By David Wilkerson
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]
“I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. . . .
I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my
heart. . . . My heart panteth, my strength faileth me: as for the light of mine
eyes, it also is gone from me. . . . I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a
dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and
in whose mouth are no reproofs” (Psalm 38:6, 8, 10, 13-14).
As I read this psalm, I imagined David slumped in despair. Perhaps what
troubled him most was that he couldn’t understand why he was suddenly cast down
so low. This man hungered for the Lord, pouring out his heart daily in prayer.
He revered God and wrote psalms extolling His glory. But now, in his depressed
state, all he could do was cry, “Lord, I’m at the end of my rope and I have no
idea why this is happening!”
Like many discouraged Christians, David tried to figure out why he felt so
empty and broken in spirit. He probably relived every failure, sin and foolish
deed in his life and thought, “Oh, Lord, have all my reckless acts left me so
wounded that I’m beyond hope?”
Finally, David reasoned that God must be chastening him. He cried, “O Lord,
rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure” (verse
Let me point out that David isn’t writing just about his own condition in this
psalm. He is describing something that all devoted lovers of Jesus face at some
point in their lifetime—being under an attack from a plaguing spirit of
discouragement, which comes straight from the bowels of hell. No Christian
brings it on himself, nor does the Lord send it, and such an attack usually has
nothing to do with any specific sin or failing by the believer.
Very simply, the spirit of discouragement is Satan‘s most potent weapon against
God’s elect. Most often, he uses it to try to convince us we’ve brought God’s
wrath upon ourselves by not measuring up to His holy standards. But the apostle
Paul urges us not to fall prey to the devil’s snare: “Lest Satan should get an
advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Read this devotion online: http://sermons.worldchallenge.org/en/node/24917?src=devo-email