Stronghold and Spirit of Despair 

    Are there times when feelings of despair and hopelessness overwhelm you? Does all it take

is a little bad news to get you feeling this way? Has this been a pattern throughout your life? There is a root cause for such a oppressive and disheartening way of living, but thanks be to God there is a solution. Let's talk about this.


   despair - 1- a state in which all hope is lost, or absent 2- The feeling that every thing is wrong and nothing will turn out well. 3- Abandon hope, give up hope, lose heart.


    Keywords: despondency, depression, misery, gloom, desperation, anguish, melancholy, hopelessness, dejection, wretchedness, disheartenment.


                                          The Free Dictionary 
                                                                                                              by Farlex    


    From the keywords listed it is easy to assume that a person who suffers, or has suffered with bouts of despair, hopelessness, feeling defeated etc, throughout their life, that they have been a victim to a lot of hurt (disappointments, frustrations, emotional abuse, rejection, degradation, condemnation, denial etc.,)


    Many of these people struggle to keep their joy and carry around with them a heavy load of self-defeating thoughts and feelings. They have a lot of oppressions without resolve (unresolved issues) and a lot of hurts without healing. Hurts which have become a stronghold against them and burdens which are quick to rob them of any hope for positive change.


    A lot of these people have experienced, as we had determined, more than their fair share of oppressive living and adversity in their life and more times than not had been raised in a dysfunctional abusive home. A home non conducive for making a child feel loved and secure in this world. Unfortunately and to our shame as a Christian nation too many of our homes are not creating the type of atmosphere necessary in which for a child to thrive with a good sense of purpose and identity as God would want for us to provide.


    In essence if a child is born into such a home in where there is more discouragement than encouragement, more anger than love, more violence than peace, more criticism than understanding etc, this child is going to have a very crumbly foundation on which to build anything solid on for their life and a broken compass by which to steer them in a right and positive direction.


    They will have been denied what many children take for granted. A loving home that creates for them a positive atmosphere and provides them the opportunities by which to realize their potential. Our homes should be a training ground for our children to teach them about God, good morals, respect, self-worth and how to positively deal and interact with people and the problems of this world. But again and unfortunately not enough homes do this.


    It is a double whammy for a person to be born into an oppressive environment, or into a home that has dysfunctional parents and in where their environment creates for them severe problems and insecurities, fears, anxieties rejection, abandonment, unworthiness, doubt, etc,) rather than teaches them how to overcome them.


    All this person knows is problems with no solutions. If all they ever see is negative, if they are always criticized and everything is always their fault, if there is never any praise or love shown to them this becomes a set pattern for what they will, or will not expect further on in life.


    To them the answer is always going to be no before they ask; somebody to put them down when they try to do good. There is always going to be something to interfere with their plans to succeed, doors will always be closed for them. It may be far from the truth, but this is what they have come to learn from an early age and what has been imprinted into their belief system.


    Oppression and abuse is a powerful weapon satan uses in his agenda against God's people and by which to tear down and degrade a person's morals, sense of purpose and identity. This is apart of satan's purpose against us to wound, kill, steal and destroy us and what better time to start that plan against us than when we are still young and what better place to start it than in our own homes?


    Many people who have been hurt in life to the point of despair may not be able to fathom it, but the reason why their life may have seen so much grief may not be because they are unworthy to have a good life, but because satan saw something about you that scared him. Not because you are bad, but because you are GOOD. Believe it, or not it is true.


    You see satan realizes that if a person who has a good spirit comes to realize their authority in Christ and if that person comes to use that authority against him he is in trouble. That being the case once satan sees a good spirit on a person he looks for his opportunities to wound that person before they can come into the knowledge of Christ, learn their authority against him and use it.


    Such as was the case with Gideon Judges 6:12 NIV when an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, "The Lord is with you mighty warrior," KJV says; "The Lord is with thee might man of valor."


