Summary: It is so easy to become discouraged in our world, especially with the steady flow of bad news coming from the world around us, this sermon shows why the Christian has a supply of everlasting encouragement
(All me sermons use illustrations from sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
How many times in life do we feel the weight of discouragement? I am fairly certain that every person sitting here this morning knows what a battle it is to stay encouraged, especially in light of continual flow of bad news that comes from our world. There is discouragement all around us, and yet as Christians, we have all the reasons to have EVERLASTING ENCOURAGEMENT.
This morning, let me share four things the Bible tells us about encouragement, and perhaps as we leave here this morning we will feel the weight of discouragement lifted from our lives and have a better understanding of why we should be encouraged AND what we can do to ensure the encouragement of others.
If you have your Bible with you this morning, let’s start with a passage from Joshua 24:1-15 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. 2 Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ’Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. 5 "’Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. 6 When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen as far as the Red Sea. 7 But they cried to the LORD for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the desert for a long time. 8 "’I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. 9 When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you. 10 But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand. 11 "’Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you-also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’ 14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
I. GOD’S FAITHFULNESS IN THE PAST OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT
Becca constantly reminds me that God has never let us down before, and He will not let us down in the future. God takes care of His people, it may not always be the way we would like, but He has an excellent track record of taking care of our needs. We are His children and God is proud of those who give every bit of effort they have in serving Him. It does not matter if others scoff at us in our service to the Lord, it does not matter if we are beaten down and tired, OUR FATHER in heaven, loves His children and HE is always there for us, HE HAS PROVEN THIS, time and time again.
Here’s how the story of Finding Nemo develops in the movie:
Nemo’s father loved him very much. He watched over Nemo and protected him from every evil. Nemo and his dad were best friends. There are reasons why so many people enjoy the blockbuster hit Finding Nemo. It is a powerful story of the sacrificial love of a mother, and determination of a caring father. It is the story of being lost, and then found. It is a story that can help you understand God and his love for you.