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"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thess. 5:11).

In my toolbox I have this epoxy glue to use on special repair projects. It is claimed to be the strongest of glues. It comes in two parts that need to be mixed together in order to "activate" the glue.

One part is the actual glue, and I believe the other part is some kind of chemical hardener that helps give it such a powerful bonding quality. Come to think of it, I know another substance that is a powerful hardener.

It's called discouragement.

'Just Add Discouragement And Stir...'
Satan attempts to mix it into our lives with the hope that it will harden our hearts toward God.

If you were to read the contents and the directions on a bottle of discouragement, it might say something like this:
Super Heart-Hardener—the best product available to harden your heart and cause you to ditch all the stupid thinking and hope you have in God.

Directions: You need mix the following ingredients together in order to get the guaranteed results. First, mix in the substance called "Discouragement." It will immediately begin to dominate your mind—replacing all other thoughts with anxiety and stress over your current dilemmas.

As it expands, it will literally push all hope and faith out of your life until you begin to have feelings of desperation. You are then ready to add the substance called "Despair."

When Despair is added, you will lose any remaining traces of hope. This substance will make you realize that God is just a pipedream and a waste of your time—leaving you with feelings of utter defeat.

The final substance you need to add in order to accelerate the lasting effects of this amazing "Super Heart-Hardener" product, are two scoops of "Hopelessness."

Hopelessness will completely take over at this point—pushing despair to the ultimate level. These three substances together will produce our ultimate product that we call the "Super Heart-Hardener" otherwise known as "Deceit."
The full potential of this particular product is working when your mind begins to tell you that believing God actually exists and that He loves and wants to help you—is foolishness and a complete waste of time.

If (or when) you cross that path in your will finally be on your way. From that point, it will only be a short time until you become convinced that God doesn't exist. You'll begin to think that He's nothing more than a crutch for weak-minded people, and that you just simply have to take control of your life yourself!

All of a sudden, you will notice a bitter taste in your mouth. Any by the time you realize that discouragement is the source of this bitter taste, it will be too late. As the product guaranteed, your heart will have already become hardened toward God, and you will have already started to despise the thought of Him.

Then you will realize that even those who used to encourage you about God will be exposed for the fools they are. It is at this point when you finally realize that the product's for real.

Of course, the bottle of discouragement did contain a warning label—but you didn't see it because it was part of the "fine print" on the back of the bottle. You look closely at the warning label and it says something like this:
We stand behind our product 100 percent. In fact, we promise that when you mix discouragement, despair, and hopelessness together in the order we have directed, you will get the results listed above—guaranteed! Side affects may include: depression, bitterness, hatred, rage, cynicism, negativity, isolation, mistrust, and an overall dislike for people. We do hope you enjoy our product. Made in Hell.
The Word—The Antidote
Discouragement is from the pit of Hell. And if you don't know what you are supposed to do with discouragement, let me tell you....

You are to counter it with the Word of God like Jesus did in the wilderness. Just say, "No devil, I rebuke you; the Word of God promises me health and strength. Be gone in Jesus name!"

When God had Moses lead His people out of Egypt and into the land of promise, He continually showed His people that He was with them. They saw a cloud of glory over them and a pillar of fire by night. They saw the Red Sea part. They saw many miracles before their eyes.

Despite God manifesting Himself to them repeatedly, instead of seeing what God was doing and having thankful hearts and encouraging one another, they continuously whined and complained about what they didn't have.

God wasn't going to drop the Promised Land in their lap as if He were a genie. He was going to work in their hearts and help them learn to trust Him as he showed them how to take and possess their land of promise.

That was too much work for them; as a result, whining and hardened hearts became their way. You can read it for yourself in the third chapter of Hebrews.

This is why, as Christians, encouragement is such a powerful force and why God exhorts us to be encouragers to each other.

First Thessalonians 4:18 says, "Therefore encourage each other with these words." First Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." And Hebrews 3:13 says, "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

So the next time Satan tries to get you to mix up and consume a large dose of discouragement, just pull out the Word of God. It is the best antidote known to man. It will break the yoke of discouragement in your life every time.


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All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Timothy Burt is a pastor, author, and writer. He is best known as the author of Fresh Manna, a daily devotional and online Bible study.

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