Casting Down DespairIf you have ever gone through a traumatic experience in your life or lived through a period of time when you could not see your faith at work, then this lesson is for you.
Times of despair come into everyone's life, but how you handle those times will determine whether or not you will live a victorious life or a defeated one.
Before we get into the lesson, we need to make sure we know what despair is. To despair according to Webster's Dictionary is to be utterly at a loss, to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change, to lose all hope or confidence, or to lose heart and become despondent. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 and 4:8, the apostle Paul shares some of his experiences with despair.
Instead of being caught up in despair and giving up based on our situation (which is temporary), we have to focus on what the complete opposite of despair is; hope.
To hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of attainment, or to expect with confidence.
In order to have hope, you have to know something. James 1:2-3 Our hope must always be based on God's Word.Psalms 119:114, 116; 130:5; Lamentations , 26; Romans ; 15:4 When we place our hope in God and not in things or people, we are never disappointed.Romans 5:5 Problems with despair come when we place our hope in the wrong thing. We have to stay aware of the fact that we do have an enemy who tries his best to fulfill his job description (John ) by bringing trials and temptations into our lives, which depending on our reaction to these situations can bring despair or hope. We also need to remember that the enemy comes after our faith, which will not operate without hope. Our faith has to have something to work through. Hebrews 11:1; Romans When times of trial and testing come into our lives, we need to have God's Word planted firmly within us so we will know how to react to each situation that arises and we will be able to walk in victory. 1 John 5:4
Why does despair come?
- Because you have an enemy who is after your faith in God's Word. Matthew -21; John
- We can open the door to despair based on our lack of faith or wrong reaction to a situation. Job
- We must remember who we are in Christ Jesus. 1 John 5:4
- We must remember Who God is. Hebrews -19 AMP
- We have to remember to seek God's wisdom concerning our situation. James 1:5, Proverbs 4:5-7;
- We have to use our sword (which is God's Word) Ephesians -17
- We must speak the Word of God out loud when the enemy sends evil thoughts our way. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- We must keep our minds stayed on God. Isaiah 26:3; John AMP
- We can use praise as a weapon against despair. Psalms 71:14
- We can encourage ourselves with the Word of God. Psalms 42:5,11; 43:5