It is very much in the Devil’s interests that we despair. If he can get us to believe any of these three demoralizing lies that he loves to whisper into our thoughts, our powers for Jesus are greatly diminished. And each one seems to us quite plausible.
Lie #1: “You’re a hypocrite. Sure, you’re serving Jesus. But you don’t really mean it. It’s really all about you. You might as well give up.”
Answer: “Whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:19-20). “I do not even judge myself. . . . It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Cor. 4:3-4).
Lie #2: “You’re a loser. You’ve ruined your life. You’re too damaged by now. You’ll never amount to anything for the Lord. You might as well give up.”
Answer: “. . . the poor, . . . the brokenhearted, . . . the captives, . . . that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations” (Isaiah 61:1-4).
Lie #3: “You’re too small. You’re so buried under the debris of our complex and crowded world today, you’ll never make an impact. You’re making no difference at all. You might as well give up.”
Answer: “God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:28-29).
Each lie is believable, in its way. So we don’t defeat the lies by pushing back with our own beliefs, which are little more than stabs at truth. We push back by declaring God’s Word, which has a decisive finality our own little thoughts cannot generate.