Bishop Gobat of Jerusalem, after a long missionary journey at one time, was greatly discouraged, He felt that God had forsaken him. Finding a cave, he went into it, spending a long time in prayer, telling the Lord how forsaken he was. It was a very dark cave. After being in the dark a while, his eyes became accustomed to it. He was startled by seeing a wild animal, a hyena and her cubs, near him. It is said that there is no animal more ferocious than a hyena with cubs. But God protected him; the hyena never offered to touch him. God's hand was keeping him at the very hour in which he thought that he was forsaken. He passed out unharmed. Oh that God would open our eyes so that we might realize the fact that at times when we get the idea that we are forsaken of Him He is keeping us from unseen dangers.—Gospel Herald.
It happened at the siege of Ladysmith. A civilian was arrested, court martialed, and sentenced to a year's imprisonment. He was a discourager. He would go along the lines and say discouraging words to the men on duty. He struck no blow for the enemy—not one. He was not disloyal to his country. He was just a discourager—and that in a critical time. The fortunes of the garrison and of the town hung in the balance. The court-martial adjudged it a crime to speak disheartening words in an hour like that. And so it is. And that same thing is happening every day in the history of some poor fellow's life. What this old world needs more than all is the man who can cheer.—Texas Christian Advocate.
Do you ever get discouraged
As you press your upward path?
Do you feel that you have failed Him,
And have merited His wrath?
Do you fear that you have stumbled,
Lost the very best God hath?
For you wanted to reign with Him,
And you've felt His Coming near;
And you longed for His approval,
When at Judgment you appear;
And you know how Israel doubted,
And your heart is filled with fear.
Listen, thou, for Christ is speaking,
Words of comfort unto you;
Grace abundantly He proffers,
Grace sent down from Heaven's blue;
He will help you, if you'll let Him,
And will surely see you through. —R. E. Neighbour, D.D.
"Did you ever notice," said the old lady, smiling into the troubled face before her, "that when the Lord told the discouraged fishermen to cast their nets again, it was right in the same old place where they had caught nothing? If we could only get off to some new place when we get discouraged, trying again would be an easier thing. If we could be somebody else, or go somewhere else, or do something else, it might not be so hard to have fresh faith and courage; but it is the same old net in the same old pond for most of us. The old temptations are to be overcome, the old faults are to be conquered, the old trials and discouragements before which we failed yesterday to be faced again today. We must win success where we are, if we win it at all, and it is the Master Himself, who, after all these toilful, disheartening failures, bids us `try again.'—Sunday School Times.
Two pastors' wives, alleges the Western Christian Union, were visiting together. One said: "I don't know what we shall do—my husband is so discouraged. Somehow his people do not care to hear him preach, and our salary is far behind. My husband feels so blue that he does not like to visit the people and pray with them, and so he sits around at home nearly all the time." The other sister said: "We are getting along fine. My husband spends much of his time visiting, and the people like to have him kneel and pray with them in their homes. Our congregations are always good, and our salary is paid up promptly."
While the two sisters were talking they were mending trousers. One was mending her husband's trousers at the seat, the other was mending her husband's trousers at the knees. —Sunday School Times.
The devil, according to legend, once advertised his tools for sale at public auction. When the prospective buyers assembled, there was one oddly shaped tool which was labeled "Not for sale." Asked to explain why this was, the devil answered, "I can spare my other tools, but I cannot spare this one. It is the most useful implement that I have. It is called Discouragement, and with it I can work my way into hearts otherwise inaccessible. When I get this tool into a man's heart, the way is open to plant anything there I may desire."
The legend embodies sober truth. Discouragement is a dangerous state of mind, because it leaves one open to the assault of the enemies of the soul.
It was announced that the devil was going out of business and would offer all tools for sale to whoever would pay his price. On the night of the sale they were all attractively displayed,—and a bad looking lot they were: Malice, Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Sensuality, Deceit and all the other implements of evil were spread out each marked with its price. Apart from the rest lay a harmless looking wedge-shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than any of the others. Someone asked the devil what it was.
"That's Discouragement," was the reply.
"Why do you have it priced so high?"
"Because," replied Satan, "it is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man's consciousness with that when I could not get near him with any of the other tools. When once inside I can use him in whatever way suits me best. It is so much worn because I use it with nearly everybody, as very few people yet know it belongs to me."
It hardly need be added that the devil's price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold. He is still using it.