by Robin Alcala

Once upon a time it was announced that the devil
was going out of business and would sell all
his equipment to those who were willing to pay the price.

On the big day of the sale,
all his tools were attractively displayed.
There were Envy, Jealousy, Hatred, Malice, Deceit, Sensuality,
Pride, Idolatry, and other implements of evil display.
Each of the tools was marked with a price tag.

Over in the corner by itself was a harmless looking,
wedge-shaped tool very much worn, but still it bore a
higher price than any of the others.
Someone asked the devil what it was, and he answered,
“That is Discouragement.”
The next question came quickly,
“And why is it priced so high even though
it is plain to see that it is worn more than these others?”

Because replied the devil,
“it is more useful to me than all these others.
I can pry open and get into a man’s heart with that
when I cannot get near him with any other tool.
Once I get inside, I can use him in whatever way
suits me best. It is worn well because
I use it on everybody I can,
And few people even know it belongs to me.”

This tool was priced so high that no one could buy it,
and to this day it has never been sold.
It still belongs to the devil, and he still uses it on mankind.

Joyce Meyer says that, “Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.” Disappointment is the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. Have you ever felt dissatisfied, or displeased? If we are not careful to handle disappointments in a positive manner, then discontentment will soon spring forth. Discontentment is simply the lack of contentment, as with one’s condition or lot in life. Discontentment has a lot of wayward companions, such as, Regretful, Disgruntled, Vexed, Fretful, Envious, Complaining, Uneasiness and Unhappy. CAUTION here, because your closest and constant associations is what you will become.

The root of discouragement, discontent and depression is fear. Fear is faith headed in the wrong direction. Just like it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, fear takes energy out of you, while faith puts energy back into you.

Fear is believing what your circumstances are telling you. Fear is being afraid that what you hope for is never going to happen. All because you are going by what you see, hear, think and feel. It’s when you are believing what the enemy of your soul says more than what the God who created you is saying.
Fear is based on false evidence…appearing real…masquerading as truth. Unfortunately, a lie is as strong as truth when you believe it. Despair will put you in the dark, and hopelessness will turn the lights out.

The Dirty D’s…
Disappointment
Discontent
Discouragement
Depression
Despondency
Despair
Devastation
At any time, any of these can lead you to disbelief and disagreeing with God, then ultimately disconnecting from God.

I encourage you to read Psalm 106 from the Message version, it will give you wonderful insights into the highs and lows that we all experience in life. God delivered His people from slavery, oppression, lack, and from horrific tyranny. But it didn’t take long for The Dirty D’s to bury God’s goodness and His ever present help within the minds of the people. “After our parents left Egypt, they took Your wonders for granted, they forgot Your great and wonderful love.” “They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert, they provoked God with their insistent demands.” “They didn’t believe a word of what God had promised. They found fault with the life they had and turned a deaf ear to God’s voice.”

When you cannot clearly see what God is doing in a situation or in your life, your vision can become distorted and hampered. Also, altering your sense of purpose will then diminish your hope. Whereby, hopelessness and helplessness will then set in. This will be an emotionally and spiritually vulnerable time for you, because when you find yourself caught between the rock and the hard place of “hopelessness and helplessness”, people usually cast off restraint, and they could actually end up doing things totally out of character or even stop doing the right things they normally would do. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is not a revelation of God and His word, the people are unrestrained.” People will not accept divine guidance and they will plain just run wild. That’s because discontent leads to disconnect.

Let me ask you, do you feel you are between a rock and hard place, stuck in between hopelessness and helplessness? If you find yourself hanging with any of the Dirty D’s, then you are probably asking yourself, “So where do I go from here?” This should make you smile, because it is actually a lot simpler than you may believe!

  1. “Let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” James 4:7-10
  2. Then, “Agree with God, and be at peace, thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21

And always remember that, often just before a triumph or success, will come apparent failure and discouragement, while God promises you that…

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
 you will not be burned up, and the flames will not consume you.”

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