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May 17 2017

What to do with discouragement?

God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived! Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
What to do with discouragement?

Sometimes I find myself getting discouraged praying about Islam. I’m an ordinary person reading the news to know what’s happening in the world so I can write and speak relevantly. But Islam is a formidable, enduring global system that someone has said is “one of satan’s most successful projects”, and the news it generates is everything from confusing and frustrating to horrifying and paralyzing. The power of Islam’s lies to deceive and provoke can be daunting.

Then there is news from the Christian world with the potential to break our hearts, such as former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi’s much-followed vlogs documenting his journey of faith through cancer diagnosis and treatment.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being discouraged sometimes. What to do with discouragement?

Perhaps a more productive question is, “How can I care for myself so that I can keep on fighting the good fight?” I’ve compiled a list of actions that help give us confidence that the rock we stand on is solid, our prayers are being heard and the Lord of heaven and earth is accomplishing His purposes through them.

  1. Learn from those who have “fought the good fight [and] finished the race” (2 Ti 4:7) by proclaiming encouraging scriptures aloud to fortify your faith, because “faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Ro 10:17). Psalm 46 is a good place to start.
  2. Exhort your own soul to praise the Lord (Ps 103:1-6). Refocus on your first love, and sing along with a worship song. Here are a few suggestions:

What a beautiful name https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5L6QlAH3L4

Lion and the Lamb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ujBoud26k

  1. Meditate on Hebrews 12. Ask the Spirit of God to minister to you, strengthen you and help keep your eyes on Jesus.
  2. Find someone with similar passions to pray with regularly, in person or by Skype or telephone. “Encourage one another and build one another up” (1Thess 5:11).

  3. Unsubscribe from news sources that are particularly discouraging or disturbing.
  4. Subscribe to alternative media that publish good news.
  5. Launch a counter-attack on Islam’s controlling spirit. Islam demands that everyone submit to it. “Submit yourselves therefore to God [place yourself under God’s authority]. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Ja 4:7). Rejoice in your freedom (Jn 8:36, 2 Co 3:17).
  6. Philippians 4:4-8 is as close to a formula for ensuring access to supernatural peace as you can find in the Bible. Study its wisdom, implement it, and “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
  7. Renew your hope by watching Nabeel’s Qureshi’s vlog #28 “Suffering through the lens of Lazarus”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALugAWu1ZU4

Ramadan begins May 27. This month of Islamic fasting, feasting and prayer strengthens darkness, even making it difficult for missionaries to work in Islam’s harvest fields.

But remember, “every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 Jn 4:3-4).

Therefore, “pray without ceasing(1 Thess 5:17) for

  • The Lord to go out like a mighty man to triumph over the spirits of Islam that oppose Him (Isa 42:10-13)
  • His faithful workers to do the greater things that Jesus promised (Jn 14:12) among Muslims for His glory
  • Muslims to cry out with all their hearts for their true Father, their true identity as His children and their true inheritance in Christ Jesus. Declare, “GOD HEARS!”
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About Leslie
Leslie knows by faith and experience that our heavenly Father puts His prayers in our hearts and then listens to our hearts’ cry as we pray them back to Him. We hear God, and God hears us.
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