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Dealing With The Dark Clouds Of Discouragement

Posted: Oct 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Title: Dealing with the Spirit of Discouragement
Author: Rev. (Dr). Jane Onaolapo
Reviewer: Mike Elakhe
No Of Pages: 80
Publisher: Abundant Life Press

‘Dealing With The Spirit Of Discouragement’ is a weighty subject, and it is doubtful if an 80-page mini-book is  enough to do adequate justice to the common problems we all face in virtually any areas of life. Be that as it may, the author deals with the topic by citing references of the lives of several Biblical characters in the Scriptures and laid bare the pervasive nature of discouragement in their lives. Elijah, David, Abraham, Gideon, Job for instance, were stalwarts in their days but we found that, as the Bible says about Elijah (her main reference in the book), at a critical point in his life, was totally discouraged. He was so discouraged that after his epic victory over the prophets of Baal, he ran away from Jezebel.

The author worked within the ambit of four chapters in trying to elucidate the understanding of the spirit in chapter one, its manifestation in chapter two through sections explaining the methods of dealing with the spirit in chapter three and finally soaring above limitation in the fourth chapter. It is interesting that despite the constraints of writing a small book, she dealt excellently with the subject.

According to Rev. (Dr.) Jane Onaolapo, DISCOURAGEMENT is not just a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles, it is not a feeling of frustration as a result of something unpleasant happening to you but is A SPIRIT; A STRONG EVIL SPIRIT.

In chapter 2, she cites instances of situations where people were discouraged and admonishes people against discouragement. This book relays a message for the present climate in Nigeria where virtually everyone is complaining about the harsh economic situation.

Chapter 3 offers three sub-headings on how to deal with this spirit: Strength in the inner man, the Word as well as Strength in the place of prayer and rejoicing. It takes us through a catalogue of Biblical references and admonitions aimed at inspiring the reader into a mindset that can bring about the faith to receive from God.

In chapter 4, she writes on soaring above limitation. In it, she draws materials from a testimony, the life of Mother Theresa and the children of Israel when they were confronted with the Red Sea.

One very vital point the author addresses is the mode and channels of entry, as well as the operation of the spirit of discouragement like the parable of the sower described by Jesus Christ in Matt. 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. This ingredient in the book exposes the intrinsic indiscipline and inability of many Christians to avail themselves of the power of the Holy Spirit, to disconnect the inner man from the plodding of the carnal man’s subjection to overbearing external influence. That was the weakness of Elijah who despite his personal experiences of God’s miraculous power, and His message to him through an angel, still insisted that he preferred to die.

Another very vital point every discerning reader would note is the challenges or unpleasant experiences on our faith. When Christians’ faith seem to have failed in dealing with our most common challenges or when they appear to be exercising faith by the scriptures they quote, the prayers they say, and all the paraphernalia of their faith’s expressions, underneath, in the deepest recesses of their hearts, there is that lingering fear of insecurity or failure. This makes our faith, despite all our ‘holy’ genuflections ineffective.

The book directs our minds to several other issues like doubt, fear, unbelief, double mindedness, wrong doctrination, misunderstanding, misapplication, misdirection of faith, presumption, low self esteem, lack of confidence, repeated failure and disappointments, sin, conscience, condemnation, etc. These are major problems which evil spirits like discouragement leverage on to thwart our faith. When a Christian is laboring under some of these sins, prayers and expectations will go unanswered, making it even more difficult to receive from God, and thereby fanning the flame of discouragement.

This is another good book from Rev.  (Dr.) Jane Onaolapo which can prepare the reader for a more in-depth work on his faith walk.

The reader may find the author’s other books quite interesting as a supplementary work to this outstanding book.
As the General Overseer of Abundant Life Gospel Church, her vast teaching experience and unquestionable anointing flows all through this remarkable book.