Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III, DMin.
Bible Study Synopsis 12/04/19
Psalm 42:11, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
- All of us know that life is filled with ups and downs. As a result, there are things that come against us that lead to discouragement. Things like heart- break, death, being let down people, and etc … lead to
- Even though we may experience discouragement, we have to learn how to defeat it and not let it overcome us.
II. How to Identify Discouragement
Discouragement is a lack of confidence and enthusiasm; dispiritedness. When you experience discouragement, you wake up in a funk and you really don’t on why.
A. The signs of discouragement
- Lack of Sleep – You have to discern if this is from discouragement or from simply not going to bed when you are supposed.
- Overly Critical of Self – You are constantly attacking yourself.
- Becoming Isolated – The enemy keeps you away from other people so that he can interrogate you. When you notice that you like to isolate yourself, you have to ask yourself, why do you always want to retreat and get by yourself.
- Lack of Fruitfulness – You have trouble producing good work.
- Loss – This can be loss of loved ones for example. This has to be dealt with! When Moses died, it took a toll on Joshua. When you find yourself still talking about the loss of someone, know that this is sparked from your discouragement over it.
Scripture Reference: Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – God had to literally bring Joshua out of his state of discouragement, because if He hadn’t, Joshua would lose hope and miss out on the next assignment God had planned for his life.
B. The manifestation of discouragement
Scripture Reference: Nehemiah 2:1-5, “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. 2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” So I became dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” – This scripture is a great example of how to deal with people who are dealing with discouragement.
- The way to weigh authentic relationships is this; know that Spiritual Relationships always pick up pain on your radar. They can always tell if you are hurting. If people hang out with you and don’t notice when something wrong with you, this is a problem.
- In this scripture, the supervisor or the King in this case, looked at Nehemiah and knew something was wrong with him. This might also be worthy to note for ourselves that it is not only important to have friends that can tell when something is wrong with you, but also important to work for people who can tell when something is wrong with you. It is important to pick employers that care about the people that work for them.
- Nehemiah had a King what was concerned when he realized that something had to be wrong with him.
- God gives us time to unload what is bothering us, but often we say “nothing is wrong” when we are asked.
III. Understanding Factors that Create the Spirit of Discouragement
A. Unresolved pain can place you in the pit of despair
1 Kings 19:9-10 (NASB) 9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” – Elijah tried to run and escape it all. As a result, he went and hid in a cave.
- The trauma of the past can end up being the drama of your present.
- Discouragement will follow you wherever you go, if you don’t deal with it.
- Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 20:9, “Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” – Jeremiah was about to quit, but he got a word from God.
- You have to come to a place where you won’t let what didn’t happen, defeat you.
B. Don’t let what didn’t happen defeat you
“Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage.” –Neal Maxwell – An example of this would be, “ They didn’t choose me… “ or “I didn’t get the job… “
- Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV), “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” – People are your friends until they are not. People will flip on you in a minute.
- There is a moment when you experience discouragement that you have to encourage yourself. Sometimes you have to learn to have church all by yourself.
IV. How to Live Free of Discouragement
A. Learn to let go and live
- God never intended on you living a life of discouragement. How many of you have a big heart or is always the giver or waiting for others to catch up with their commitment? This makes you a perfect candidate for
- When you pour out and nothing comes back, it is hurtful. Most people that are shady don’t care if it comes back to them or not. They don’t have any expectations, so they never get discouraged.
- Scripture References:
- Romans 8:37, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
- Isaiah 61:3 (NIV), “… provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” – Down in Louisiana, they have a lot of Oak trees and if the Oak Tree could talk, he would say, “The Oak Tree will say I know that preachers have preached about the Palm Tree and how the palm tree can withstand storms and yet pop right back up after its over.”
- The Oak Tree would continue to say, “The only thing is, the Palm Tree can only survive certain environments”.
- See the Oak Tree has durability and sustainability. The Oak Tree is always there, year after year. There are Oak Trees there are several hundred years old. We can’t say the same about Palm Trees.
B. Let God restore your joy
- Bishop Walker shares that he has awaken sad and not even know why before.
- Scripture Reference: Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” – This is an indication that there is a season where I am in a sad place. How do I get my joy back?
- You can’t depend on the Praise Team or the church to do it for you. When you do that, you have turned them into a narcotic. In other words, you are coming to Church to get a high.
- The problem with getting high is, you will eventually come down.
C. Steps to help you conquer discouragement:
- Establish Boundaries – Stop letting people sow seeds of discouragement into your life. Stop having people call you all the time. Learn that it is ok not to answer the phone. You have to decide what you will let into your day.
- Change the way you talk – Start speaking positivity over your life. Watch how you ask questions? For example, don’t say things like, “Ya’ll not hiring are you?”
- Ask for prayer support (Reference: Deuteronomy 32:30) – Learn to ask the right people to join you in prayer. Misery is contagious. We all need to learn to get us a misery blocker.
- Learn to celebrate the small victories – Some people lament even when things are going right.
- Put your faith in God– David is in discouragement. It is a spiritual space. Psalm 40:1-2 (NKJV) 40 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
- David waited patiently. He wasn’t anxious. Maybe the word waited in this scripture means servant like a waiter or server in the restaurant.
- The scripture says that David served patiently for the Lord. This means he wasn’t doing it for people, he was doing it for the Lord.
- The scripture says that while David was serving, he was hurt. What got God’s attention is that he saw us serving while we were hurt. God sees our sacrifice.
- The scripture says He heard David’s cry. Cry is a word that has implications of It is like all the child knows to do is cry over the situation, God heard him. Any parent will tell you that they know their child’s cry over anyone else’s child. David says he was in such a place, while he was crying, but God heard him.
- No matter how many people are in your church, God heard your cry. That time you left church and cried all the way home, God heard you.
- We’ve said before, the way to check an authentic relationship is to see if they pick up on your hurt. Well know that God always hears your cries.
- The scripture says that David served patiently while he was discouraged. God noticed it and heard our cry. He brought us up and then he brought us out. The suggests that we were so discouraged that we were laying down on the ground. God had to lift us up out of the pit and the clay that had us bound, but then he set us upon a rock.
- This rock suggests that God took us out of something that was slippery and uncertain and placed us onto a place that was solid and dependable.
- Finally, God established our steps. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. If we go where God wants us to go, we will be where God wants us to be at the appointed time. This way we won’t miss the blessing or the covering.