Summary: Don’t give up. Look up! • We’re on a winning team. • We’re surrounded by people who love us. • And We’re surrounded by a God who loves us.
There once was a boy playing baseball by himself in the backyard.
• Who said "I’m the greatest batter in the world!"
• Then He tossed the ball in the air and would swing the bat.
• The Problem is He swung and he missed.
• Not one to give up he throws the ball up again and says, "I’m the greatest batter in the world!"
• And again He misses.
• He looks at his ball and then his bat.
• Then Once more he tosses the ball up in the air.
• He says "I’m the greatest batter in the world!"
• He swings and he misses. Strike Three.
• Finally He says "Wow! And I’m an even better pitcher!"
Now you have to like this boy’s positive attitude.
• I like it that he’s not easily discouraged.
• The truth is that we all should be this way
• We should say “I’m a Christian!
• I’m on a winning team!!
• I’m going to live with Jesus forever!
• Notice I said should
• Because there’s this one little thing. This disease.
• It’s called discouragement.
• It hits like a big sudden gust of wind.
• For some people, it’s no big deal.
• Your favorite football team lose 23-20 in overtime.
• You’re bummed out for about ten minutes.
• Then you get up off the couch and eat a hot dog and you’re fine. No big deal.
But for some people,
• Discouragement can hit like a tornado and totally wipe you out.
• They get these crazy thoughts running through their head:
• “I’m not good enough to get that job.
• I’m not good enough to get A’s and B’s on my tests.
• I’m not good enough to do any kind of work at the Church.”
The truth is that we all have our moments like these.
• But the good news is that help is on the way!
• Today, we’re going to talk about the causes of discouragement.
• Then we’re going to look at Psalm 142 and talk
• about getting through the season of discouragement.
One of the things that causes discouragement
• Is the realization that we’re not as young as we used to be.
• I was reading about an older lady who joined a fitness club.
• She said “I decided to take an aerobics class.
• I bent. I twisted. I gyrated. I jumped up and down for an hour.
• But by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.”
Some day, it will be over for all of us.
That’s why I like Psalm 73:26. It says “
Ps 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my
Our bodies may not be able to do what they used to do.
• But God can do what He’s ALWAYS been able to do!
• He’s the One who gives us the strength to go boldly through this life.
• And He’s the One who gets us ready to be promoted in to the next life.
• Another thing that causes discouragement is the winter weather.
• How many of you are tired of winter?
• How many of you pray to God that the Ground Hog doesn’t see his shadow on Ground Hog day?
• How many of you hope that someone steals the Ground Hog BEFORE he has a chance to see his shadow?
We’ve known for a long time that during the long dark days of winter, people get depressed.
• So a handful of experts at the National Institute of Mental Heath
• came up with an idea:
• If people get depressed when the days get darker,
• why not just give them more light?
• They tested this theory on a guy who fell into a deep depression every winter.
• They asked him to sit in front of a large box fitted with fluorescent tubes
• for three hours before dawn and three hours after sunset every day.
• And It worked.
• Three days later, he was smiling again.
• And today, when people get Seasonal Affective Disorder,(SAD)
• one of the most effective treatments is light therapy.
• Getting people to spend more time in the light.
Let me make a spiritual application:
• How do we overcome the darkness of discouragement?
• We Spend more time in the LIGHT!
• We need to Spend more time talking with Jesus.
• Spend more time listening to Christian radio.
• Spend more time reading the Bible.
• Spend more time hanging out with other people who love Jesus.
In John 8:12, Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”