How do we know when Satan is trying to discourage us?

If you e been following my other topics, I’ve been praying for the renewal of a relationship that was torn apart due to mental illness. It seems that God is answering my prayers, but very slowly. Although I’ve always suffered from impatience, I am taking it one day at a time.

When I was a child, my mother was my primary source of learning about God. She had an odd point of view on prayer. She basically saw it as a monkey’s paw: you can pray for something, but hope you don’t get it, because God is a smart-Alek that will screw you over in the end. Say you prayed for $1000. You’d get it, but then God would have you get into a car accident and the medical bills would come to $1000. So you’d never get to use that money as you intended. Or say you prayed that your dog would become well if it were sick. It would get better for a few months, but then crash and die.

I don’t know where my mother got these ideas, but they’ve stuck in my head for a long time. Anytime something that I’ve prayed for seems to be going my way, I start getting anxious and suspicious, waiting for God to strike in a bad way.

Right now I’m visiting my former boyfriend and we’re getting along really well. He’s obviously still seriously depressed, but I am here for him to serve as a loving presence. We talk a long when we’re on the phone and talk about our lives in person. We made appointments to see a psychiatrist and a therapist together. I’m really hopeful and glad that it seems my prayers are being answered. But then I called him “honey”, and he said, “Don’t call me honey.”

It crushed me. I feel like all the answered prayers were a sham; that God’s been leading me on the whole time. It was just words. He’s depressed. I know. But now I feel like it’s all been a waste of time.

How do I know when Satan is trying to discourage me? Did Satan or a spirit of depression inspire him to say that?

It sounds like your ex-boyfriend only wants friendship, but I wouldn’t say Satan has anything to do with it.

There have been many times I’ve prayed for a particular thing, or outcome, and God has surpassed my expectation. Sometimes at the cost of the ‘thing’ I wanted.

I’ve learned that we can Ask. But, always know that God has your BEST interests in His Heart. Not something less, or tricksy. Never that. Although many times looking back at my life Our Good God has shown He has a sense of Humour. Sometimes when I regain mine, I can see it. :slight_smile:

We often think we want something, and we often do want something that seems good. Maybe the answer is 'No" or “not now”. This is actually a Good Answer from Above.

Know that God loves this young man who is your ex boyfriend even more than you do. Place your ex boyfriend in God’s Hands, pray for him and pray for others who really need some prayers. These people will appear in your life. Maybe a child with a serious illness, or a crabby old lady who physically hurts from arthritis and a broken heart. Pray for them too.

Focus on becoming healthy and growing in your faith.

You will be in my prayers so that you can be a Peace with God and you grown in your Trust in Him and know His great Love for you.

I don’t think God does such malicious things. Although he allows scorpions to use people’s swimming pools here because of the heat, and he allows rattle snakes to rattle away, I can’t say he would give you a scorpion if you asked for a slice of bread. (It may interest you, however, that someone decided to try eating scorpions. He cut the stinger off and fried it alive in a frying pan. It wiggled around and I thought it was pathetic.)

People are meaner than God. I remember a young girl whose grandma gave her a blouse for Christmas, a blouse she just loved. Her mother and grandmother had a spat, so her mother told her she had to give the blouse back to the grandmother. If you asked God for $1,000 he would probably get it for you if he knew you would need it soon, but don’t hold your breath if you want to take a vacation with it. It would generally be to pay bills or something. I remember finding $10 on a sidewalk once, but I could not keep it because I owed the church $10 for Sunday collection I couldn’t pay at the time. I had no money.

One of my pet peeves is when someone calls me “honey” or " hun", especially if it is someone I don’t know. It seems a little presumptuous. So maybe it is not personal if he doesn’t want you to call him honey.

When it comes to the devil, just consider the source. Just tell him to go soak his head.

God isn’t a vindictive God. Perhaps something in your mother’s experience made her suspicious of prayer. This isn’t the way prayer works. God wants us to pray, yes, but He doesn’t want us to look on prayer in the same way an aviator looks on a parachute: It’s there, and it may come in useful if he wants to bail out… Scripture tells us to pray constantly, and to read scripture so that we may become wise in the ways of God.

