God allowed the devil to give Paul a tormenting spirit…a discouraging spirit.

The Devil and Discouragement
A Discouraging Spirit

Scripture Reading:  2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:7

    To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Last week’s theme reminded us of the devil’s scheme to get us to doubt.  This week we will see that if he can’t get us to doubt, he will do his best to discourage us.  The Apostle Paul had some wonderful revelations from God Himself about kingdom truths and Paul’s future ministry efforts.  But in order not to get conceited over these revelations, God allowed the devil to give Paul a tormenting spirit…a discouraging spirit.

            Do you have anything in your life that is causing you to be discouraged?  As God’s children, we really have been given everything we “need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).  We are people with great privilege and a glorious inheritance with all the saints (Ephesians 1:17-19).  In other words, like the Apostle Paul, we could become rather comfortable and conceited about life, but the evil is real and brings a discouraging spirit to torment us.

            The good news is, as related in today’s suggested scripture reading, God’s grace is sufficient for these times of discourage-ment.  If we take this spirit of discouragement to the Lord, surrendering it to Him, we find help in our time of need.  We are made “strong in our weakness” (verse 9).  Discouragement, if we allow it to, will send us into some times of desperate prayer.  During these times of complete dependence, we are truly stronger than any other time!

Father, I know your grace will carry me when I feel so discouraged.  I will trust you even when I feel discouraged.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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