The Gift of Discouragement

Oh lowest and most evil one
I have a delicious, delectable bad report
Of inroads made into the hearts and minds the enemy’s saints
God gives the gift of, dare I say, encouragement
But I’ve been able to successfully supplant it
With the gift of discouragement
Aided by pride and feelings of self righteousness
The unsuspecting saint didn’t have a clue
Of the exchange made while sitting in the church pew
The overflow of their heart
Spewed forth criticism and condemnation
Aimed squarely at a fellow believer
Unaware of the opportunity God presented
To pray for, encourage, and build up one another
I was able to come alongside and whisper in their ear
Out of their mouth came words I effectively used
To tear down, discourage and cause division
With one they call brother in Christ
As they sat in church
Feelings of superiority took hold
While they focused on the faults and failures of another
All the while
I was able to distract the one who was hurt
With hurt feelings, anger and un-forgiveness
The real victory was won
When I distracted both from hearing the pastor’s message
The Word of God was falling on deaf ears and distracted minds
I predict continued success
So long as they fail to take every thought captive
Or resist offering forgiveness for an offense
I dare say we may take even more of the enemy’s ground
If we can light a fire and watch it spread throughout the congregation
Fueled by pride and self-righteousness

Susan Bunts Wachtel
January 18, 2010

Discouragement’s Victory

Discouragement reporting for duty
Greetings powerful evil one
The day is young but the time is right
I’ve already begun to make my rounds

While I may not rob them of their salvation
Through defeat and discouragement
I can keep them from experiencing
The joy and peace of their Master

I can lead them down the path to failure
Use their own sin nature to cause them to stumble and fall
I move by stealth
They are unsuspecting of the enemy’s plan

I stir up discontentment
Cause them to grumble and complain
Focus on what they lack
Rather than turn to God in prayer

Like the Jews of old wandering in the desert
They experience deliverance by the mighty hand of God
Witness miracle after miracle
Recipients of God’s grace, mercy and compassion

Yet I cause them to question their God
Demand deliverance according their plan
With unbelieving hearts
Choosing to doubt God’s goodness and character

They will not submit their will
To God’s perfect sovereign plan

Pride and selfishness
Such effective tools
Rather than God
They enthrone themselves upon their heart

The mouth which should praise Him
Is instead filled with grumbling and complaints
They are focused on the here and now
Rather than submitting to God’s eternal plan

No crown will they receive
To lay at their Savior’s feet
Their works like wood, hay and stubble will one day burn
What remains will lie in an ash heap

I will have the victory
If I can distract and disarm them
Keep them focused on themselves, rather than God
Discontent and disheartened…believing their God does not even care

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
March 5, 2009

There Is But One!

There is but one who desires to discourage me, defeat me and leave me in despair. There is but one who desires that I doubt God, doubt that He loves me and has my best interest in mind at all times. There is but one who seeks to keep me from reading the Word of God, knowing it, understanding it and have it wash me from the inside out. That person is the enemy, the defeated foe, the one that will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire forever and ever, amen. Praise God!

Satan is the one and only person whom we can tell, “Go to hell” and have it be alright.

After a round of attacks that have seemed relentless in the recent past, despite the fact I knew full well…they were attacks of the enemy…I’ve been feeling discouraged and overwhelmed…down and out. At times the attacks are blatantly obvious…so much so I find myself laughing.

I don’t understand all the whys and wherefores on why God has permitted these attacks and has continued to leave situations unchanged despite much prayer. At this point my desire is that God will reveal what He would have me to learn. That I will have an ear to hear and an open and teachable spirit and learn whatever lessons God would have me to learn.

One of the ongoing themes of my life has been forgiveness. Forgiveness for those who have hurt me…both intentionally and unintentionally. Hurt is part of the human experience…it is certainly not exclusive to me. While personal…my experiences are not unique. I make progress and think I’ve forgiven…and then something comes up which brings up the hurt all over again. I think I need to adopt Corrie Ten Boom’s words. When she was reminded of an offense she responded, “I distinctly remember forgetting that.”

Yesterday when pondering hurt and forgiveness…God impressed upon me in no uncertain terms, “Susan you need to forgive this person.” When I think about the offense or replay the hurt in my mind…I can feel the stress in my body. I realize it’s not worth it. I’m the one suffering and feeling bad by not forgiving. They don’t care, they’ve moved on. Isn’t it about time I do the same? Continually replaying an offensive in an ongoing loop…does no good whatsoever.

I need to forgive…because it is the will and command of God that I do so.

I think we are all familiar how God uses tests to help us learn and grow. We pass a test, we grow and God uses it to help prepare us for the next test. To help grow us more and more into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. This side of heaven…I’m a long way off…but that doesn’t stop God from using the buffeting process that He is so fond of.

When pondering this forgiveness thing…the thought came to mind, “Oh crimoneny…all this may just be a test and practice so that I will be able to easily forgive a bigger offense that is coming down the road!”

If that’s the case…then I guess I’d better get in practice…quickly. Forgive and forget…move on.

Part of that means not replaying a hurt over and over in my mind. All that does is serve to feed hurt feelings and justifies feelings of unforgiveness.

It also means that I must entrust any and all offenses and wrong doing into the hand of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…Who is just, righteous and perfect. If He deems it just and right at the appropriate time for consequences or punishment…then so be it. If He deems it His will…good, right and just to forgive their sins…then so be it. It needs to lie in His hands, not mine.

Those same hands…that bore nails on the cross putting to death my sins…also paid the price for the sins of those who have offended me. Can I not forgive those whom God Himself has forgiven? Should I stand in the place of God? May it never be.

There is but one who desires me to remain in unforgiveness. That defeated foe…the one who wants me to walk around and live a miserable life. Doubting God and His love for me. Doubting His ability to protect and defend me. Doubting His will for me and my life. Doubting His goodness, righteousness and justice.

Satan is going to hell…and while he may not be able to take me there since I am sealed for the day of redemption…Satan desires to make my life hell here on earth for as long as he can. The question is…will I choose to let him do so? May it never be.