Summary: Principles and actions to take when discouraged
I. Enemies In the Pit
- Horrible pit - Ps 40:2
Christopher Hitchens’ book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Sam Harris was a little-known graduate student until he wrote the phenomenally successful “The End of Faith” and its follow-up, “Letter to a Christian Nation”. Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and Daniel Dennett’s “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” struck similar themes
Doomsday Clock maintained since 1947 giving the probability of catastrophe issued by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago
1995 - 14 min to midnight
1998 - 9 min to midnight
2002 - 7 min to midnight
2007 - 5 min to midnight
June 07 - The UN Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions since December President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said it was too late for anyone to reverse Iran’s nuclear course, which Tehran says is a peaceful quest for electricity, not for atom bombs. "They should be aware that Iran is a big country," he told visiting foreign journalists in Tehran. "Some say Iran is like a lion sitting calmly in the corner. We advise them not to play with a lion’s tail."
- An addiction is a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity
- People sometimes claim that addicts have "lost their souls."
- Chasing after their love at the expense of themselves
Drugs Alcohol Smoking Pornography, Eating, Shopping(lottery tickets)
- DISCOURAGEMENT - DEPRESSION - DESPAIR
Captain Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin participated in one of the greatest technological feats of the 20th century--he was one of the first two men to walk on the moon. Then something very unexpected happened. In just a few short years after his historic voyage, his life had turned from success to the brink of disaster. Instead of basking in the glow of his heroic achievement, he sagged into a state of such severe depression that it nearly ruined him and his family.
Buzz slid from the mountaintop of achievement into a valley of despair. "I had been immersed in just one project--going to the moon," Aldrin reflected .... I had gone to the moon. . . . What possible goal could I add now. There simply wasn’t one And when the emptiness set in with no hope of ever finding purpose in life again, he became depressed
University of Minnesota - Over a lifetime, one out of five Americans will experience a major depression.
You can be alerted to a problem with depression by considering the following statements:
* I feel consistently sad or numb nearly every day.
* I have little or no interest in activities that I used to find enjoyable.
* I’m having difficulty sleeping.
* I’m sleeping too much.
* I’ve lost my appetite.
* I’m eating too much nearly every day.
* I feel tired most of the time.
* I find it hard to concentrate or stay focused.
* My interest in marital intimacy has lessened.
* I feel overwhelmed by the burdens of life.
* I don’t hold out much hope that my life will improve in the future.
* I shift between feeling powerless and unworthy to feeling angry and victimized.
* I think about death or killing myself.
If you identify with five or more of these statements and at least one of the first two statements (feeling sad or a loss of interest), you should probably seek professional help. You may be struggling with major depression. Those who identify with two to four of the statements should, at the very least, consider seeing a physician for a complete medical checkup...
II. The Path Out Of The Pit
. The following are a few guiding principles to feeling encouraged despite our discouraging circumstances.
❶ Ps 40:1.- Hardships are part of following Christ
God’s grace is sufficient for any discouraging situation to give us an abundant supply of Christ’s encouragement
❷ Ps.40:2 - Sin leads to discouragement
Many sins of commission, omission, disposition or wrong assumptions can lead to feelings of discouragement.
We all sin in conscious and unconscious ways, but by asking God for forgiveness and cleansing of our mind we are given an upbeat view of everything
❸ Ps 40:4 - Refuse to give into discouragement
The temptations to feel discourage
❹ Ps 40 :5-6 - Proper attitudes will encourage us
Many personal attitudes will discourage us if we let them.
Develop your attitudes based on your worship of His entire attributes.
❺ Ps 40:9-10 - The Lord not people is our strength
Many leaders, friends or family members may discourage us if we let them. Some of our dearest loved ones will break your heart if you let, but don’t allow them.