Summary: This message was to encourage those who get weary along the way to the Promised Land.

Discouraged With Freckles

Numbers 21:4 KJV And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

Numbers 21:4 Amplified . . . and the people became impatient (depressed, much discouraged), because [of the trials] of the way.

Numbers 21:4 Septuagint . . . the people became dispirited in the march.

Numbers 21:4 Berkley . . . the people, however, became depressed in spirit as a result of the route.


Catherine Marshall wrote a book about a school-teacher named Christy who did her best to bring a little education to the foot-hills of the Smokies. In her writings Catherine Marshall details some things that are greatly hilarious and some of the other tales that she writes of are very sad.

One tale she writes of is about Ruby Mae of Cutter Gap. Someone had told Ruby Mae that if she would put lemon juice on her face that it would remove the freckles. If you are looking for beauty secrets, Cutter Gap is probably not the place to be looking. If you want to know about coon dogs, corn mashings for corn whiskey, or if you want to learn about fightin’ then Cutter Gap might be the place to go. However, beauty secrets is probably not their forte’.

Ruby Mae’s problem was that she did not have any lemons. It would take a lot of lemons because Ruby Mae’s face was covered with freckles that matched her bright red hair. She thought that if she would get rid of the freckles then it would drastically change her life. So because Ruby Mae did not have lemons, she decided that oranges would work just as well.

When she got home, she cut the oranges in half and began to furiously rub her face. Finally, in utter disappointment she quit. She discovered that the freckles were there to stay.

When she finally gave in, she dejectedly said to her school-teacher and friend, “Miss Christy, they won’t come off!” Miss Christy replied, “You know Ruby Mae, I never really noticed your freckles. I was always too busy looking at your beautiful eyes.” Ruby Mae quickly looked back into the mirror and a huge smile stretched across her face (Adapted from Christy by Catherine Marshall & Insight for Living, unknown broadcast date).

-That is the problem with freckles, we can become so focused on the perceived problem that we lose sight of the beauty of the journey. To focus on freckles will be to get so discouraged with life that much of it is spent fretting over freckles.


-Have you ever been discouraged?

A. General

-Every person among us at one time or another has felt the distress of discouragement to tug at our hearts and dampen our spirits.

Thomas Edison -- Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Dale Carnegie -- Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.

Guy Finley -- Discouragement is a negative emotion with more than one trick up its dark sleeve. It tricks you into mentally or emotionally dwelling in the very place you want to leave. Drop all such sorrow permanently by daring to see through this deception of the unconscious mind. You have a destination far beyond where you find yourself standing today.

Anonymous -- Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision.

Joseph Parker -- The discouraged man is in a condition to believe any enemy, any temptation, any suggestion that will even for a moment rid him of his intolerable pressure. Through the gate of discouragement the enemy wanders at will.

B. Biblical

Discouragement can appear because of the path. Numbers 21:4 KJV And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

Discouragement can come from your brothers who do not want the struggle. Numbers 32:9 KJV For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.

Discouragement can come from a place of hesitation (Kadesh-Barnea). Deuteronomy 1:21 KJV Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.

Discouragement can come from brothers who see the challenge bigger than their God. Deuteronomy 1:28 KJV Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

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