How to Conquer Discouragement

It starts with understanding what’s behind the pervasive spirit of hopelessness and frustration.

In his new booklet America Under Attack, Gerald Flurry explains that America is entering the sad, final stages of its prophesied collapse. Many people realize something is dangerously wrong, and are angry, discouraged and hopeless.

Not long after we distributed the first printed copies of America Under Attack, columnist David Kupelian wrote an eye-opening article, “Americans ‘Snapping’ by the Millions.” According to Kupelian, tens of millions of Americans are being driven “to the point of illness, depression and self-destruction.” The picture is bleak: millions suffering from chronic stress, depression or anxiety; myriad teens and children diagnosed with adhd, depression or bipolar disorders; tens of millions taking anti-depressant or psychiatric drugs just to make it through the day; skyrocketing suicide rates.

“Throw in the 28 percent of American adults with a drinking problem, that’s more than 60 million, plus the 22 million using illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants,” Kupelian concludes, “and pretty soon a picture emerges of a nation of drug-takers, with hundreds of millions dependent on one toxic substance or another—legal or illegal—to ‘help’ them deal with the stresses and problems of life.”

As America Under Attack points out, few realize the reason for America’s self-destructive behavior: Satan. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 describe the first time Satan tried to remove God from His throne—perhaps millions of years ago. But Revelation 12 prophesied that Satan would attack God again. When? Shortly before Christ’s return.

Here’s the outcome of that battle: “… and the dragon fought and his [fallen] angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the Earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (verses 7-9). Satan did not prevail against God. But he has successfully deceived the whole world. This powerful, invisible adversary actually holds all the world captive!

He is the current active ruler of this Earth. My father explains in America Under Attack, “He is stirring up people’s emotions, moods and attitudes. When people get into a negative emotion, a bad attitude or a wrong mood, he works on those people. He has power to influence those wrong emotions; he has deceived the world through them!”

As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, it’s as if the air is surcharged with Satan’s selfish attitudes. This ability to negatively influence mankind is especially worse today, since Satan is now confined to Earth. Verse 12 continues, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

To grasp what is happening in America today, we must understand this invisible attack from Satan. After Herbert Armstrong died in 1986, Satan immediately targeted the organization he founded, the Worldwide Church of God. That entire church and its worldwide work were dismantled—from the inside. Almost all its members were left in spiritual darkness. Our free book Raising the Ruins thoroughly recounts this history. It provides penetrating insight into how Satan wages spiritual war. As America Under Attack explains, this spiritual attack against the Worldwide Church of God also reveals how the devil is attacking America!

Kupelian makes another important point about how the Obama administration has capitalized on the hopelessness spreading across America. President Obama is openly working to transform the U.S. into something its Founders would not recognize. “Such a radical change cannot be accomplished while Americans are calm, happy, content and grateful for their blessings,” Kupelian writes. “Citizens must be unhappy and stressed out. Indeed, widespread popular discontent has always been the required fuel for leftist transformation. … [T]he very key to radical ‘change’ is keeping the populace angry, encouraging their grievances, stoking their resentments and making sure they are continually upset.”

That’s what we see in America today: a populace growing more angry and depressed each day. Even God’s people have to fight against this negative, downward pull. The Bible admonishes true Christians to be watchful, prayerful, sober-minded and always vigilant—“because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Satan knows he has only a short time left and is wrathful! But if we fight against him, with God’s help, this powerful being will actually flee from us. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you …” (James 4:7-8).

This is the key. We must draw near to God. If we strengthen our relationship with God, then He will strengthen us. What wonderful encouragement!

When the weight of Satan’s world is heavy on our shoulders, God’s strength in us can relieve the burden. As this world unravels, draw near to God and remember the words of Jesus on the eve of His greatest trial and test in John 16:33: “… In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”