     Gideon's response? Well Gideon had a barrage of questions for the Angel in asking where God was in allowing Israel's enemies the Midians to invade and conquer God's people. The Angels response? Loosely worded the Angel said, well God is about to do something about it right now, He is sending YOU to oust the Midians from the land.


    Well this started Gideon to speak out about the insecurities he had and the lack of faith Gideon held for himself. It is true Gideon was not a courageous man, but by God sending an angel to Gideon to reveal His plan in using Gideon for rescuing Israel out of the Midian's hands, Gideon reevaluated his self worth by the faith God had for him, made the decision to move forward in God's plan and became the mighty man the angel first told him he was.


  Judges 6:12-15 NIV 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." 13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." 14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" 15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."


    God made a way to plant a seed within Gideon and to awaken his potential. Yes Gideon had questioned the claim the angel made that Gideon was a mighty warrior, a mighty man of valor, but once that seed got planted and Gideon struggled with what had been said to him Gideon excelled into his purpose and potential. God's purpose for him. Gideon was capable of doing mighty things he just needed to realize it and strive towards them.


  Note: We don't know much about Gideon's early life, but by the way Gideon responded when the angel of the Lord told him what plans God had for him I am guessing that more negative things had happened to Gideon in his life, than positive, by which for him to be so reluctant to step up into God's plan.


   What happened to Gideon is what I see being played out in many people's lives today. Satan sees the potential on a man's /woman's life and by the opportunity given him, (if he can find it but we must realize that a dysfunctional home, or oppressive environment gives him many opportunities,) sets out to destroy it before it can grow in God's purpose. Many people's lives are being held back from knowing their potential and purpose because of the opportunities satan finds to mess with their lives.


    Joseph in the bible is another good example of how satan will come to, or try to destroy a person's purpose while they are still young. Since a young age Joseph had known that his earthly father Jacob had favoured him over his brothers, but then he started to have dreams that his heavenly Father held favour for him as well, but what happened to him from that moment on? Over the next several years Joseph's freedom was taken away from him and he suffered all kinds of injustices and character assassinations. When it was all said and done though those bad days were behind him, Joseph's faith did not waiver and he went from a prison to a palace.


    Note: I want to emphasize that satan cannot cause oppression like this for just anybody he chooses. He first needs the darkness and the opportunity around a person's life by which to work in. With Joseph, satan had his open door to cause havoc to Joseph's life by the jealousy and hatred Joseph's brothers held for him. Also, Jacob as head of he family gave satan opportunity by the dissension he helped create within his sons by giving so much more affection and attention to Joseph than all his other sons.


    If you are a person who has and still suffer bouts of hopelessness, even after becoming a Christian, more than likely you have a stronghold of despair and a dark spirit working against you that needs to be torn down and ousted from your life.


    Note : If your not sure what a stronghold is you can read our writing on strongholds, or find that information elsewhere from a trusted source.


    What is the first purpose of this stronghold and spirit? To help create and recreate a state of despair within this person's mind, as often as possible and every time something negative happens to them, until this person comes to believe their life is more hopeless than hopeful and satan is able to put the final pieces of a stronghold in place against them.


    The second purpose? To maintain and enforce this state of despair, or stronghold in their life. It's intent is to help create and recreate a state of despair within this person's mind, as often as possible and every time satan deems it necessary to do so to keep this person in bondage by feelings of despair.


    With a stronghold in place in a person's life satan will assign a dark spirit to rule over that stronghold and it will be that spirit's purpose from that moment on to control a person's life by the strong hold he has on them. Note: Again it will greatly benefit a person to understand how strongholds get built up against a person and how they can be pulled down.


    If satan sees a person whom he has worked hard to put in bondage to despair, depression, hopelessness, unworthiness, fear, anxiety etc, beginning to move forward in a more positive direction; starting to develop a positive relationship with God; starting to surround themselves with encouraging people; starting to develop the belief that they will be able to live their life free of despair, satan will step up to destroy any hope this person may be acquiring.


