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One mark of discouragement is a divided mind. This underlying distraction affects every area and decision.

The Symptoms of Discouragement by Dr. Charles Stanley
James 1:2-4

One of Satan’s most effective weapons is discouragement. The enemy knows that if he can destroy our courage, we’ll be ineffective in our attempts to accomplish anything for Christ. Let’s explore the downward spiral created by this destructive force.

One mark of discouragement is a divided mind. This underlying distraction affects every area and decision. No matter what you’re doing, it feels as if a dark cloud covers your entire thought life.

Discouragement also leads to the “blame game,” where it’s common to feel the need to point a finger at someone else. You may want to find fault with God because He has allowed painful circumstances in your life, or you may accuse others because of the way they treat you. Perhaps you yourself feel guilty for poor choices or past mistakes. My friend, blame is an empty activity. No healing or restoration ever came from trying to pin responsibility on someone else for the hardships in your life.

Anger is another common indication that a person is discouraged. When this occurs, bitterness may develop and finally become a spirit of vengeance. If you let anger grow and fester without resolution, it can easily turn into depression. Then resentment can act like a cancer that slowly spreads and invades every aspect of your life.

The traits described above aren’t what one would expect of a Christian, are they? However, they are all too evident in the church. Ask the Lord to search your heart for any trace of discouragement—and to eliminate its destructive power from your life.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21


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