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Fulton County Gospel News

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The Power of Discouragement

By Claude E. Parker

Because the task of occupying Canaan seemed so great, all but two of the twelve men sent to spy out the land became convinced that the job could not be done. Every one of these men was a “ruler among them” (Numbers 13:2); and each knew that God had led them out of Egypt, overthrowing the army of Pharaoh (Exodus 14:29-31). They also knew that the land of Canaan was a wonderfully rich land that flowed with “milk and honey” (Numbers 13:27); yet they, and the multitude of others, whom they had discouraged, lived and died in a miserable wilderness. This is what discouragement will do!

The task before the church is a great one. The world seems filled with “giants”; and to many of the members, we are “in our own sight as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:33). Nevertheless, there are a few who say, as did Caleb, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). It is this attitude that we must have is we are to win the battle of life that is by faith.

The church of Christ should never forget this example. Not all of the multitude who ate of the manna from heaven and drank from the Rock were allowed to enter the promised land. Many were not allowed to enter because their hearts were still “by the flesh pots” in Egypt (Exodus 16:3). They did not remain faithful to God during the trying time that lapsed from the crossing of the Red Sea to the crossing of the Jordan. Likewise, only those members of the church who remain faithful in worship and service of God from the time they are baptized for remission of their sins (Acts 2:38), until the end of their time of trial on this earth, will enter heaven.

Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Just as one’s example can influence others for good or bad, so can one’s “couragement,” whether it be “en-” or “dis-.” I am very thankful for the encouragement I received from brother Parker and his wife Pearl when I first started preaching. He tried to instill in me the mindset of Caleb: “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”  Brother Parker was both an exemplary and encouraging Christian man.]

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