“…He knelt down and prayed… an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly… When He rose from prayer and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:41-46)
Why did the Lord Jesus pray so earnestly right after being in agony? Because He knew that only by the STRENGTH of the Spirit would He overcome that situation. When you seek God with sincerity and intensity, He will strengthen you. The temptation that Jesus refers to here is the discouragement that would enter His disciples when they saw He was no longer with them, which is what happened.
Discouragement can be described as having an anaemic faith. It comes when faith is not fed, when a person is not attentive to his communion with God. He doesn’t meditate on His Word; he is always too tired to pray or too busy to go to church, etc. The devil works to make us busy with many things, which causes us to neglect our spiritual life (Luke 10:40-42). Look at some of the symptoms of anaemia:
• Tiredness (you’re tired of fighting, praying, asking, etc.)
• Bad memory (you forget the Promises of God, the miracles you received, etc.)
• Dizziness (a lack of spiritual focus, confusion)
• Muscle pain and weakness (you complain a lot, everything is hard, you’re hypersensitive)
• Low oxygen levels (you want to give up)
The Holy Spirit is the fuel of faith. Faith is the flame that keeps us in the presence of God. If you do not maintain a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, this flame will weaken and may even be extinguished. The Bible states, “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out” (Proverbs 26:20).
Don’t wait to ‘feel’ like doing what is needed to maintain a strong faith. Some people start to develop a connection with God, but don’t keep up the process. For example, during the Fast of Daniel, many abstain from what is secular and dedicate themselves to seeking the Holy Spirit, but when the fast is over, so is their surrender and focus on the Holy Spirit. They return to the same old routines.
Some even stop coming to church because they do not see the results they are looking for. Many do not know this secret: The fact that you do not see any results at that moment does not mean that they are not on their way. “As you do not know the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, likewise you do not know the work of God who has made everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
COMMON PHRASES OF THOSE INFECTED BY THIS VIRUS: ‘I prayed and nothing happened’; ‘This is hard’; ‘All my hard work makes no difference’; ‘I’ve tried everything’; ‘I don’t want to discourage you, but…’; ‘If only I had married someone else…’; ‘If only I had raised my children differently…’ Discouraged people always obsess about the past, about what went wrong, about the obstacles and their weaknesses. Chronic anaemia can cause blindness. Discouragement impedes people from seeing what is in front of them and from understanding that anything can change through the power of faith.