The spirit of discouragement is Satan’s most potent weapon against God’s elect. Most often, he uses it to convince us we have brought God’s wrath upon ourselves by not measuring up to his holy standards. But the apostle Paul urges us not to fall prey to the devil’s snare: “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Paul is saying, “You must see your discouragement for what it really is — a demonic weapon — an arrow that Satan shoots at you to get you to doubt yourself. He knows he cannot tempt you to turn away from Jesus, so he swamps you with vicious lies to make you think you will never be good enough to serve Christ.”
King David’s spirit was brought low by feebleness, brokenness, mourning, a sense of disquietude. He felt dry and empty, without direction: “My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me” (Psalm 38:10). David is saying, “My vision and revelation of the Lord have left me and I cannot reach God as I once did.”
I personally know how David felt. I have received many rich blessings through my ministry but many times, within days of great events, I have become overwhelmed with discouragement. We are targets for the powers of hell within moments of our greatest spiritual victory.
There are many biographies of devout men and women whom the Lord used mightily, and every one of them struggled through crippling discouragement. For instance, the great British preacher C. H. Spurgeon led multitudes to Christ through his powerful sermons but he suffered awful bouts of melancholy.
The first thing the Holy Spirit does in such times is to bring to your remembrance all the precious promises of Jesus. He will flood your soul with those promises and your spirit will soar within you. The work of the Holy Spirit is to undo the lies of the enemy and bring encouragement from on high! Be assured that all who wait on the Lord will receive his glorious promises!