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Sample of the Prison Bible School Course Curriculum

(This excerpt taken from page 5 of UNIT 1, lesson 5)

Types of Discouragement

We might call the least form of these types mild discouragement.  That would be discouragement caused by minor problems.  Pressures come along and begin to affect our emotions.  We begin to feel the mild impact of these things.  There is no outward manifestation.  We do not show anything from it, but we feel it ourselves.  We spend a lot of time thinking (worrying?) about the problem.

Then there is what we might call strong discouragement.  That type of discouragement results from a major problem, or major pressures.  The problems begin to affect our spirit.  Our attitude about the situation becomes noticeable to others.  The people around us can see that we are discouraged and downtrodden.  Our countenance is fallen.  We have no zeal, no joy, and no happiness like we should have.

When we are strongly discouraged, people that are close to us sometimes think that they might have caused the discouragement.  We need to be careful to let them know that they are not at fault.  We should not want those whom we love to blame themselves for our situation.

We will call the worst type disabling discouragement.  That kind comes when the problems are overwhelming, when they are more than we can bear.  The trouble is just too much and we cannot seem to bear up under the load.  In this stage, one is drained of all strength: all spiritual strength, all mental strength, all emotional strength, and even many times, all physical strength.  When this happens, we just cannot even get up and go anymore.  We cannot face the problem; we cannot face the day.

The Bible speaks of people�s hearts melting within them through discouragement.  Sometimes we reach that point ourselves.  We no longer have the desire, nor the energy it seems, nor even the ability, to continue on.

So discouragement can come in different stages, or different degrees.  But no matter what the degree, there is a cause behind it.

What Causes Discouragement?

We can sum that up discouragement�s causes in just one phrase.  Behind every discouragement is a lie from Satan.

John 8:44  �the devil�was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Satan is the father of lies, of all lies.  Of course, if we are abiding in Christ, then we are abiding in truth.  If we are abiding in truth, that means everything is going the way it is supposed to be going, whether we think it is or not.  Consequently, whenever we become discouraged, it is because we have yielded to Satan�s lie about the situation.

Elijah�s problem was that he was physically exhausted and thought he could not continue on.  Thus, he believed that Jezebel could fulfill her threat against him.  His problem was completely alleviated when God saw to it that he got the much needed rest and proper nourishment.  Sometimes, avoidance of discouragement is just that simple.  (A similar illustration is in I Samuel 30.)

Sample of the Prison Bible School Course Study Guide


Course: Dealing with Discouragement
Required Text: Dealing With Discouragement, by Dr. M. H. Tabb

INSTRUCTIONS: Read through the text book once. Go through it again, slowly, reading each Scripture
reference given directly from your Bible. Answer each question in the Study Guide. Return the
completed Study Guide with your UNIT work.

1.             In this study, the student learns how:

2.             The soul consists of the __________, __________, __________, and _________.

3.             Discouragement is a problem of the __________.

4.             We are ignorant of Satan's devices if we:

5.             Often discouragement leads us into the ________ of _______.

6.             Satan wears out the saints by doing what four things?

7.             To discourage means to ________________.

8.             What is mild discouragement?

9.             Define strong discouragement.

10.             What is the one outstanding difference between mild and strong discouragement?

11.             What is the worst type of discouragement?

12.             Behind every discouragement is a _______ from __________.

13.             The root cause of every discouragement is laying down the __________ of __________.

14.             What is a singular benefit of discouragement?

15.             Through discouragement, the Lord seeks to destroy what two things?

16.             What does the Lord seek to demonstrate through our weakness?

17.             God does not promise to __________ all our problems.

18.             We remove guilt through _______________ and ______________.

19.             Why does Satan use our past failures against us?

20.             How does a Christian take the shield of faith?

21.             How do we recognize Satan's lies and cast them down?

22.             We must replace __________ _____ with ______ ______ in order to overcome discouragement.

23.             How do we know whether we are being given the spirit of truth or of error?

24.             When David's friends were ready to kill him because of what happened to their city and families,
                   what did David do?

25.             When does Satan often cause great discouragement?

26.             God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit through the ________ of ________, especially the __________.

27.             God said we are to speak to ourselves in:

28.             What time of each twenty-four hour period would be the most crucial for meditating on the Word
                  of God? (Briefly explain why.)

29.             Every Christian needs his Bethel. What kind of place should it be?

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