Summary: “But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness,” - 2 Corinthians 2:1. We can learn a lesson from Paul when he wrote and told the Corinthians that he was determined not to come to them again in heaviness! HOW RELIEVED O
“OUR BRETHREN HAVE DISCOURAGED OUR HEART”
Text: Deuteronomy 1: 19-32
Life is hard for all of us. We all have a load that we carry, and most of us would believe that our own burden is heavier than that of others. If one could lay his burden in a heap with those of others and then, after examining them all, pick up the one that seemed the lightest, would he not be quite likely to re-shoulder his own burden.
“But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness,” - 2 Corinthians 2:1. We can learn a lesson from Paul when he wrote and told the Corinthians that he was determined not to come to them again in heaviness! HOW RELIEVED OUR FRIENDS WOULD BE IF WE WOULD MAKE THAT SAME DETERMINATION!
When it comes to encouragement we need to watch our life and our lips!
A banker was recently getting a check-up and asked the Doctor how he was. The Doctor said, "You are as sound as the American dollar," and the banker immediately fainted.
We all need encouragement!
The dictionary defines encouragement as the act of inspiring others with renewed courage, a renewed sprit, or renewed hope. Christians are to be heralds of hope!
O, the power of encouragement. It is the power to change lives!
Example of the note from Bro. Jim Ramien “Patti got a letter from Mrs. Bonnie; she called me at work to read it to me. I made her day.”
In our text, the children of Israel have told the truth; however, I think in some ways it is a partial truth. It was their idea to send the spies and not the idea of Moses (Deut. 1:22).
Notice that they are quick to blame the group of ten for their own lack of faith (Deut. 1:28). Just what are they doing listening to these people anyway when God had already told them about the land?
It is a sad day when ten men turned a nation (one to two million people) away from the blessings of God. If it only took ten to discourage two million, how many would it take to discourage the average church?
Please notice this crowd that discouraged a nation was not the heathen Egyptians. It was their brethren. The greatest source of discouragement often comes from the brethren. They weren’t discouraged by the enemy.
Three fellows were walking on the beach, they came upon some boys looking for crabs, and they learned an interesting lesson. As each crab was caught, it was put into a basket. One warned the other boys, "Cover the basket. The crabs will climb out."
"No, they will not get out," answered another of the boys. "If one tries to climb out, the others will pull him down." Aren't some of us crab-like.
The people who should be our greatest ally often become our source of discouragement.
We need to identify the discouragers and their methods.
I. The discouragers stress the obstacles instead of the opportunities.
A. Numbers 13: 28,29
Some maximize the problems and minimize the possibilities.
B. Their attitude was centered on why it can't be done instead of the why it could be done.
The ten spies looked at the situation as if it was all about them, their resources, their abilities, and their strength. The ten spies looked only with their natural eyes, and then they proceeded to say what they saw with those eyes, so they spoke out of a heart that thought this was all about them. “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” They saw the problem (giants in the land), and they saw themselves as grasshoppers, totally unequal to the challenge.
Contrast that with Joshua and Caleb, who saw God, and the people of Canaan looked like grasshoppers before Him. They saw the same facts that the other ten saw, only they understood the truth about what they were seeing— that this was about God —and then they spoke according to what they saw: “We are well able to overcome. . . . The Lord is with us.”
We can choose to look at how small we are compared to those giants, or we can choose to look how small those giants are compared to God!
C. Neh. 4:10-14
D. Whatever happened to God can? Luke 1:37 - “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
A newspaper obituary once read: "Services for friendly fix-it man are today." Instead of focusing on one of the movers and shakers of society, the article told the story of a 79-year-old appliance repairman who was known for his integrity, character, and unquenchable happiness. The president of the company for which the man had worked said, "Half of his job was to go to people's houses and fix the appliances, and the other half was to fix the people. We had a lot of people with problems who requested him by name. He was very jovial, very friendly, and always had a kind word."