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Summary: This sermon is about GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT and examines the incidents in the lives of Isaac , Elijah , Peter , Jacob and Rachel when the Lord encouraged them in their times of discouragement.

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GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT

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OUTLINE

1. ISAAC : I WILL BLESS YOU IN THE LAND OF FAMINE

2. ELIJAH: YOU STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO

3. PETER: FEED MY LAMBS AND SHEEP

4. JACOB: I HAVE SEEN ALL THAT LABAN HAS DONE TO YOU.

5. RACHEL :AND THE LORD REMEMBERED RACHEL

THE MESSAGE

GOD’S ENCOURAGEMENT IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT

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1. ISAAC : I WILL BLESS YOU IN THE LAND OF FAMINE

" The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham." Genesis 26:2-3

" Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:" Genesis 26:12-13

When Isaac faced famine in the land where he was living , the Lord told him not to go to Egypt but to stay in the same land of famine and the Lord promised Isaac that He would bless him in the same land . And the Lord prospered Isaac in the same land and he sowed in that land and received a hundred fold harvest . And Isaac continued to grow greater and greater until he became very great .

Even in our lives the Lord can bless us in the same area where we face struggle and lack and pain . We may be tempted to escape from the situation where we face pain and danger. But the Lord promises to display His mighty power on our behalf and prosper us in the very place where we faced famine and pain.

2. ELIJAH: YOU STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO

" Then he went on alone into the desert, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.".....

" Then the angel of the LORD came again and touched him and said, "Get up and eat some more, for there is a long journey ahead of you." I Kings 19:4,7

I Kings 19 ; 1-7 , 15-16 II Kings 2: 1, 11

When Elijah faced danger to his life from Jezebel , he got discouraged and prayed that he might die . He told God ’ it is enough .let me die ’ . He felt that it was better to die than to live . He could not see any purpose for his life to exist . He did not realise that God still had work for him to do . But the Lord sent His Angel and strengthened him and told that he still had a long way to go . There were still many important tasks that God had for him to fulfill. He had to anoint kings for two nations and also anoint his successor Elisha . And moreover it was God’s plan for Elijah that he should not see death and that he should be taken up alive upto heaven in a chariot of fire. Elijah in his state of discouragement did not realise the glorious plan of God for his life and instead prayed that he should die. But the Lord encouraged him and helped him to fulfill his life ’s purpose and destiny.

Even in our lives sometimes we get discouraged due to heavy burdens and pray that the Lord should take us away and that we had enough of this world . But we do not realise that we still have a long way to go and that the Lord still has much work for us to do . The Lord wants to encourage us to go on and accomplish all the tasks that he has assigned for us to fulfill in this world.

3. PETER: FEED MY LAMBS AND SHEEP

" So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." John 21:15

John 21: 1-17

When Peter got discouraged after the cruxifixion of Jesus , he decided to go back to fishing . And a few disciples, instead of counseling Peter not to do that , decided to join him in fishing . But after fishing all night they caught nothing . The Lord Jesus was watching the actions of these discouraged disciples . And in the morning Jesus was standing on the shore when these disciples returned from their fishing expedition . He did not rebuke them in anger but instead he lovingly enquired about them and performed a miracle for them to catch a multiitude of fish . He even prepared food for them and invited them to dine. Then he asked Peter three times whether he loved the Lord and Peter replied that he did . The Lord then told Peter to go feed His lambs and sheep . Thus the Lord lovingly restored Peter to the call of God on his life .

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