Sermons

Summary: Scriptural reasons to be encouraged in our walk with Christ

SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”

TEXT: ACTS 13:13-43 (Read with points)

TITLE: “BE ENCOURAGED”

INTRODUCTION: A. Andor Foldes was a great Hungarian concert pianist. He once recounted a kiss that

changed his life. He was 16 years old, and feeling very low because of an ongoing

conflict with his piano teacher, when Emil von Sauer visited Budapest. von Sauer was

a famous pianist, and the last surviving pupil of the another famous pianist: Franz

Liszt..

Von Sauer asked Foldes to play for him. A very anxious Foldes performed some of

the most difficult works of Bach, Beethoven and Schumann. When he had finished he

nervously awaited the great master’s response. Von Sauer got up from his chair,

walked over to Foldes, kissed him on the forehead and said, "My son, when I was

your age I became a student of Liszt. He kissed me on the forehead after my first

lesson, saying, ’Take good care of this kiss - it comes from Beethoven, who gave it me

after hearing me play.’ I have waited for years to pass on this sacred heritage, but now

I feel you deserve it." It was that kiss that changed Foldes life, and spurred him to

continue with his piano studies and playing even through the darkest periods of his life

B. Many of you are going through distressing times:

1. You’re facing health problems and physical disabilities

2. Some are facing problems concerning children or other family members

3. Others have lost a loved one in the recent past

4. Some maybe having a difficult time at work

5. Some maybe having a difficult time finding work

6. Maybe someone has wronged you

7. Maybe someone thinks you have wronged them

C. When you continue to have to fight against these kinds of problems; when your life is

constantly bombarded with difficulty it is common to suffer discouragement and

depression.

1. Depression is considered the #1 health problem in the US today

2. Over 200 million prescriptions have bee written just to threat the symptoms of

depression over the last few years.

3. Some have even estimated that as many as 1 out of every 3 people suffer from

some form of mental illness.

4. Considered telling a joke at this point in the message about depression or mental

illness but its just not a laughing matter to those who are hurting deeply.

D. Some great and famous people have suffered from great bouts with discouragement

and depression. Consider this person’s story:

At the age of seven, he had to go to work to help support his family. At age nine,

his mother died. At 22, he lost his hob as a store clerk. At 23, he went into debt and

became a partner in a small store. At 26, his partner died leaving him a huge debt.

By the age of 35, he had been defeated twice while running for a seat in Congress.

At one point in his life, he wrote in his journal that he struggled with a great

depression and could not see any reason for going on with his life – but he did keep

going. His faith was strong.

At the age of 37, he won the election for a congressional seat. At 39, he lost his bid

for re-election. At 41, his 4-year-old son died. At 42, he was rejected for a position as

a land officer. At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. At 47, he ran for the Senate again

and lost again. At the age of 51, he was elected President of the United States.

During his presidency, there was a great Civil War and his country broke apart.

During his second term of office, he was assassinated. But his name lives on as one of

the greatest people in United States history – I’m sure you’ve figure out by now that

I’ve been talking about Abraham Lincoln.

H. The Bible gives us a number of reasons for hope during the times that we feel

pressured and trampled on; for the times when life just seems burdensome.

--In our passage this evening, I find 10 reasons for us to be encouraged in our walk

with Christ on this earth

I. BE ENCOURAGED: Even when people don’t do what you think they should

--Acts 13:13 – “From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them

to return to Jerusalem.”

A. Are you frustrated with someone this evening?

--Two things you need to understand

1. What you think is best might not be

2. What you think is best might be best but you can’t force people to make right decisions

B. John Mark

1. Acts 12:25 – “When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem,

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