As for Satan’s presence, it is regrettable that he persists in the world, and drives the believer to despair in God’s omnipotence, but that presence must be acknowledged, if we are to fully understand the human condition. Commit yourself to the sacraments: Regular Confession and Mass. If your local parish offers Holy Hours in front of the Exposed Blessed Sacrament, then avail yourself of this wherever possible. Take along one of the commentaries on the Scriptures (this is what I do. I rarely attend a Holy Hour without a copy of William Barclay’s New Testament Commentary, or something by Fulton J. Sheen).

Do keep praying, and don’t let setbacks discourage you. Pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of perseverance. I’ll pray for your intentions.

God doesn’t always give us what we want, but he does give us what we need.

The devil is ALWAYS…always trying to find a crack in the door that he can stick his foot in the door and wedge it open. I think it is part of his job description and he is very good at it.
It is up to us as individuals and a society to make his job very difficult for him. Most of us are pulled in both directions at one time or another. It is up yo us to plant our feet firmly in the ground.
The term “honey.” I never cared for it. It is a term of endearment or closeness. People call me “honey” that I don’t know and probably will never meet again, esp. sales people. While you are friends with your ex he may not be able to accept that term of endearment at this time. I doubt is a personal rejection, but just of the term. It is like “friend.” Everyone on my FB page is a “friend” even 'though I don’t know most of them. Skip the “honey” and just call him by his name. He has a name and it isn’t “honey.”

I think I just took it way too personally. Right now my ex has a lot of mental problems and I need to keep that in mind.

As to why I’m staying by him and hoping that our relationship gets through this hurdle, I have mental illness myself. I know what it’s like to be abandoned by some people, badly “helped” by others (e.g., “You’re depressed! Let’s go out and get a drink!”), blamed for it as though it asked for it and it’s my fault, etc. I didn’t want to do that to him. I wanted him to get the help he needs. And he is, although the appointment isn’t until next month.

When I pray about this, I feel certain and full of confidence. It’s like I’m getting a great big “Yes” to my prayers. Like I’m being told to stick it out because I will be rewarded in the end. But when I finish praying and re-enter the fallen world, I feel discouraged and like it’s all a waste of time again.

Did you ever consider that God may have someone else in mind for you that does not suffer from mental illness? It’s good that you are a compassionate person, but he might not be the “one”. Just some thoughts, as I read your post. Sometimes out own desires drown out the still small voice of God.

I’ve considered it but I see no evidence of it. Besides, people are who mentally ill are not exempt from being in relationships.

No one said that. But given your similar issues, it may be harder for each of you to discern the practical aspects or problems of such.

Part of knowing God’s will is being patient and not trying to force relationships.
We’re just people. We want what we want, and we want it right now. God often calls us to patience by making us wait.

God bless.

I know. I’m open to another relationship but either way, whether God repairs this one or I get another one, I’m going to have to wait. Either way I get discouraged.

Path 1: “This will never work out, he’ll be bound to his mental illness forever, everyone knows it, you’ll just get hurt in the end. Don’t even bother sticking around to see what happens.”

Path 2: “You’ll never find anyone who will love you the same way he did when he was well again, give up and resign yourself to being alone, this is your life now and God wants you to spend it alone.”

Right now we are having to share an apartment due to money concerns (not that we have any money), and when I woke up this morning I remembered that my job was in jeopardy. I told God, “OK. Obviously I’ll have to move back in with my parents if I lose my job and can’t afford this apartment. Then any attempt to repair this relationship will be over. So if I get fired today, let that be the sign that we’re done.”

I didn’t get fired. I kept my job and, for the time being, my apartment.

I admit I do resent God myself sometimes, the way He insists on everything being on HIS terms, and not caring about how we feel in the process. He could fix everything in an instant. But He chooses not to. I guess that’s my problem.

Nope. You’re leaning into depression. God does not function like this. Despair is not something He wishes for us.
Maybe visit with a Spiritual Director for some uplifting words and encouragement.

When the sun is up, or the sun is down. Either one.

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