Summary: Discouragement comes only when we look at our circumstances without looking at the faithfulness of God and the integrity of what He promised. We grow stronger in faith each time we, in spite of our circumstance, give glory to God.

Sunday February 3rd, 2008 Series: the Fight part five

Scripture: Mark 9:23

Sermon: It takes courage

Speaker: Pastor Michael West, River of Life

Without growing weak in faith, Abraham contemplated the impossibility. But he also thought about the greatness, goodness and the power of God. He considered his limitations, but believed that with God, nothing was impossible—this is what earned him the title of “friend of God.”

Romans 4:20-21

Discouragement comes only when we look at our circumstances without looking at the faithfulness of God and the integrity of what He promised. We grow stronger in faith each time we, in spite of our circumstance, give glory to God.

Lord you are great! I trust in You. I praise you, I believe in You. I believe Your Word and what You promised You are able to perform.

So, how does courage come? — Luke 18:1-8

She refuses to be discouraged.

Jesus tells his disciples this story so they would get immunized against discouragement. Jesus assures us that God will hear and the we sometimes need to turn to Him in persistent prayer.

Jesus is not only our Savior, but the author and perfecter of our faith:

Hebrews 12:2

Faith isn’t just about doctrine, it is the spiritual substance of things hope for, evidence of things not seen...Hebrews 11:1

This means for our faith to grow strong, to mature, we need the situations where faith alone can only sustain us. For this reason, God allows to go through some things where we have to let our faith arise because that is what touches God’s heart.

To win our fight of faith, we must not give into discouragement. Ask God for greater wisdom, adjust your attitude and become more flexible and wiser, moving forward with your assignment.. Into what destiny has for you.

Hebrews 10:37-38

Hebrews 11 is the hall of faith. Each one listed was a fighter. They didn’t allow discouragement to steal from them or diminish their faith. Their hearts were strong and they refused to shrink away from God’s promises, things were changed because of the power of their faith.

Hebrews 11:33-34

The enemy has been busy eroding the conscience of our society and will carry off sons and daughters into captivity...we must fight.

Yes, we all feel the heaviness of the battle, but God is with us...Isaiah 42:1,4

Who are you in Jesus?

There is a spiritual war going on over the future of our very souls. We cannot shrink back into unbelief. Let’s be strong and of good courage. Let us seek God and find new strength in prayer and let us never again give into the voice of discouragement.

Many years ago a young midwestern lawyer suffered such deep depression that his friends thought it wise to keep all knives and razors from him. During this time he wrote,

"I am now the most miserable man living. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not." He was wrong.

He did recover and went up to become one of America’s most-loved presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

Today our prayer could be: Lord, You were neither disheartened nor crushed as You lived YOUR life. The Father upheld You in Your mission. We ask today to uphold us. Grant us new strength, restore our souls and empower us by Your Holy Spirit. All this for Your glory. Amen!

Daniel 7:25

Daniel warns us the time is coming when Satan, through the Antichrist, will seek to tear Christians down. To wear out the strength of the Saints of God in the final hours, but on one level, the battle is already on. Satan tries to wear us out by “delay tactics” or (alterations in times) to get us to compromise the Word ( law).

The final effect of what seems like never-ending delays is that we get worn out...sick of trying...not wanting to go on.

Sound familiar to anyone?

These battles can be rooted in almost anything: kids, outsiders, people at work, divisions, other opinions than “mine.” and the list goes on.

But this is not unique or strange. Satan tries hard to keep us from moving on, but we must resist his advances, submit to God and He will flee. We need to stop asking “how long, Lord?” and get on with His plan for us.

God to Revelation 6:10

In the midst of this great praise, pops this question. Fifty-eight times throughout the Bible, this “how long” is asked. You know, sometimes these delays are God-ordained. This means, God hasn’t changed His mind.

Persevere. Church, persevere. It’s mentioned seven times in Revelation and when you read it you will see that those who persevere are those who overcome and nowhere does it say overcoming was going to be a cake-walk.

The root of persevere is the word severe. Our trials on the trail to victory may seem a bit severe, but severe faith, we get through. It’s with that severe faith, the extreme steadfastness that we inherit the promises of God.

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