Friends there are three deadly “D”s that threaten to ruin our celebration of Christmas. In fact these three are so common that they threaten to ruin any day anytime. They are not a respecter of seasons. They just jump right into our hearts and create chaos. They are:
And they don’t have any problem coming into your God space to seek to rob you of joy. Here is how these three little demons tag team with one another. Something happens that you did not expect or perhaps you were expecting a different outcome in a situation and you are disappointed. Disappointment stings but it is not quite as powerful until it joins forces with discouragement. Disappointment is defined as caused by non fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. Discouragement is defined as a loss of confidence or enthusiasm. So let’s put these together and we see a bigger picture developing. We are disappointed in the outcome of something, but we try to look on the bright side seeing how we can change or accept the outcome. And along comes disappointment’s partner in crime swinging his club– that’s discouragement. Disappointment unchecked, gives fuel to discouragement which causes us to lose confidence or enthusiasm. Sometimes with this two punch blow we simply give up. Are any of you at that place right now?
Along comes doubt. He sees that disappointment and discouragement have done their dirty deed but he sees that there is still a glimmer of hope. He comes in with the death blow of doubt to make us feel hopeless.
Did God really say… (think the devil talking to Eve about eating from the Tree of Good and Evil)
He comes in and takes advantage of our weakened state. His goal is to snuff out any light of hope that you might still have.
Now I know that this personification of the three “D”‘s sounds a bit outlandish, but I challenge you to think about this in real terms and in your real life because the effect of these three are real. So what do we do about it? The Apostle Paul nailed it with his words:
Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Friends, our mind is the battlefield. The enemy, whose goal is to rob steal and destroy your hope and joy in Christ, uses your mind to cause disappointment to turn into discouragement ending with doubt and destruction.
He had a plan for us to renew our minds daily with His Word. Jesus Christ is the Living Word and as Christians we have Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit to war against the assaults on our minds. Paul reminds us that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and that is a daily practice. Why? Because the enemy is relentless. He wants your disappointment and discouragement to lead to your doubting God cares or even exists.
This is the season of Advent; the time we celebrate the coming of Jesus. He came to liberate us from the enemy of our soul offering us not only eternal life but life in Him here and now; a life offering us hope in the midst of our disappointments. He makes available to us His divine appointments to counteract our disappointments. As we celebrate His birth, let us also celebrate His glorious breakthrough in times where we feel discouraged. Let Him be the One who will chase away the three deadly “D”‘s this advent season.
Join us in January as we begin our Winter/Spring Making Space for God Bible study – Following the Call: Leading Courageously. We would love for you to join us at Teaching and Worship Experience or via streaming. Register NOW!