The Battle of Discouragement --- Its Causes

Moses the great deliverer of the nation of Israel; the only one in his time who spoke face to face with God; the fearless lawgiver; the faithful servant of God; the most humble man of his day. Because Moses exhibited such character and success in his life, we tend to forget those human frailties which seeped through his magnificent reputation character traits such as self doubt ( Exo.3: 11), disorganization (Ex. 18: 8- 23), disobedience ( Num. 20. 8- 13 ) and one which almost defeated him – Discouragement. The book of Numbers records a moment when he almost lost this battle. The Lord wanted to bring Israel into the Promised Land. He had faithfully provided for the people’s needs with manna. But they wanted more they craved meat. Their complains angered the Lord and so discouraged Moses that he was ready to throw in the towel. Listen to Moses discouraged cry to God…. Numbers 11:11 –15. Moses had had enough. He wanted to quit. Ever feel like that? Study this chapter and discover how God can help you win the battle of discouragement to the point where you not only experience power and joys in your life but encourage others.

Fear Breeds Discouragement
1. Explain the reason for discouragement in each of the following passages. Numbers 13: 31 – 33 Ezra 4: 1-6 Nehemiah 6: 1-9 2. List three fears which have tempted you to discouragement a) b) c) Besides our own fear others fear can also discourage you. Num. 32:6-9

Failure May Lead to Discouragement
When Moses was first asked to go to Egypt, he made excuses but finally he accepted God’s commission. But Moses and Aaron’s first attempt failed and Pharaoh refused to heed their request. This increased their misery. Notice the response of the two foremen and the brothers to this failure. Exodus 5: 20- 23.

3. Name a failure in the past that caused discouragement. 4. How did you cope with this.

5. God answered Moses prayer, but deliverance was not immediate. Why did God
delay? Exodus 11:9 6. Is this reason relevant to your example? Fear and failure are primary causes of discouragement. You could also add inadequacy, temperament, bad news and tragedy. But a common cause of discouragement and depression is Sin. David was entrapped by its tentacles.

Sin May Lead to Discouragement
David’s sin of immorality with Bathsheba led him to pour out his heart to God in two Psalms. 7. a) Psalm 32:1-5: How did David feel before he confessed his sin? Why? b) How did he feel after confession? Why?

8. a) Psalm 51: For what did David long? V8………….V12……

b) What promise did he make to God? V13……..14……15..

9. Why does sin foster discouragement?

Besides fear, failure and sin personal affliction also breed discouragement.

Affliction May Cause Discouragement
Jesus promised his disciples that in this world they would experience trouble Jn. 16: 33.Any one who desires to live godly life will face conflicts within and without.

10. a) How did David describe his feelings in Psalm 42: 3, 5, 9-10
b) What affliction was David experiencing? V 2-4, 9-10 c) How did he respond? 11. a) What affliction did Job suffer? Job 1: 14- 19, 2:7 b)Describe his responses? Job 1: 20- 22 Job 2:7 –10 Job 6: 8-10, 7: 17- 21 Job 42: 1-6

12. a) List five of Paul’s afflictions in 2 Corinthians 11: 22-33

b)Discuss his response. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Philippians 4: 11-13

13. a) Describe an affliction you or a friend has experienced. How you have acted?

b) How should you respond to such situation?

Lack Of Assurance
When people look at wars and violence surrounding them they wonder how can God exist and allow these things. The psalmist was troubled that the wicked seems to enjoy life while the godly experience all types of problems.

14. How did psalmist’s discouragement affect him? Psalm 73: 2-3, 13, 16, 21- 22.
15. a) Have you ever experienced anything similar? Explain

b) How did you deal with this?

c) How did the psalmist handle his problem? What did he learn? Psalm 73: 1720, 23- 28.

If you are feeling discouraged, recognize that many of the saints have to fight the same battle. Some they won and some they have known defeat.

Your response
16. Which cause of discouragement most plagues you?

17.How do you plan to deal with it? Memorize and repeat 1 John 4:4, Philippians 4:19, Job 42: 2-3, Isaiah 55:8-9 In the next chapter you will learn specific ways in which to win against discouragement.

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