Summary: What do we need to do when it feels like we are alone and have no where to turn.

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

Portion forever.

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.”

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