    How does satan do this? He begins to play audio and video tapes in this person's mind (by the control and the influence he has acquired over that portion of their lives by the stronghold he was able to put in place against them) of times gone past in where they had hoped for something positive to happen for them, but it didn't.


    He starts speaking to their mind saying things like, "oh sure these people say they can help you and that you can live a life of joy, but they don't understand that hopelessness is now apart of who you are and you can't escape it,"


  or, "these people seem to care for you, but they are just like everyone else, they will hang around just long enough for you to believe that things will be different then they will leave just like the others have."


    On top of this satan will muster up as much oppression, problems, hardships as he can at this point to try to get this person's thoughts focused on old ways of responding to oppression and he will try to cause dissension (cause a riff) between them and any person who is trying to encourage them. This being done to coincide with and to help reinforce the damaging audio/ video clips he is playing in their head.


    Satan has a huge arsenal of weapons to create doubt in the mind of a person whom he has a stronghold over and especially whom he has had it over a long time. But if a person can persevere and know that this is just a tactic of the devil to cause them doubt, satan will not succeed.


    I have witnessed this pattern many times. As I would be ministering to a person's life, (encouraging them, praying for, being a friend to), just as they would be on the verge of some major breakthroughs that would help to propel them forward some personal oppressions would seem to rise up out of nowhere against them to sabotage those breakthroughs. This is where I would encourage them to believe that this is just a trick of the devil to try to get them to go backwards, but they should hold on!!!


    For the ones who would believe what I was telling them and who would put their trust in God to move forward saw the storm disappear almost as quickly as it came, followed by something very positive that would reinforce their trust in God.


    For the ones who wouldn't believe what I was telling them, (that it was just a trick of the devil and that everything was going to be ok), they went back wards and grasped at what they were familiar with, an old pattern of negative thinking instead of striving to believe and break that grip despair has on them. It is like a person holding onto an anchor and hoping they won't sink.


  Note: It may take several attempts from God, or from the people ministering to them before they will see a person encouraged enough to actually move forward. But this is not unusual for a person who has endured much emotional abuse and negativity in their life.


    Some people may even abandon the faith for a period of time, or we may even have to let this person go until they are at a place where they are fed up with being controlled by despair and they are willing to do whatever they need to move forward.


       Let's talk about 
                 How we can break this pattern (stronghold) from our life.

    For the person who suffers despair they need resolve. This is the key to their deliverance; to resolve through the blood of Jesus Christ what satan had done to cause this hopelessness in the first place.


    They need deliverance from the spiritual prison the hardships of their life (and satan) has put their emotions and beliefs into. They need healing from the hurts that these oppressions have caused them. They need their minds renewed in that their old way of thinking no longer has influence over them.


    As in everything in life, balance is essential and key to a wholesome way of living. For a person who has had several bad experiences in their life, if they have had good experiences as well, that person will be able to draw upon their good experiences to help them to persevere the bad ones. Or to put it another way, God will be able to bring to their mind (shine a light on) how they had come through their past bad experiences relatively unscathed and more the wiser for having gone through it, to encourage them and to keep their spirit strong.


    The more good experiences they have to draw upon the easier to keep this person encouraged in bad times. But what happens when a person doesn't have a lot of good experiences to draw from? This is what causes despair in a person. When a majority of the experiences in a person's life have been more negative than positive and when many of these experiences have degraded their self esteem rather than built it up, this person's life is out of balance.


    For a person who has endured a lot of despair, discouragements, mental anguish, frustrations etc, in their life and they have come to believe in their mind that this shall be a permanent condition for their life, (that things will never improve and that they are destined to a life of bleakness), until this person gains the hope to believe differently and receives the deliverance they need this is probably how things will remain.


