
- Christology – the study of Christ.
- Hamartiology – the study of sin.
Doctrine is right thinking about our feelings, our desires, our relationships, our discouragements, our fears, our joys, and our hopes. it is right thinking about God, ourselves, others, and our world. Nothing is more urgent than learning to think and believe what is right. It has very little to do with feelings and is totally based upon doctrine as revealed by the Word of God.
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