Summary: Discouragement. We all experience it one time or another. Discouragement can immobilize even the righteous people of God and hinder them or stop them in their tracks to the point that they stop working on their God given visions.
Sunday January 27th, 2008 Series: the Fight part four
Scripture: Mark 9:23
Sermon: In the face of discouragement
Speaker: Pastor Michael West, River of Life
Discouragement. We all experience it one time or another. Discouragement can immobilize even the righteous people of God and hinder them or stop them in their tracks to the point that they stop working on their God given visions.
For instance, Israel, was in a state of rebelliousness for a long period of time against God, so God had allowed them to be defeated and taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon. However, the Lord didn’t leave them without any encouragement. God had spoken in their hard years through the prophet Jeremiah that they would be free again after seventy years...Jeremiah 29:10
After that time, Israel was restored and their season of hardship was over, and as the Lord had promised, restoration was being fulfilled. In fact, initiated by the prophet Daniel, Israel entered a season of divine visitation whereby the Lord personally revealed Himself to King Cyrus, know as a gentle king, and appointed him to build a house for the Lord in Jerusalem...II Chron. 36:23
Cyrus responded by encouraging a national offering for Israel’s journey, restoring the treasures Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Israel. The display of divine grace created an atmosphere of excitement and awe among the people—the Lord Himself was causing the people to return.
It was a time of great grace and provision, but during that time something happened that the people allowed their attention to be diverted. They lost their focus. Ezra 4:4-5…
Incredible as it may seem, in light of all the miracles Israel knew and witnessed, all the signs and provisions they experienced, seemed to be no match to the discouragement that was neutralizing their progress. In fact, the discouragement and complacency stalled the restoration for twenty years.
Listen, discouragement is subtle in it’s attack and it has great consequences that will paralyze you. It is powerful and we must refuse to accommodate it’s influence when it speaks to us...why bother, who cares, what good will it do…
Like Israel, you and I have a vision. There is a dream that is real. There is a mission, a blessing to be that God has for us that will grow us spiritually, something that God has for you to help you grow strong in your spiritual authority. Whatever the case, God has provisions waiting to be used by us.
The vision can be for a personal transformation.
It could be for spiritual renewal for the church. Revival. For families, for ministry, but God will provide and meet the need as it arises, but we have to rise to meet the challenge of the need.
However, before a vision or a holy passion to see this nation turn back to God can be complete, you and I will have to face some serious opportunities to be discouraged.
This is why each of us need to build a fighting spirit. Isaiah 61:3 talks about the spirit of heaviness, the NASB calls it a spirit of fainting—passivity, fainting, heaviness, whatever name it bears today, it is an evil spirit and it will do all it can to render you helpless and keep you from exercising your faith!