The devil once had a yard sale. He put out all of his tools with a price sticker on each one. There were a lot of them, including hatred, envy, jealousy, doubt, lying, pride, and lust. Apart from the rest of the tools was an old, harmless-looking tool with a high price.

One of the devil’s customers asked about this high-priced tool. The devil said, “Why, that’s discouragement.”

The customer asked, “Why do you have such a high price on it?”

The devil responded, “That’s one of my most useful tools. When other tools won’t work, I can pry open and get into a person’s heart with discouragement. Once I get inside, I can do whatever I want. It’s easy to get into a person’s heart with this tool because few people know it belongs to me.”

It’s said that the devil’s price on discouragement is so high that he’s never been able to sell it. As a result, he continues to use it.

And he often uses it with his oldest tool: “Did God really say that?” “Are you sure he’s called to do that?” “Wow, you sure have made a mess of things, haven’t you?” These are very painful times and must be addressed by simply being honest with God. Ask the Lord why he is allowing these periods of stress and pain. Ask him for wisdom to walk through them graciously and humbly. But never allow any root of anger and bitterness to grow in your heart, because God is not finished with you yet.

Holman Old Testament Commentary – Holman Old Testament Commentary – Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.