All of us get discouraged from time to time. Many godly men and women have pointed out that discouragement is the key weapon that Satan uses against believers. But we can cheer up because God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and encourage us (see Acts 9:31).
#1. The Holy Spirit encourages us to pray.
The Bible tells us that we do not know what to pray for. During such times the Holy Spirit intercedes for us from within our hearts. This is an experience that is beyond words. It is God interceding for us.
If you are burdened by some concern that you find difficult to bear; why not ask the Spirit of God to present your need before God the Father. He is the Spirit, the Spirit of sonship, which enables us to call God, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15, 16; Galatians 4:6).
He will present your case before God after having sifted out the wrong motives in our asking (if any). Do not wait for the right mood to pray. The Spirit of God helps us in our weaknesses; especially when we are discouraged (see Romans 8:26, 27). Ask him now, and he will lift up your heart’s concerns to God in prayer.
#2. The Holy Spirit encourages us to preach the Word of God boldly.
One prayer that will never be refused is the prayer for courage to preach the Word boldly. Why is such a prayer necessary? Most of us are ordinary people with lot of fears. That is why the Bible abounds with repeated messages of “Fear not,” and “Do not be afraid.”
And then often the preaching the gospel faces many opposition too. During such times when you pray; the Spirit of God will come and give you boldness. Remember how the disciples, who after the crucifixion of Jesus were in a room with doors locked because of fear, preached the Word of God with great boldness after they were given power by the Holy Spirit to do so (Acts 2:14). Remember also most of these were unschooled ordinary me(Acts 4:13).
If you are afraid to witness about Jesus Christ; do ask the Holy Spirit to give you boldness. Read Acts 4:23—31 and find out how the disciples prayed for boldness to preach the Word of God when threatened and how God answered by filling them with the Holy Spirit and how the spoke the word boldly (v. 31).
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage to take a stand for Jesus boldly. He will certainly do it.
#3. The Holy Spirit encourages us by giving us joy when persecuted.
Several believers face persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Some undergo physical persecution. For many others it could be scornful words and rejection by friends. It can include loss of rights too.
There are occasions when nobody will be able to stand alongside you. During such occasions, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy. The joy he gives will enable you to rise above the negative circumstances and be joyful. Hymns of praise and thanksgiving will come from you effortlessly in such a situation. The example of Paul and Silas in prison is noteworthy in this context (Acts 16:25).
When the joy of the Lord fills your heart (Acts 13:52); others will take note. And people will be attracted to Jesus Christ because they see joy radiating from you in spite of your suffering.
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