My dad wrote this little booklet way back in 1965. It still speaks to me today, and to others too, as it has been re-printed many many times through the years. Dad always talked about the importance of the 2 R's in our lives as christians, regarding dealing with temptation and sin.
When we begin to 'entertain' discouragement, we get pulled in before we know it, our spirits droop and we lose sight of who is able to handle it. It can lead us into a great big pity party or worse, depression.
Dad wrote about 2 frogs.
"I am reminded of the story of 2 frogs that fell into a large cream crock. The one frog gave up swimming and immediately sank to the bottom. The second frog said to himself, 'well, if I'm going down, I'm not going down without a struggle.' So, he kicked and paddled and churned, and the first thing he knew he was sitting on a cake of butter!"
Which frog are you?
I've been the first frog many times. I have also been the second frog. What a difference between the 2!
Dad goes further in this booklet, "I believe there are biblical grounds for believing that discouragement is a sin. Heb.1:1-2 says 'throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and... let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.'
I use the term 'the sin of discouragement' because in Rom 14.23 we read "everything that does not come from faith is sin." Discouragement is not of faith. It is part of the doubt/belief pattern.
There are some who think that discouragement is a valid part of the spiritual life.They have been deceived by discouragement, perhaps even to the point of "feeling spiritual" when they are discouraged. Let us be clear about this right now---discouragement is not one of the requisites for spiritual discipline, discipleship and development.
Whatever its source, discouragement does not come from God. God is "the God of all encouragemnt". Discouragement often gets hold of a person who is sensitive, sensitive to God and very sensitive to self. It is a form of doubt and unbelief, which in turn is connected with disobedience. Where there is unbelief there is disobedience, as 2 sides of the same coin.
When we recognize discouragement, we must learn to refuse it. The more radical the rejection, the more thorough the cure. The secret is to look away from self, to Christ, in faith, believing Him to deliver you. This is My work. You cannot do it, but be very firm and definite in your faith, EXPECTING Me to take care of it."
So many books have been written about discouragement that it is obviously something we all deal with from time to time, no doubt more often than we should.
As with everything in our lives, there is a solution. I can't tell you how many times through the years I have thought of this little booklet, and been lead to apply the same principles in my life.
Thanks Dad, for always speaking the truth, in your words and in your life.