Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is….
— Hebrews 10:25

People tend to skip church and stay away from other believers when they get discouraged. Maybe you know someone who has done this. Maybe you’ve even done it yourself at a time in your life when you felt discouraged or depressed.

There are a myriad of reasons why people stay away from church when they are discouraged. Perhaps they’re embarrassed that their faith isn’t working as fast as they think it should. Perhaps they’re ashamed that they’re still struggling with problems they think should have been conquered long ago. They don’t want anyone to know they’re still wrestling with the same old problems, so they disappear from sight.

Don’t let embarrassment or discouragement keep you away from other believers. You need their strength! You need their testimony! You need their encouragement! You need to hear them say, “You can do it! You can make it!”

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bookmark2That’s why Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is….” The word “forsaking” is taken from the Greek word egkataleipontes. It’s a compound of three different Greek words: eg, kata, and leipo. The first word, eg (actually from the Greek word ek), means out. Kata, the second part of the word, means down. The third word, leipo, means behind. These three words compounded together simply mean out, down, and behind.

These words describe someone who is extremely discouraged, defeated, and depressed. Maybe he feels depressed because it looks like everyone is succeeding but him. Or maybe this is someone who is simply weary from fighting a very long battle. Regardless of the reason why, this word describes a person who feels left out, down, depressed, and far behind everyone else.

The moment people begin to feel like they are failing or falling short of everyone else is often the moment when Satan tells them,“Oh, just stay home from church today. You don’t need to go down there with all those rejoicing people. You know that you don’t feel like being with them today, so why not just stay home by yourself? You don’t need them. You can just read the Bible at home!”

Satan knows that if he can get you to fall out of fellowship with other believers — at the very moment when you need fellowship and encouragement the most — then he can probably keep you down and defeated. Yes, it’s true that you can read the Bible at home by yourself, and you need to do this. But fellowship with other believers is essential for everyone, and that includes you! You receive encouragement from other believers that you can’t get anywhere else.

That is why church is the last place the devil wants you to go when you’re feeling low! He knows if you go to church, you will be touched by the Presence of the Lord; you will get encouraged by other believers; and in the end, you’ll crawl out of that hole the enemy has put you in and rise up to a place of heavenly victory!

The devil works overtime to try to tempt you to skip church, stay home, and do something else instead. But, friend, why isolate yourself when you are in the greatest need of encouragement?

Hebrews 10:25 could be translated:

“When you’re feeling down and depressed — like a failure who is falling behind everyone else — that isn’t the time to stay away from other believers, as some are in the habit of doing….”

Instead of letting the devil and your flesh get the best of you in moments of weakness, here’s my suggestion: In addition to praying and reading the Word at home when you’re feeling down and out, go find another believer or a group of believers who can build you up in faith and encourage you in the Lord. After fellowshipping with people of faith, you’ll feel recharged to go back and face those challenges with a winning attitude!

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My Prayer for Today

Lord, I ask You to help me push my flesh and my feelings aside when I am tempted to be down and depressed. Your Word promises that I’ll be encouraged if I fellowship with the saints, so I ask You to help me shove my lying emotions out of the way, get out of my house, and stop focusing on my defeat. Give me the strength of will to go attach myself to a band of believers who will encourage me to stand up, stand tall, and fight like someone who has the armor and the power of God working in my life!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

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My Confession for Today

I declare that Satan does not have the power to keep me down and depressed! When life comes against me and the devil tries to tell me that I have no hope of ever getting out of my problems, I run to people of faith so I can get encouraged! I don’t fall out of fellowship, and I don’t stay away from church. I am faithful in my church attendance, and I receive encouragement every time I get in God’s Presence and rub shoulders with the people of God!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

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Questions to Answer

1. When you get discouraged, where do you go for help, strength, and encouragement?

2. Has the devil successfully tempted you to stay away from other believers?

3. How can you get more involved with a faith community that can give you needed encouragement to help you win the battles you’ve been waging?