    So how does a person who has suffered despair through out their life (whether it was continuous, or periodic) receive deliverance? The actions satan took against this person needs to be reversed. The strongholds need to be torn down and their mind needs to be renewed. When will deliverance start for this person? When this person comes to realize that the place they are at is not their permanent residence and they seek to move forward with Gods help into their purpose. For many this is the biggest part of the stronghold to tear down; to believe that this pattern for their life will end and that positive change shall come.


    Many times what a person like this needs is for someone to encourage them, an encourager, someone to minister to them in an encouraging way. Someone to help balance out, with the Lord's help, all of what their discouraging experiences throughout their life has caused them. E.g. a spouse, minister, a friend, or Jesus Himself.


    Do you see what I mean? For a person who has never felt loved through out their life for them to hear someone say, "I love you" and from someone who sincerely cares for them is a mighty equalizer.


  1 Peter 4:8-10 NIV Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,


    For someone to tell them that they matter and have a purpose and who will reinforce this to them in action word and deed is powerful. For a person to mentor and minister to them is a mighty sword. Before a person may fully realize their potential they need to be taught and shown new ways of responding to things. They need to be taught how to draw close to God in relationship and how to take authority over their oppressions not cower from them etc.


    This is where the body of Christ needs to be. To minister deliverance in love, mentor, encourage and educate those who desperately need it in that God can dispel the lies their mind has come to believe and those awful strongholds can get pulled down. Being loving, but firm when needed with the person, but being persistent and authoritative with the stronghold and the spirit that is against them.


  1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 NIV encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.


  1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 NIV 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,


    When Jesus ministered to the woman at the well the greatest thing He gave her that day was hope. He encouraged her beyond her despair to move forward for she was a woman who was frowned upon and who frowned upon herself. The towns people had shunned her for being a promiscuous woman, or because they thought she was promiscuous for having lived with so many men.


    She may have been promiscuous with men, but I don't see the evidence in the bible showing this. What I see is a woman who broke custom by living with more than one man outside of what the law had called for. I have a sense that this woman had come out of an abusive/ dysfunctional childhood and who had made bad decisions regarding the direction she was going and the men in her life.


    I believe she chose men who may have appeared to have loved her, but who held to the pattern of abuse themselves and who continued the pattern of abuse against her. Why? Because she was being led of a wrong spirit and this is the direction this spirit was taking her. By the abuse of her early life satan molded her life to a pattern of abuse so as to dominate her and keep her soul bound. She didn't know any better. Nobody showed her better, or had taught her about self worth.


    Her compass was broken, but then she met Jesus who steered her right. I am sure Jesus had quite the talk with her that day about self-worth and telling her things like, "Not everybody is going to like you, but that doesn't mean you are not loved, or worthy to be loved. Many will criticize and judge you unjustly, but they do not speak for me. If you follow what is right you will always have the Father's love and the love of His people. Go, there are good people in this world, go find them, do not stay in such oppression. I want you to realize that you are oh so valuable to me and this is why it has been satan's purpose to crush you, but with your eyes focused on me we will redeem you and crush satan underfoot and you shall know joy abundantly.


   Jesus gave her hope and hope is the beginning of tearing down strongholds. Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us.


    For a person who has become despondent it may take time for God to do a complete and transitional work of change in them, but if a person will put their hope in Jesus for their deliverance they will soon begin to see incredible changes take place in their life. God will not disappoint anyone who puts their trust in Jesus Christ, but they have to follow through.


    For anyone who is reading this right now and who is in need of deliverance for what we are talking about, I want to encourage you that Jesus Christ is real, deliverance is real and you can be set free. I have witnessed many people delivered from many forms of oppression and I testify to the power that is in the name of Jesus Christ. It can be a process and will require your efforts, but it is well worth your efforts.


    As I had said one of the best ways a person can begin to receive deliverance for hopelessness is for that person to have someone in their life to love and encourage them (friend, spouse, support group, minister), to help counter what despair has done to them, but not everyone may have an encourager in their life and so may need to encourage themselves.


