It is natural to get discouraged from time to time as the devil hurls his arrows at us, and he uses that to distract us from our main purpose in life, and that is to daily grow closer to the LORD.  It is written in Hebrews 12:1-2,
1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

But we must remember, though it is “natural” to become discouraged, we serve a “supernatural” God, and He has not left us to defend ourselves as best we can, but has provided everything we need to be victorious in every situation.

Are you aware of “so great a cloud of witnesses” watching every struggle you go through, an angelic host cheering you on, knowing you are invincible because God is with you?  Or do you see yourselves as the ancient Israelites crossing the Jordan saw themselves as they spied out the Promised Land, as “GRASSHOPPERS”?  How you see yourself determines the outcome of your every battle.  God never loses a battle, of course you knew that, right?  And if you’re “in Him”, you cannot lose either.

When Christ Jesus was agonizing over going to the cross, He sweat as it were great drops of blood, knowing what awaited Him.  It wasn’t that He didn’t have something more enjoyable to do that day, but He knew there was only one shot at saving mankind from sin, and if He failed, there was no “Plan B”.  It was only the “joy that was set before Him” that He was able to endure the cross.  What was that joy? YOUR SALVATION!

Now, if YOU had to endure what Jesus did in order to win your salvation, would you be able to carry through with it?  Think about it carefully.  Jesus did it voluntarily, He could have called legions of angels to rescue Him, but He didn’t call them.  He could have refused to endure the pain, but He didn’t.  He had His eyes firmly on the prize, and He had NOTHING to gain personally for His suffering whatsoever.  After all, before coming to earth in the flesh, He was with His Father in heaven forever.  He already had it all!  But YOU had nothing; no covenant with God, no hope of everlasting life, no savior, NOTHING of eternal value.  In fact, your future was the Lake of Fire, and as they say in the Monopoly game, “Go straight to jail, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.” As a member of the human race, your goose was already cooked before you were ever born.

But, because of what Christ Jesus did for you, sin no longer has the power to separate you from God!  Only YOU have the power to separate you from God.  Sin and death has been rendered powerless to put you in the Lake of Fire. Yes, Jesus had His eye on the prize and refused to let the agony of the cross deter Him from winning YOUR victory over sin and death.

Does that excite you?  Well it should: you should be absolutely delirious with joy that Christ Jesus has redeemed you from the curse of sin and death.  “Oh, yes, I’m excited, ok, yeah, that’s good and everything…….did you see this new phone app on the internet today?  Now THAT’S something to get excited about…..!!”

And that’s kind of how it goes, isn’t it?  You see, the problem is, we fail to see the value of the prize set before us.  Christ Jesus saw it, and He knew the cost beforehand, and it was greater than any of us could possibly pay.  Only HE was able to do it.  Yet, in spite of the risk that if He committed even ONE sin, He would never see His heavenly Father again, nor would He ever be back in heaven again.  ONE SIN, mind you, just ONE.  Was there any pressure there?  You tell me!  Yet he did it for a world full of largely unappreciative, thankless brats, who had everything to gain, and nothing to give.

I’m not “downsizing” the trials you and I are going through, but merely saying, “GET YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!”  In light of eternity, what we go through in this life is but a flash in the pan, the blinking of an eye, and it’s over and we’re in eternity, with NO END.  Where will YOU spend that eternity?  Will you be among the redeemed from sin and death?  Or do you choose to stand apart and forfeit your prize?

Another thing; there’s more than everlasting life in the deal, your healing from sickness and disease in THIS life was also secured as part of your redemption.  If you choose to receive your redemption, don’t forget the “healing” part, for it is part and parcel with salvation.  One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Psalm 103:2-3, which says; Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

The devil would like for you to forget about healing.  You see, he has no power to keep you from receiving Christ Jesus as your LORD and Savior.  As much as he WANTS to, he is powerless to do it, so he just hopes he can keep you so tied up with distractions that you never get around to securing your prize.   If you DO decide to make Christ Jesus your LORD and Savior, he will do his best to keep you thinking God is the author of sickness, and that God is using sickness to “make you a better person”, or to “teach you a lesson”.  Let me set the record straight:  God is NOT the author of sickness and death, SATAN IS! And he will use sickness and disease to try to destroy you, hoping that you never realize that healing AND salvation already belongs to you by virtue of what Christ Jesus endured on the cross for you.

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t believe in God.  Well, He believes in YOU, and that’s why He sent His Son to save you.  Think about this: I’m trying to get you to believe in Christ Jesus.  If you’re right and there is no God, then when you die, you’re just dead and you’ve lost nothing by believing in Jesus.  But if I’m right, and you believe in Him, you have gained EVERYTHING. But if you DON’T believe, you have LOST everything.  Please, choose wisely, you only get one trip through this life.

Satan’s only true power is deception.  His lies have caused sin and death to countless millions ever since Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.  He still uses deception today because it works so well.  And anything he needs to use to get YOUR eyes off the prize, he will use.  But his plan didn’t work on Jesus because Jesus knew the truth.  And now YOU know the truth.  So what’s your next move?  Get your eyes on the prize and don’t get them off!  Is the prize worth it?  Well, apparently so, else Jesus wouldn’t have endured the agony He went through to secure it for you.  Be wise, keep your eyes on the prize!