Discouragement or Hope :: By Nathele Graham

Faith, Hope, Love, And The Eschaton

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Along with joy and happiness, this life can hold many trials and unhappiness. It’s up to each individual to decide what to focus on. We need to remember that all blessings come from God, but all evil comes from wicked Satanic forces. God created a world of beauty and peace filled with blessings and hope. Genesis chapter 1 isn’t an allegory or a myth. It is truth. God created everything in 6 literal days. The ultimate creation was Adam. Evolution didn’t make you the unique and special person you are.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).

When God saw that Adam needed a companion, He took Eve from Adam and told them to be fruitful and multiply. In this passage of Scripture, we can see that gender is not a choice and that since God created male and female, marriage is only valid between a man and a woman.

We don’t know how long Adam and Eve had been living in the Garden of Eden when Eve was distracted from God’s truth and chatted with Satan. Big mistake! That evil being convinced her that God was wicked and only told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because He didn’t want them to be as gods. God had specifically told Adam to eat of every tree in the Garden except for the forbidden fruit.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

This command was given to Adam prior to God creating Eve, so Adam should have been clearer when directing Eve in God’s truth. Eve listened to Satan and ate the forbidden fruit. Adam also disregarded God’s commandments and sinned. Did Adam and Eve drop dead immediately? Not in body, but in soul. That’s when sin and death entered creation and mankind was separated from God. There had been enough food on all the trees in the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to eat and be satisfied. Still, the wickedness of Satan convinced them that God was a liar and the forbidden fruit was good to eat.

You might think that event didn’t set a precedent, but it did. For some reason, Satan’s lies look more appealing than God’s truth, even though history should show us that sin never brings happiness, joy, or peace. Look around at the ways of the world. God created a man and a woman, and their marriage was forever. What do we see in the world today? Men and women living together without the blessing of a God-ordained marriage. Unwanted children come from such unions, and there is no real love and trust in such a relationship. Men living with men, and woman living with women as if they are married in God’s eyes. AIDS is a result of such relationships.

There is sickness and evil all around, and life can get overwhelming. Are you discouraged by the way your life is going? Are you facing trials and worries? Maybe your children are rebellious and living lives opposed to God. That is heartbreaking and worrisome. Do you blame God because of the sinful way your children live? Look at your own life. Have you been an example of Godly ways for your children to admire?

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Too many parents have the attitude of “do as I say, not as I do.” If you tell your children to stay away from drugs and alcohol but live the example of drunkenness, don’t blame God if your children follow your example. Are you in a God-ordained one man/one woman marriage, or are you giving your children the example of “living together”? If you aren’t following God’s truth, you can’t blame Him for the results of your choices. God gave us the freedom to choose to follow His ways, or go the way of Satan’s lies. If we choose to follow Satan’s lies, then we cannot blame God for the results of our sin.

God has given us Scripture to guide us in His ways, but if we listen to Satan’s voice and follow worldly ways, we have to accept the results of our sin.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

A wage is something you work for, but a gift is something that is freely given. We have fragile bodies that were created to work a certain way. Then Satan whispers to you, drink that alcohol because you will have more friends and be the life of the party. Do you listen to Satan or to God?

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying” (Romans 13:13).

So, you harken to Satan’s lies and drink until you are seeing double and decide to drive home. An accident happens, and people are killed. Do you blame God for the results of the accident, or do you see that it was your choice to drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs? Maybe you hadn’t been drinking, and the accident just happened, or there was some negligence on your part. It can be discouraging to face life knowing that maybe you should have been more cautious and alert. My brother was killed in an automobile accident. It was truly an accident. It was very rainy, and an animal ran across the highway. The young driver skidded off the road, and three young boys died that night. The driver survived, but the horror of that night still haunts him after more than 60 years.

The point is, we cannot blame God for troubles. Wickedness is from Satan. Death entered creation when Adam disregarded God’s command and ate the forbidden fruit. To this day, many people choose to disregard His Commandments and live a life of sin. There are many things in life that we can’t control that cause pain and suffering. Remember, we live in a fallen world, and all evil is from Satan. It’s heartbreaking to see a baby born with birth defects, and it’s easy to blame God. On the other hand, we must question whether or not the mother took drugs – prescription or illegal. I know of a baby who was born premature and addicted to cocaine because the mother was addicted to cocaine. Do we blame God, or do we blame Satan? I blame Satan.

Our only hope is in Jesus. No matter what troubles you face, or choices you’ve made, if you’ve placed your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, you can be assured He will never leave you nor forsake you.

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Moses had led the Israelites through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. That must have been very discouraging, but the wandering was caused because of their lack of faith and trust in God, and a choice was made to disobey Him. Now the time had come for them to enter into the promised land, and Moses was near to death. He spoke to the Israelites and encouraged them to trust God and to follow Him. Heed those words in your own life. Turn from sin that causes a separation between you and God.

If you have accepted Christ for your salvation but only see evil and discouragement in your life, it might be helpful to look at the choices you’ve made. Have you always followed God’s path, or have you deviated to follow the way of the world? The Holy Spirit will never lead you to do anything that is opposed to Scripture. Follow His guidance. “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Is what you are going through the wages of sin that you’ve earned? Remember that, as the Scripture says, we earn the wages of sin, but if you have given your life to Christ, your sins are all forgiven.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

You may still have to pay the price for living life opposed to God, but He will never leave you. Christians have the blessed hope of eternity with God. Instead of being discouraged over the wages of sin you’ve earned, draw hope and joy from the gift of God.

As we draw nearer to the end of time, we will see wickedness growing stronger as more and more people reject God’s truth. Even Christians are listening to Satan’s evil whisper rather than standing firm on Scripture.

“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).

God is always willing to forgive the truly repentant person who humbly goes before Him in prayer.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Once you’ve recognized the sin in your life, confess it to God and ask Him to forgive you. Then turn away from it. The blood that Jesus shed for you doesn’t give you a license to continue sinning. Remember, no matter how discouraged you may be by life’s circumstances, there is always hope in Jesus. God can, and will, take everything you turn over to Him and make it work for good.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Never allow life to defeat you, but keep your eyes and heart upon Jesus.

Discouragement comes from living a worldly life, but hope comes from living for Christ.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham


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All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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