Summary: We sometimes feel like giving up in life. There is help available.


INTRO.- ILL.- The backwoods preacher found a small boy all alone, playing in the dirt. “Where’s your

father?” the preacher asked. The boy said, “He was hanged last week.”

“Where’s your mother?” “She run off.”

“Where’s your sister?” “She’s in jail.”

“Is there anybody else in your family?” “Yup, I’ve got a brother.”

“Where is he?” “At Harvard University.”

“Well, at least one member of your family is doing well. What is he studying?” “Nothin’. They’re

studying him.”

Brethren, that boy had to be discouraged with life! I don’t think anybody’s life could be as bad as that

boy’s. BUT WE ALL MUST ADMIT THAT LIFE CAN GET PRETTY DIFFICULT AT TIMES. And certain things happen to us that can cause us to want to give up on life.

ILL.- In November 1988, Marie Balter began work as an administrator of Danvers State Hospital in Boston. It is a mental hospital. AND IT IS THE SAME HOSPITAL WHERE SHE SPENT 17 YEARS.

At age 17, Marie went through some very difficult personal ordeals and became clinically depressed.

She was misdiagnosed, labeled schizophrenic and sent to Danvers Hospital. She stayed there for the next 17 years of her life.

After persistent friends worked to get her out, she was finally released from the hospital in 1964. She

went back to school. she lectured across the nation. She worked with psychiatric patients. She earned a master’s degree from Harvard. Now she is at work as community affairs director at the hospital which was once her prison.

Brethren, I think it would have been very easy for Marie Balter to have given up on life as a result of


I think most of us probably could never have been able to do that. We would have wanted to give up. Period.

We must admit that sometimes life is tough. And for some people, life just plain sinks.

ILL.- Red and Rhoda Sigler had three children: two girls and a boy: Sheila, Peggy and Butch. Rhoda, the mother, knocked on my door one day and was in tears over some of the things her oldest daughter had been doing.

I had never seen Rhoda before in my life. And why she came to my door is beyond me. I don’t think I ever knew why, but I did my best to help her and her family.

Her oldest daughter, Sheila, had become extremely rebellious and was running around with the wrong crowd. Sheila continued in her rebellion and was a constant source of trouble for her parents all while

she lived at home. She drank, smoked, you name it and I think she did it.

Their daughter Peggy ended up getting pregnant by some carnival worker who came through town. And their son Butch was even worse. He was always in trouble at school, with the neighbors, with the police, etc.

I tried to get him involved in lifting weights, thinking that might help curb some of his misdirected

energy. But it didn’t take Butch very long before he was back into trouble again. It seemed like every

time he turned around he was into something no good. Finally, he got married at about the age of 19 or 20 and I thought he was going to straighten up his life. Soon afterward, we heard he was killed in an automobile accident. IT SEEMED LIKED THAT YOUNG MAN WAS DESTINED FOR NOTHING BUT TROUBLE OR AN EARLY GRAVE.

Brethren, when you’re a parent and you’ve got problem-children like those were, it would be awfully easy to want to give up on life. Or at least, give up on those children.

Life is not easy. We all experience problems that nauseate us or are a nuisance to us. Family problems, children problems, work problems, financial problems, health problems, loss of loved ones, and so on.

ILL.- A man by the name of Joseph Bayly and his wife lost three of their children: one at the age of 18

days after surgery. Another at 5 years with Leukemia. And a third at the age of 18 years from a

sledding accident.

It’s hard to imagine the depth of their loss. And yet as great as their losses were, I can think of another

which was far greater.

Job 1:1-3

Wherever Uz was, it had one citizen who had the respect of everyone. Job was upright, God-fearing,

and clean-living. He had 10 children, fields of livestock, an abundance of land, a house full of servants and a big bank account.

No one at that time would deny that Job was “the greatest man of the East.” He had earned that title

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