Summary: What happens when we lose heart and how to overcome it. 1- Obvious doubt 2- Clear Evidence 3- Great commendation
INTRO.- ILL.- The New York City Transit Company was missing a bus and a driver some years ago. For over a week, authorities searched for the man but couldn’t find him. Finally, ten days later after the man had disappeared, he was found, bus included, in Miami, FL!
The driver said, "I’d had it with the cold weather, the passengers, and my family! One day after I got off work, I thought, ‘I WONDER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF I JUST TOOK OFF FROM DRIVING!’"
So, that’s what he did! He took off for Florida where he enjoyed the sun and surf for over a week, ALL BY HIMSELF!
HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE THAT? We get so frustrated or aggravated about life that we either want to pull our hair out (or someone else’s hair) or else run away from it all!
Maybe your marriage hasn’t gone the way you thought it would.
ILL.- Marriage counselor: When things go wrong, do you blame each other? The couple: Not always. Sometimes we blame the children. Sometimes we blame the President and sometimes we just slam doors.
Marital bliss can sometimes turn into marital hiss! Or maybe it’s your parenting that is getting you down.
ILL.- One mother said, "These children are nuts today. I have a child myself. He is 12 years old. He is going to be 13...IF I LET HIM!" Raising kids is a hard job.
Or it could be your job that’s getting you down.
ILL.- The boss joined a group of his workers at coffee time and told a series of jokes he’d heard recently. Everybody laughed loudly. Everybody, that is, except Mike.
When he noticed that he was getting no reaction from Mike, the boss said, "What’s the matter, Mike? No sense of humor?"
"My sense of humor is fine," he said. "But I don’t have to laugh. I’m quitting tomorrow."
Did you ever have a job that you couldn’t wait to quit?
Every job or occupation has its drawbacks.
Brothers and sisters, life is tough! Bills pile up, health fails, marriages crumble, people hurt you or disappoint you, your job turns out to be a bummer, etc.
And perhaps there have been times when you have even thought about quitting the Christian life. And you began to think after a period of time, "What’s the use in coming to church? Why not just drop out and do what everybody else in the world is doing?" Life is tough and sometimes very disheartening. But we must not lose heart!
PROP.- In our text, we see what happens when we lose heart and how to overcome it.
1- Obvious doubt
2- Clear evidence
3- Great commendation
I. OBVIOUS DOUBT
We all tend to be doubters about certain things in life. Some doubting may be good and some may not be good.
ILL.- What would think if you got an e-mail note from someone in South Africa saying…“I had 30 million left to me as an inheritance but can’t get it for certain reasons. But I am willing to share a portion of it with you but I will need to transfer it to your bank in America. Please send me your bank account number.”
WOULD YOU DOUBT A LETTER LIKE THIS? I certainly hope you would. But then there is the other side of the coin.
ILL.- Many years ago Billy Graham looked over the 200 people who had come to hear him at a University of Minnesota student-faculty meeting, and remarked that many had come just out of curiosity. With a smile he added, “I can always count on the department of psychology showing up in full force.” I’m not sure that all psychologists are doubters of God’s Word, but some are.
Matt. 11:1-3 “After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
One commentator wrote: John has already recognized Jesus’ identity; now, in prison, he is undoubtedly discouraged and doubting, like many other men and women of God facing trials that seem greater than their power to endure.
As great as John the Baptizer was, he went through a period of doubt and discouragement. Doesn’t this happen to most of us? You try to do everything right and still, something backfires or blows up in your face and you begin to wonder, “God, where are you?” Or “What is going on?”
ILL.- Elaine and I recently saw the new movie, “The World Trade Center.” It’s a very good movie, based on the actual event of 9/11/01. It’s about two police officers who got buried in the rubble but were rescued.