Summary: the first qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is A SENSE OF OUR OWN WEAKNESS.
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
7 Oct 2012 “An Encouragement to the weak”
Are you overcome by the world around you, overwhelmed by the circumstances of your life, and have nothing left?
Perhaps through frailty or failure you have drawn the conclusion that you are defeated and all hope is lost.
Today, consider this word from Isaiah 41:14
"Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Speak this morning to those/discouraged/depressed in spirit.
• Perhaps you’re having/ruff time in the Christian life.
• There have been some nights of great darkness.
• Your spirit has been groping in pain/misery
Well, it’s during these times you need comfort from the Word.
Well, those seasons occur in the Christian life.
• They often occur/beginning of the religious life.
• You get deeply ingrained under the ministry
• you feel the weight of your sin
• You look for the salvation of your Lord who preached the gospel.
Remember, in this new life with Christ you have solemnly vowed to dedicate your body
• your soul/time/talents
• All you have to the great work of serving God.
Perhaps you were thinking this is an easy vow to fulfill.
• you didn’t really foresee counting the cost
You thought/easy/rid yourself of ungodly friends
• renounce old established habits
• To rid yourself of the pride that consumes you.
• It wasn’t as easy thought/slow/speak/slow/anger.
• But before long you were mistaken.
• Your evil heart of unbelief deceived you.
• It’s a lot harder than you realize.
• A harder struggle than you can imagine.
So you continue to wrestle between your old evil nature and the new-born principle of grace within you.
• It’s painful to give up those old cherished habits
• To give up your former pursuits of worldliness.
• It’s painful to give up that selfishness
So you say, “If this is so hard in the beginning, what can I expect as I proceed in my faith?”
Was I too quick in dedicating myself to God?
• I have taken on a warfare my own power can’t accomplish.
• I have started a journey that my strength cannot bear.
• Let me return to the world.
But the Spirit of God says, “No, you cannot return”
Your young soul shouts back, “I can’t go back, I can’t go forward; what must I do?
• I am so discouraged on this road.
• I keep doing the same things over and over again
• Why do I do the same things I don’t want too?
Take heart young lamb, this same feeling often overcomes the most valiant Christian veterans.
The most experienced/divine life will sometimes be over taken with a dark night and a stormy tempest.
• So dark/night/not know his right hand from his left
• so horrible the tempest/storm
• You can’t hear the sweet words of your Master, saying,
• "Fear not, I am with thee."
Periodic tornadoes and hurricanes will sweep over the Christian
• You will be subjected to as many trials in your spirit
• Many trials in your flesh.
• This much I know
• If you haven’t experienced it, I have.
God encourages me as well as those to whom I preach that are distressed/down-hearted.
• So I will preach to myself as I do each week.
• It revitalizes me/cheers my heart to hear God’s Holy Word coming through the heavens.
• To know His Word is active and true
• But then to know I must apply it.
• Use it for the nourishment of my soul.
• Or else I will wither and fall to carnality.
I have a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me
• To keep me as humble as I can be in this shell
• My soul is cast down within me,
• I feel as if I had rather die than live
• all that God has done by me seems to be forgotten
My spirit fails and my courage breaks down with the thought that His Word is heard but so desperately lost.
• But the Christian needs uplifted by God’s divinity.
• Encouraged. Enticed by the Spirit of God.
• And God says to me/you/Fear not, I will help you.
What a precious promise to the young Christian, or to the old Christian attacked by lowness of spirits and distress of mind!
• Church, there are some in this congregation;
• I hope many
• who have solemnly devoted themselves to the cause and service of the Lord Jesus Christ:
• I speak of you this morning.
That you know the preparation necessary for this service set forth in the Word of God.