Mr. Depression’s Closest Friends (Part 3)
II Corinthians 11:12-15
“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Mr. Depression’s reach includes his immediate family but also extends to his closest friends that have equally devastating powers. They have a specific method of attacking the believer in a very specific way. This week we will take time to expose their methods and share tactics to counter these attacks. Join us as we meet Mr. Depression’s Closest Friends.
Meet Distant Friend Discouragement
Mr. Depression’s Close Friend (DFD) Distant Friend Discouragement has a very unique method of working with and on believers and non-believers alike. We are informed about the oppressive nature of (DFD) by a foe of Mr. Depression and another one of our biblical heroes “Mr. Encouragement”. He is the only strong enough to endure the attacks of (DFD) without any long-term effects or an immediate diminishing of his powers. Mr. Encouragement or (Mr. E) gives us a few warnings about this individual.
I. Mild Discouraging Attacks
Mild Discouraging Attacks can occur when a person experiences minor problems or pressures that affect his emotions. For the most part, this level of discouragement goes unnoticed by others and is not long-lasting.
Mild attacks disguise themselves as small life inconveniences like, getting cut off on the freeway, someone taking your parking space or even someone that has taken your favorite seat in church. (DFD) loves to make people stress about the little things. It has been said that they “Make a mountain out of a molehill.” These small (MDAs) will cause people to become very stressed but in a manageable way. They will begin to say things like “Why is this happening like this? What are people so ignorant and rude? What else can happen right now?” As soon as they mention this, they are seeking a reprieve from this stress but haven’t been overwhelmed yet.
II. Mighty Discouraging Attacks
Mighty Discouraging Attacks can occur when we face major problems or pressures. This level of discouragement affects our spirits. In our words and actions, others can easily observe both physical and emotional indications of discouragement.
Mighty attacks disguise themselves as large life inconveniences like, getting into a car accident, getting a written reprimand at work or having a major relationship dissolve. (DFD) loves to make people worry about these major life events. He knows that one worries about these major things that they will become hyper protective over the aforementioned smaller issues. This is their safety net of control. In short, (DFD) will cause people to stress and worry about the things that are happening but about things that aren’t being targeted. (DFD) knows that Stress and Worry are a result of a person seeking to regain control. When these event come on. most people will begin to make statements or ask these questions“Why is this happening to me? How am I supposed to…? What if this happens…?” Again this is a loss of control! When people tend to stress and worry in a manner that is over the top, you can almost be sure that they have been in a position where that control has not been there.
III. Maiming Discouraging Attacks
If we become overwhelmed by problems or pressures, we experience Maiming Discouragement Attacks (i.e., Mr. Depression), which drains us of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical strength. When this happens, our hearts “melt” within us, and we have no desire, energy, or ability to go on.
Maiming Discouraging Attacks disguise themselves as extreme life issues that cause people to become overwhelmed and begin to experience an overwhelming numbness, paralyzing sense of helplessness, they will also feel a sense of failure. It is this sense of failure that puts them in a mental and emotional “No Way Out” scenario. Most people tend to emotionally and mentally check out, resorting to substance abuse, sexual adventures and even seeking adrenaline filled activities to keep their minds off of the situation. However, many don’t even make it this far because when the very fabric of their lives starts to unravel they follow it and end their own lives. (MDAs) have the potential to make people take serious, life changing and irreversible actions. I have learned that these (MDAs) hit hard and heavy but do not happen every day.
(Mr. E) reminds us that these seem impossible to overcome while keeping a good attitude but is really simple. Here’s how:
- Mild Discouraging Attacks – These can happen everyday or very frequently. All one needs to do is anticipate these things. We all live in a bubble sometimes believing that it won’t happen to us. So when it does we get angry and then depressed at God for allowing it to happen when the bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” This has the same application as a boxer hardening his abdominal area in preparation for a strong punch. We know that the enemy will hit us, all we have to do is be ready.
- Mighty Discouraging Attacks – These don’t happen everyday but they happen enough to make us have bad day. Usually, these will happen when a few of the aforementioned have piled up. This makes most people attempt to change certain actions while letting go of some areas. One needs to find the good in the situation and focus on that and praise for what has gone right. Much like it says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Focusing on what has and what will go wrong will only stress you out.
- Maiming Discouragement Attacks – These happen a few times during a lifetime but when they do, they usually bring the person to a grinding halt. They have the potential to uproot a believer’s faith or displace a non-believer’s expectation of who God is as a deity. One needs to remember that the bible gives us this advice in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” God is trying to show you something through your situation and develop you. He is NOT trying to destroy you or maim you. In fact He is doing this because He loves you and wants to make you more like Him through situations. I doesn’t make sense but it’s His way of doing things.
We spend massive amounts of time worrying about the future when we can’t even control the present. (DFD) wants to make us focus on what will and as went wrong so that we are in a discouraged state and become ineffective for the cause of Christ. I will give you a secret to being encouraged and encouraging others. Remember David encouraged himself in the Lord? Encouragement and Discouragement are both a choice! You don’t have to live discouraged. You can choose to be encouraged! Today as you walk through your day, remember that your choice to be discouraged or encouraged all depend on your attitude. In our next devotional we will talk about how we adopt a close friend named Caution and how He likes to make us ineffective. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.