Be Confident and Undaunted

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

Discouragement drives away faith. It is one of the enemy’s arrows against us. Being discouraged means not looking far enough. Believers who let themselves become discouraged aren’t counting on the Lord, but on their own abilities or visible things. A sevenfold call.

First, you shouldn’t be discouraged even though you belong to a little flock. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Truly, all who follow Jesus form a small flock. Antichristian Churchianity is becoming bigger and more powerful. The universal church is on the rise, and woe to anyone who dares to resist. Nevertheless, don’t be discouraged, because the Father takes pleasure in you who follow Jesus. Anyone who counts on Jesus through all resistance has no reason to be discouraged.

Second, you shouldn’t be discouraged despite having little power. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor 12:9). Why are you weak? The answer is made plain here: “…that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God’s wonderful grace can only be effective where one’s own power is eliminated. Therefore, no matter how weak I am, I must never be discouraged, because “when I am weak, then am I strong” (verse 10).

Third, you who believe shouldn’t be discouraged, even though there are few warriors for the faith: “it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few” (1 Sam 14:6b). Only then, when left with few faithful ones, do we realize how easily we’re inclined to turn to visible, external power. But the history of salvation, as well as our experience of faith, teaches us that the Lord does not like to be revealed by masses, by numerical superiority. In church history, as Christians began to form a powerful state church, the Lord withdrew—their spiritual power was broken. Only when Gideon had let go of his thousands and remained with 300 faithful, did the Lord reveal Himself powerfully. Abraham, the father of all believers, devastated a numerically overpowering enemy with 318 men, in his old age (Gen 14:14-16). Jonathan and his weapon bearer were only two. Numerically, the Philistines were comparatively insurmountable. But it wasn’t difficult for the Lord to help, by many or by few. So, don’t be discouraged!

Fourth, you shouldn’t be discouraged despite having many adversaries. “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor 16:9). It sounds contradictory. There are many adversaries out there, but much fruit is worked through you, since you remain in the school of faith despite the large number of adversaries. There is nothing left for you to do but to believe, to rely on the Lord alone. And, lo and behold, not only are the adversaries powerless against the faithful assertion of Jesus’ victory, but much fruit is worked by that same faith. So, thank God for your adversaries, and don’t be discouraged.

Fifth, you shouldn’t be discouraged, though the time is desperately evil: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:16). Satan is seeking to make use of what little time is left to him (cf. Rev 12:12). His empire is already faltering. Jesus is coming! The night is darkest before the dawn. If the power of darkness is using its time feverishly, how much more should we be doing it! Inner discouragement will prevail in us as soon as we stop redeeming the time. The best use of time is victorious prayer. Through such prayer, victorious activity is unfolding against the powers of hell. Jesus’ victory is a certain fact, even in this evil time. That is why you shouldn’t be discouraged.

Sixth, you shouldn’t be discouraged, even though temptations increase: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12). The closer we come to the final goal, the more fervent the trials will be. Especially since you, the very one who has given your life to Jesus, should be demonstrating that Jesus is victorious, by your reputation through challenges in the visible and invisible worlds. For these reasons, we are even exhorted to rejoice when we fall into many challenges (James 1:2), and should not be dismayed when we’re met by the intensity of temptation (1 Pet 4:12; cf. 1:6-7).

Seventh, you have no reason to be discouraged, even though the field of work is immeasurably vast. Jesus says in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world.” What could a trivial person like me tell such a big world? My resources and abilities, time and strength, are limited, so I can’t do anything significant. This is how discouraged unbelief sounds. But look at Jesus. Yes, the field for harvest is immeasurably vast. The workers are few. But Jesus is behind you. He is ready to fill your empty hands. It is His works through you that are taking effect worldwide. He can do anything you are unable to do, far beyond our prayers and understanding, so that you can cry out with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). Therefore, you should not be discouraged due to the size of the field of work, for “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5).

Midnight Call - 06/2019

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