Are you feeling discouraged?
Discouragement is an outlook that focuses on problems, circumstances or people instead of God.
In Numbers 21 the Bible records the story of the nation of Israel on their journey to the land of promise. They became “very discouraged” on the way (4). God had promised them a land flowing with “milk and honey” yet day after day they trudged through the dry, barren desert. Just when it seemed like the journey would come to an end, they came to Edom. When the Edomites refused them passage they suddenly found themselves on a long detour through more of the despised desert. Their path was blocked and with it, their hope of getting out of the desert anytime soon. The children of Israel became “very discouraged.”
When discouragement clamped hold of their heart a number of things happened: (verse 5)
1. They complained against God.
2. They spoke against leadership.
3. They asked the “why” question.
4. They made absurd accusations.
5. They focused on circumstances and problems.
6. They became displeased with God’s blessings and provisions.
Their discouragement was a sin that produced a complaining, unthankful spirit. God was not at all pleased. He responded by sending poisonous snakes among the people to bite and kill them! The people soon acknowledged their sin and sought deliverance from the serpents. God instructed Moses to lift a bronze replica of a snake high upon a wooden pole and those who looked at the replica would be healed of their snake bite and not die.
Many years later Jesus would refer to this event and make the application to Himself. “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3.14,15).
The next time you feel discouraged, run to the cross and thank God for your many blessings! Focus your attention on God, meditate on His person, reflect on His grace. Though your circumstances may be the same, you will find that your outlook has changed.
If you have a spiritual need and would like to talk please contact me: Phil Hunt 09876153466