Discouragement – a “dis” on courage

The word “courage” is part of the word “discourage.” It’s like the word dis-heartened (a “dis” on heart or a loss of heart).


Answering the "Why?" of lifeDiscouragement is a “dis” on courage!

Have you ever thought of it that way?

It’s a loss of courage, confidence or hope. Discouragement includes some degree of fear. 

The word “courage” is part of the word “discourage.” It’s like the word disheartened (a “dis” on heart or a loss of heart). 

Don’t let life “dis” on your courage or heart! 

Why do our words need prefixes and suffixes?

When we rebelled against God’s good plan for us, our existence required prefixes and suffixes to negate otherwise good words. Dis -courage, dis-obedience, dis -able, dis -agree, dis -advantage… Faith-less, hope-less, etc…

We must come to see sin as something that not only disobeys God’s will but also spoils the good and corrupts worthy virtues. Discouragement assaults and spoils courage.

This is why we need exhortations like the one to “….. stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the…

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Why do I feel the way I do?

The posture of the mind determines so much about the character of an individual’s life. To succeed in conquering disabling emotions, I must somehow get myself to cease to see a situation in one set of terms and see it in different terms. I must re-posture the disposition of my mind.


Families_of_emotions_06apr19b“Human life is fundamentally a life of the mind. The posture of the mind determines so much about the character of an individual’s life.”  (Spirituality and Human Emotion, Robert c. Roberts).

Scripture locates spiritual change as transformation of the mind: Roman 12:1-2; II Corinthians 4:16-18 Ephesians 4:22-24 – “attitude of your minds”  “posture of your mind”


As we consider our theme, my word for the day is “construal.” 

Construal: a way of viewing or a perspective on a situation, experience, or person. To construe something is to choose a way of understanding it. It is “a posture of the mind” toward something or someone. It involves an interpretation of the meaning of an experience or an event.

When I ask, “How do you construe things in this situation?” I want to know how you view, interpret, or understand things. Although we often appeal to feelings as a basis for perception…

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You thought you were serving God

ImageIs it possible to wrongly think you’re serving God’s purpose when in reality you are serving selfish purposes? Is it even possible to wrongly apply Scripture to validate yourself?


  • Jesus predicted, “…the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God” (John 16:2).
  • This was the case in the crucifixion of Jesus. Isaiah wrote, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by Godstricken by Him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). 

Think about it

Be very sure you’re doing the actual will of God before you act or speak and think you do so on behalf of God. Do not twist or wrongly apply Scripture to convince yourself that you’re serving God in your application of it. God have mercy on those who do these things. 

We set ourselves against God if we wrongly convince ourselves and others that God prescribes something exactly the way we choose to do it when it is actually not His will. Make sure you are VERY careful students of God’s word if you’re using Scripture to justify such actions.

Steve Cornell


Posted in Bible, Church discipline, Church Leadership, Elders, elders in the Church, Interpretation of bible, Leadership, Local Church, Pastors, Scripture, Wisdom | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A denier called back to duty

Interior10Peter denies Jesus three times

  1. The servant girl on duty asked Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” Peter replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself (John 18:16-18).
  2. Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
  3. One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow (John 18:25-27).

The resurrected Jesus appears to peter (John 21:3-17)

“I’m going out to fish,” Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Peter questioned three times by Jesus

  1. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
  2. Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
  3. The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Peter speaks to his fellow elders many years later

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…” (I Peter 5:1-2).

God isn’t finished yet!

Steve Cornell


Posted in Church Leadership, Discipleship, discouraged, Doubt, Elders, elders in the Church, Failure, Jesus Christ, Life of a pastor, Pastors, Teaching of Jesus, Wisdom | Leave a comment

5 Truths about God I need to remember

16681-shutterstock_901130231. God’s ways are not our ways – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
2. “God mocks proud mockers” (Proverbs 3:34)
3. “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (I Corinthians 1:27-29).
4. God’s mercy is shocking. “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy… Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (I Timothy 1:13,15-16).
5. God restores His servants – I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). “In that day you will say: ‘I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me” (Isaiah 12:1). “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. ‘In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer’” (Isaiah 54:7-8).“…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). “Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful” (Jeremiah 31:4). “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11). “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

learning to rest in our God,


Steve Cornell

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“Some pray and die….”

Should we give up on prayer when God doesn’t answer as we hope and expect?


“I tried prayer. It didn’t work!”

Have you ever heard this complaint?

All who take prayer seriously sooner or later struggle with unanswered prayer.I’ve struggled with it.

Should we give up on prayer when God doesn’t answer as we hope and expect?

According to a recent survey, 87 percent of Americans believe that God answers prayer and 29 percent say they pray to God more than once a day. The more prominent requests include prayers for health and success, and strength to overcome personal weakness. 51 percent do not think God answer prayers to win sporting events. After events like the Super Bowl, I am sure more are convinced he doesn’t answer such prayers.

When God doesn’t seem to answer 

C.S. Lewis suggested that, “Every war, every famine or plague, almost every deathbed — is the monument to a petition that was not granted.” Even Jesus shared in the agony of unanswered prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane…

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Just let me die

Suicide calls are up during Covid 19. Headline news. Many Americans feel lonely, anxious, and depressed during coronavirus pandemic.

It might surprise you to know how many people just want to die.


Is death the solution to our troubles? Sometimmes I am tempted to think about it this way. 
It might surprise you to know how many people just want to die.
This life is tough and can send us into a state of despair.
You’re not alone if you’ve been despondent to the point of wanting to die. I’ve been battled this feeling! 

Consider four people in Scripture who wanted to die:

1. Moses  (Numbers 11:13-15)

Wearied by the tough assignment of leading the children of Israel, Moses asked God to put him out of his miseries, to perform (so to speak) what Moses saw as a mercy killing. 

“Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! If this is how…

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