By Karen Zerby
AM; ML#3722; September 2008
1. The Enemy can't touch you or walk all over you if you don't want him to and if you don't let him. You will only find yourself on the path of discouragement if you make the choice to take that turn. You don't just accidentally fall into a pit of discouragement. You end up in a pit of discouragement because you make the decision to either willingly be pushed into one, or you are lured into one by stopping to lick your wounds or lend self-pity an ear.
You have to consciously decide that you will not listen to the Enemy's voice, and neither will you become your own worst enemy by feeling sorry for yourself. Don't give the Enemy a chance to make you stumble and fall. Make the choice to close your ears to doubts and discouragement by quoting My promises, speaking faith, praising Me, and reaching out to help someone else who needs My encouragement. By making this right choice, you will stay on the healthy path of My happiness and encouragement.
2. When you're going through a trying time, whip out the weapon of praise. Set the Devil back through your praises to Me in word and song, thanking Me for how I'm going to work everything out, for how I'm going to defeat the Enemy and send him packing! He won't hang around to hear your whole praise, believe Me! He can't stand it and will turn tail and run, leaving the field to you and Me. You are always a victor in every battle through praise!
3. I know it's tough, My love. I understand the deep pain and disappointment you feel. I was tested in all points like you. I understand the depths of despair when you are in this carnal frame and can only see the moment in time you are in. I understand, and I promise to help you through. Just call My Name and I will be there, right beside you, helping you and holding you up. So don't worry; just lean on Me and My strength, and I will see you through. Things will get better!
4. I greatly reward you for each battle you fight, for each time you keep going in spite of the struggle. I will reward you for not giving up in spite of the difficulties and the opposition. My rewards will be worth every fight, every battle, and the taste of victory will be all the sweeter to you, if you just hold on. In looking back you'll be so thankful that you didn't give up, and you will enjoy My wonderful rewards that I keep for My seasoned, veteran soldiers.
5. Your battles and times of deep trial and difficulty are the propulsion that thrust you even higher into the skyways of My Spirit, that give you the opportunity to see life from a more heavenly perspective, and that ensure that miles and miles of progress will be made in just a fraction of the time that it otherwise would have taken. And, of course, you can have the added joy of knowing that in just a little while you'll be happily arriving at your new destination—your victorious future!
6. Heaven is perfect, peaceful, and completely loving. Yet, even in Heaven you will have new experiences, challenges, and things to learn and grow in. The only difference is, in Heaven your perspective and attitude toward the challenges will change, and you will see all that I bring into your life as positive and good. This is how I want you to see your battles on Earth—as welcome challenges—and thus partake of the heavenly peace and happiness that those here have.
Every time you're hit with a battle, instead of thinking, "Oh, how horrible!" I want you to think, "Wow! I'm a child of God! I'm an enemy of Satan and I'm destroying his kingdom!" You should look forward to Heaven where all will be at peace and life will be happy, but I also want to give you this same peace here and now. I want to give you victory and freedom in the midst of adversity. This is the peace that can be yours if you will but claim it!
7. When it came time for Me to start My earthly ministry, do you think I felt ready or like I could do it? I was the Son of God, the most powerful being in the universe other than My Father, and now I had to set all that aside for a time to become a lowly human. I could do nothing in the flesh—in My Own strength, that is. There were times when I was clumsy, I sometimes felt at a loss for words, and I had to look to My Father for the answers. When I looked at all that needed to be done, I felt so small and so incapable of fulfilling the task when I only looked at My human flesh.
I was the same as you are—nothing but a vessel, a tool that waited to be picked up by the Master. I felt in every way human. I was not born with any special powers or abilities, looks, or talents. I was pretty much your average Joe without the anointing of My Father. It was through yielding to My Father and His power, through saying yes and doing what He showed Me to do, that I was empowered. You too can experience this same surge in power, this same full possession. This power will enable you to do what I did and more! All you have to do is believe it and you will receive it.
8. Picture the Grand Canyon. Its many levels, from stark cliffs to lush inner sanctums, tell a story. The waters that created this seeming wound in the landscape also bring forth its most beautiful and abundant life deep within.
