An old legend that I read years ago tells the story of the devil announcing that he was going out of business.
He offered all of his tools for sale to whoever would pay his price. The tools were attractively displayed.
He had quite a display of tools: spite, hatred, envy, jealousy, immorality and deception. All the other implements of evil were spread out, each marked with its price. But set apart from the rest was a harmless-looking wedge-shaped tool. It was quite worn and priced higher than any of the others.
Someone asked the devil what it was. "That's discouragement," was the answer. "Why is it priced so high?" "Because," replied the devil, "it is more useful to me than any of the others."
He continued, "I can pry open and get inside a person's mind with that when I could not get near him with any of the others. Once inside I can use him in whatever way suits me best. It is worn down so much because I use it with nearly everybody. Very few people know it belongs to me."
The legend says that the devil's price for discouragement was so high that it was never sold. He still owns it and is still using it.
Are you experiencing discouragement today? Allow me to offer a suggestion: turn to Christ for help. He said, "Come to me all who are tired and weary, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Paul affirmed, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:13) He can really make a difference.
By the way, the devil hasn't gone out of business. Quite the opposite. His business is booming. And his tool of discouragement is more effective than ever.