    This is where a person may need to really dig in and call out to the Lord in their affliction and say, "Father help me. Father send someone into my life who can encourage me and help plant seeds of encouragement in me. Help me in my unbelief and strengthen me in my weakness. Help me in my hope for You. Show me how to pray effectively, how to renew my mind, how to take authority, how to dispel every lie the enemy has created and has caused me to believe etc,".


    God tries to get our attention in our afflictions to get us to reach out to Him and call upon Him for our help. Job 36:15-16 NIV 15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. 16 "He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction,


    This is a scripture that affirms that when we need a helper from the Lord that we can pray for a helper. Matthew 9:37-38 NIV 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."


    Ok so how does a person acquire deliverance and gain freedom from a stronghold of despair once it has dug it's claws into them? A person needs to come to a place where they are fed up and say, "enough is enough, I am not happy with where I am at, how I have been living and what I have been missing out on because of this oppression." This is the first step and for a Christian the second step is to call upon God to come help them in their decision to move ahead past this oppression.


    A person really needs to come to that place where they can hope to believe and realize that they have been missing out in life and that even though they have lived this way a long time, that it is possible with God's help to change. If a person is not at that place of belief yet they need to call out to the Lord in their affliction, daily and ask Him to help them in their hope and to send someone into their life who can encourage them to move forward.


    On a daily basis speak against this hopelessness, or discouragement, or depression, or fear etc., and in the name of Jesus Christ speak against this oppression and command the spirit over it to lose it's grip from you. Command that it be uprooted from your life and filtered through the blood of Jesus Christ. We have a Daily Maintenance Prayer that would be helpful to guide a person through this process.


    On a daily basis encourage yourself and look to see where you can make some positive changes to your lifestyle that could help you feel better about yourself. For example: getting better rest; if it has been your habit to stay up late every night make every effort to get to bed earlier. It is a well known fact that going to bed earlier helps our bodies and minds to revitalize itself in that a person can face the new day with a greater zeal.


    Also - If we have people in our life causing us upset we need to learn in what ways we can alleviate this upset and the stress this upset is causing us. We will have to set boundaries with people who are intrusive and controlling of us to gain more peace for ourselves. Doing so may be hard for some people who have a passive, or co-dependent spirit about them, but it needs to be done.


    It is hard for God to bring joy to our life if we live in a oppressive home, or dysfunctional environment , or if we allow people to create drama, or chaos for us. We need to alleviate as much upset from our life as possible and create a more conducive atmosphere for God to work in. How can God alleviate despair from our lives when we allow despair to rule over us? We need to take a stance for ourselves and create healthy boundaries with people. Determining what we will, or will not allow other people to do to us and make our plans known to those people.


    If you find that you have been isolating yourself from going out and been denying yourself fellowship with others it will help tremendously to get out and get around people, to socialize and get involved with some groups and activities. Interacting with people and creating friendships is so good for self esteem.


    Diet and exercise plays an important part to overall good health and well being. Avoiding sugar, greasy, processed and junk foods and eating more fruit, vegetables and natural foods cleanses toxins from the body and clears your mind. Daily exercise, or going for a walk does the same thing. It stimulates and produces vital chemicals your body and mind need for good over all physical and mental health.


    I know several of the suggestions I am making regarding better physical, emotional and mental health are more based on common sense and what people have been advising for years, but this advise goes hand in hand with God working to bring you spiritual deliverance.


    I recommend that a person interested in deliverance and overcoming such oppressions as despair, hopelessness, depression, discouragement etc. that they read our writing on strongholds, deliverance, how to bless and keep our lives and homes safe from spiritual darkness, etc., for knowledge of such things is a hammer that breaks down the walls satan has built against us and so in everything gain this knowledge.


    We have a Deliverance Prayer from Oppression on our website I would encourage a person to read everyday, or on a regular basis until the greater part of the victory has been won. I would also recommend that a person examine themselves often and take inventory of what they need to overcome, what they need to invite God into to help them, how they can improve their lifestyle and alleviate stress and oppression from their life.


