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Is This a Spiritual Problem?

After a spirit of discernment, the next rarest things in the world are diamonds and pearls.

I never know how much of my discouragement is just low metabolism, how much of it is the attack of the Enemy, and how much of it is the sheer toughness of the job," a pastor admitted to me recently.

Are down times caused by our makeup, by the influence of evil, or by God's shaping hand? Is discouragement mostly spiritual, emotional, or physical in origin? Is it a sin we should feel bad about, or a normal human response, like grief? Is it something we need to repent of, rebuke, or just rest from?

The way we answer these questions makes an Atlanticsized difference. The answer determines whether we will feel guilty for being discouraged — and whether that guilt is accurate. It determines whether we will seek help — and if so, where and how. It even helps determine how long we will feel discouraged, for applying the wrong treatment can be worse than doing nothing at all.

These questions don't take ...

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