Summary: Sometimes Christians become discouraged, or lose heart, because of any number of reasons. If untreated, this can cause you to just give up and fade back into where you came from: the world.
. Sometimes Christians become discourages, or lose heart, because of any number of reasons. Some of these are listed below. If untreated, they can cause you to just give up and fade back into where you came from: the world.
II. Reasons for being discouraged:
A. REASON #1: Bad things are happening to you
1. Satan only goes after threats to his kingdom. So, if you are being attacked by the devil, then you are doing something right! Ever wonder why lost people seem to be prospering while you are struggling? They are on Satan’s team; you are the opponent. Remeber when Jesus was tempted by Satan. He was the ultimate threat; notice how Satan didn’t go after Peter or James.
a. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
b. Remember Job. He lost everything he had, even his servants and children, and he was covered with sores. In Job 2:9 his wife wanted him to give up. “Just curse God and die,” she said. He stated in Job 1:21 that “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. Praise be the name of the Lord.” He had the choice to give up, but he didn’t. He couln’t explain why this was happening to him, but he still trusted God.
2. God will use evil for good. Take note of the story of Judah. He did some really bad things, but God used them to lead to the bringing about of his son Jesus. Genesis 38:14-27 tells the story of how Judah, a Godly man, sinned greatly. Tamar, his daughter in law, went down to join the prostitutes secretly after her husband had died. Judah went to get a prostitute and unknowingly slept with his daughter-in-law Tamar. She became pregnant, and when he found out that she became pregnant out of wedlock as a prostitute, he demanded her to be burned! She then pulled out the jewelry that he used as payment, and he was humiliated. He was caught. Tamar had twins by Judah (Perez and Zerah), and Perez went on to be the line that Jesus came from! (Matt 1:3) God used this incest, this evil, to bring about his master plan for the greatest good ever.
a. Don’t be discouraged, God can turn use the bad things happening to you for good just like he did for Judah.
b. It was over a thousand years before Judah’s evil was proven to be a good thing. Jesus didn’t come around until long, long after Judah and his kids--and even grandkids--were dead.
B. REASON #2: The future looks bleak.
1. 1 Cor 10:13 states that “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
a. no matter how bleak the future looks, you either can handle it, or he will help you escape it.
2. God will not punish his people with the world. Before it gets too bad, you will be taken out of the world, or he will just protect you.
a. God had sent his angels to get all of his people out of Sodom before he destroyed it. Genesis 19:15,22,23,24. The angels couldn’t destroy the city until Lot and his family left. As soon as they did, God rained down fire and brimstone.
b. God gave his people (the Israelites) specific instructions on how to avoid God’s punishment that was about to be brought on the Egyptians because of Pharoh. Exodus 12:7,12,13,29,30.
1. God will not punish you with the world. If the future of the economy, nation, or your workplace looks bleak, remember that God takes care of his people. (key word: HIS people. If you are not living right, expect fire and brimstone, not mercy.)
2. Noah and his family were spared. If they had been living in sin, they would’ve died too.
c. Remember that in Rev 20:10, the devil gets what he has coming. We win in the end. Rev 21:1-7 Overcomers get to go to heaven!
C. REASON #3: Failure in your faith.
1. If you are discouraged because you have believed, and what you prayed for didn’t happen, remember: All of God’s promises are “yes” and “amen.” It is true and God is faithful, even if your experiences tell you otherwise. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, you must believe what the word says: Noah’s Ark, Moon turns to blood (no oxygen is space), etc.
a. We all fail. It is just what you do with your failure. Peter failed in Matt 26:69-75 when he denied Jesus 3 times, then went out and wept bitterly (v. 75). That is discouragement. He then he sought out the desciples (John 20:1-2) and became strong in the early chuch. He had other believers to rely on. Judas failed by turning against Christ, but when he felt remorse, he sought out unbelievers (Matt 27:3), but they couldn’t help him, and he eventually killed himself.