  Note: There is a difference between an attack of oppression and a stronghold of oppression. Even a person who receives deliverance from a particular oppression can expect to suffer an attack of that oppression again several times in their life. It does not mean that the stronghold that had been torn down and demolished has been rebuilt against them it just means that satan is continuing to wage war against them in an area that he had success in before and is hoping to have success in again.


    We have an interesting little writing called, "Goliath had brothers" which demonstrates this point nicely.


                                                          Goliath had a Brother

     Here's the scene: You're in a battle with sickness, oppression or some similar need. However, you seek God and in some way, the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other encouragement, but you absolutely know the Lord delivered you.


    Using the five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath. But then, a few weeks or months later (or perhaps, years), suddenly all the old symptoms return with a vengeance. If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests now worse than ever; if your battle was regarding a relationship, it seems like all progress has been lost and you are back to square one. Have you ever been there?


    These negative experiences can drain the faith from your heart to such a degree that you feel you'll never recover the anticipation of faith again. A spiritual paralysis immobilizes your soul. You may still attend church, but your faith is unresponsive; when others testify of a healing or deliverance, you secretly wait, measuring the time until they, too, lose their healing. For many, the result is one of severe disillusionment. The scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov 13:12).


    How can you trust God when it seems like He let you down? You wonder: Did I lose my breakthrough, or was I only deceiving myself and never really had it? But, dear one, it is very possible that what you are experiencing is an entirely new spiritual battle, not a loss of God's blessing.


   This new war is a very clever and effective deception that Satan uses to try and worm his way back into the lives of those delivered by God. I had been praying about this very thing, this returning battle, when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "Goliath had a brother." I was immediately reminded of David's war against the Philistine giant. We all know that David became a great hero by trusting God and defeating Goliath. However, later in his life other giants showed up to war against the Lord's servant. Amazingly, all of them were related to Goliath!


    Three of these giants were Goliath's actual children; one, was Goliath's brother (See 1 Chr 20.). So, after defeating a giant once, David suddenly had to face another giant. Get this point: Goliath had a brother that looked like him. We can imagine that the giant talked like Goliath, fought like him, and probably even smelled like him. Other than saying David was weary, the Bible is silent as to what might have been going through the king's mind.


    Perhaps he wondered, "I thought I killed you. What are you doing back?" But, Goliath hadn't come back. It was the giant's brother and children that returned; it just looked like the same battle! The truth was, Goliath was dead. Likewise, you also have had many successful victories.


    Just because the current giant you are facing looks like one you have defeated in the past, dont buy the Lie that you never really won the first battle! By the strength of God's grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath. The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy so he can slip past your faith and regain entrance into your life. Resist him. Stand in faith (Eph 6). Don't accept the lie that you were never delivered. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4).


    The Living God who helped you conquer Goliath will empower you to overcome his brother as well. Father, I bring to You Your servants. Lord, some have fought battles that seem to have reoccurred. Like David, they have become weary with fighting this enemy. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, I expose the lie that they had not previously conquered this enemy. In Jesus' name, I rebuke the enemy. I ask You Lord to send angels to strengthen supernaturally Your people, just as angels often strengthened Jesus. In the name of the Lord. Amen!


    I write with the Lord's help all the articles and prayers on this site, but I must confess that this writing "Goliath had brothers," is not mine and I am not sure who the author is, but it was such a well written piece that I wanted others to read.


    In closing there is a lot more I could write here on how to overcome despair, but most of what needs to be said has already been written and put in other writings from our ministry and so I encourage you to read several of these writings to give you a good understanding of what needs to be done in your life to escape the pattern and stronghold that despair has on you.


      If this writing has helped you please let us know. Send us a letter, or email us. Your testimonies encourage us. Thank you and be blessed.


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