Summary: A faith in a living Redeemer prepares us to rise above all the discouragements of life.
Proposition: A faith in a living Redeemer prepares us to rise above all the discouragements of life.
Objective: My purpose is to help people to put their total trust in Christ and let Him lift one above the discouragements in life we feel.
Discouragement is the act or means of disheartening or deterring (to restrain or prevent); depression, pessimism.
Illus: Here’s a man sitting on his porch in Kentucky. He’s only recently retired from the post office, and he’s sitting there when his first Social Security check is delivered. He’s very, very discouraged. He thinks to himself, Is this what life is going to be from now on—sitting on the porch waiting for my check to arrive?
He decided he wouldn’t settle for that, and so he made a list of all of the things he had going for him, all the blessings and the capacities, the unique things that were in him. The list was long because he listed everything he could think of, and in the list was the fact that he was the only person on earth who knew his mother’s recipe for fried chicken. It used eleven different herbs and spices.
So he went to a nearby restaurant and asked if he could cook the chicken, and they said yes. It soon became the most popular item on the menu. So he opened his own restaurant, and then others, and a string of restaurants. Eventually Harland Sanders sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise across all of America. He finally retired a second time (all this happened, you remember, after he had retired from the postal service), and he continued in the service of the company as a public relations representative for a quarter of a million dollars a year till his death. Now here was a man who did not allow himself to be defeated by discouragement. He took a look at it, recognized it was there, but then went on to look at what he had with which to deal with it and used that.
It has been said that Job lost everything during his time of affliction. It is true that he lost his family, his finances, his fitness and his friends, yet through it all, he never lost his faith or his relationship with the Lord. When the bottom fell out of Job’s life, he still maintained his confidence in the Lord. In doing so, he demonstrates to us what our duty is to God while we pass through the valleys of life. Henry Blackaby talks about a crisis of belief. He said, "When God asks you to do something that you cannot do, you will face a crisis of belief. You will have to decide what you really believe about God." Note this was the point Job was brought to in our text today. He had to answer the question involved in the crisis of belief he faced, "Do I trust God in the middle of these trials that I’m going through–things like: LOSING MY CROPS, MY LIVELIHOOD, MY HOME, MY CHILDREN, AND MY HEALTH–Or do I curse GOD and end it all?" Job had just stated his despair and utter helplessness in this life: “God has blocked the way, and I can’t get through; he has hidden my path in darkness. He has taken away all my wealth and destroyed my reputation. He batters me from every side. He uproots my hope and leaves me to wither and die” (19:8-10--GNB). When Job hits the bottom of the pit of humiliation, he has no place to go, but to stand and look up. His stance is represented by his unshaken confidence in his God. Yet, for the first time, he deals with the shock of recognition that he may not be vindicated while still alive. God gives him a flash of insight to turn the clock ahead to eternity. Bursting into the reality of God’s revelation Job is discouraged but not defeated. He knows there is One that he can trust in the difficult experiences of life. The Bible tells us that in the midst of this crisis of belief, Job chose to trust God. Before this chapter, Job struggles for his faith. Here he finds his faith. He believes that there is some meaning to the life that is to come. After this chapter he becomes objective in his faith. Even though he may have some low points yet, his faith is an inspiration and provides a way of transcending life’s crises. Elton Trueblood stated, “Faith is not a blind leap into nothing, but a thoughtful walking in the light we have.” Job walked in the light he had and was given a spiritual perception that anticipated the Redeemer to come.” The doctrine of the resurrection of believers is latent in the Old Testament in passages like this. This is one of the highest peaks in the Old Testament from which to view the New Testament revelation of believers’ resurrection. Job groped for hope in face of suffering and loss. The height of Old Testament expectation was a resurrection of the body in which an individual could see God. Such hope grew out of a personal relationship with God in life so rich and real it must surely extend beyond the grave.