The same majesty and beauty is formed in your soul as the sometimes raging currents of battles, failures, tears, and suffering create what at first glance may seem to be deep scars on your heart or life. I allow those waters of troubles to flow through your life to create a refuge where My most precious and treasured gifts can grow like rare flowers.
As you look beyond the surface into the depths of a heart reshaped by troubles that were carried to Me, you'll find that hidden within those canyons are the most beautiful of blossoms. Soul blossoms are brilliant, and breathtaking in color and fragrance. They are a source of inspiration and comfort to the heart that bears them, and to the spirits of others who venture there in search of comfort, solace, and the waters of My love to slake their thirst. Everything there carries a distinctiveness that says: Jesus has been here.
9. Have you ever been tempted to wonder why, if I'm right here with you, comforting you, that you still feel the sadness and the pain? Think about a mother with her young child who has fallen down and gotten hurt. Think about how the mother holds, comforts, and nurtures her little one. Initially, it doesn't seem to help. The child is still hurting and crying, but in a few moments the pain is forgotten, as the child is comforted through the mother's love and tenderness. It's the same with you and Me. When you are hurting, I hold you through the pain, and it won't be long before My love will have soothed it all away, and you will be happy and able to smile again.
10. There is gold to be found, even in these dark caves which threaten to snuff out your little light. That's My promise to you, My love, when you find yourself in one such cave of life. I go before you and I never allow you to pass through a cave that will not return to you that which perisheth not—the treasures and gold of the spirit. So when you feel like you're in a deep, dark cave, the key is to seek after that gold, never doubting that it is there somewhere, just waiting for you.
11. I won't give up on you! You may feel like utter scum and that there's no way I can make something beautiful of your life now with all your faults and failings—but I can! I haven't changed My mind about being your Husband and using you in My service. I don't care how dirty you get or how far down you go; I will always lift you out of any pit, clean you up, and give you another chance. But you've got to believe in My love and desire for you; you've got to accept that I believe in you and want to use you.
12. If doubts, discouragement, and despair are clouding your mind; if all you hear when you stop to listen is how you have failed and how bad you are, then speak My words out loud. Select some quotes that are faith-building and filled with encouragement and read them out loud. Challenge the Enemy to a Word duel. The Enemy only has so many lines of discouragement up his sleeve. When you realize that he is only repeating the same old lies over and over, and that My words are true and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, you will see clearly who the winner is! Not only that; if the Devil sees that you won't give up on quoting My Word back at him, he will turn tail and run. There is nothing like My Word to shut the Devil up!
13. Keep your eyes off your mistakes. Don't even think about them. Consider them casualties of war, casualties of the battles you're fighting. Keep your mind on what I'm doing and how I'm using your mistakes. Keep your mind on what you're learning. Picture yourself free from the chains of condemnation and regret. Dwell on the positive, not the negative. This is a lesson that is often very difficult for My brides to learn. It's so easy for you to fall into condemnation, because often you set too high a standard for yourselves.
But what I want you to realize is that all I want you to be is little old you, just as you are, with your weaknesses and faults, raising your hands in praise, looking to Me, and determined to receive the victory. So just accept that you have weaknesses and that you will make mistakes, and then do your best to obey Me and love Me and love others. As you do, I will use you and create within you something beautiful, and you will fulfill the destiny that I have set before you!
14. When was the last time you tried threading a needle? You probably licked the end of the thread and held the needle up close, squinting, straining your eyes as you carefully and repeatedly tried to maneuver the thread through. Sometimes it threads easier than at other times, but almost always there are those moments of difficulty and frustration, right up until you finally get it through. Now why would you bother threading that needle in the first place? Because there's a purpose and a plan. You need to create something or mend something.
Remember this the next time you feel like your trials are threading you through the eye of a needle and you're experiencing pressure, frustration, and anguish. There is a plan and a purpose—My plan—and that is to create something glorious with your life: a tapestry that is going to wow the world with its deep colors, intricate detail, and beauty, the kind that can only be created through the trying of one's faith. It's those difficult and hard-earned lessons that make the tapestry of your life stand miles apart from all the rest, because so few are willing to endure and persevere through the trial in order to create that life of beauty and substance.