Summary: When discouragement comes we have an encouraging word to get us moving again.
Griffith Baptist Church – 10/5/08
Text: Nehemiah 4:10-23
Key verse: Nehemiah 4:20 - In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.
Premise: When discouragement comes we have an encouraging word to get us moving again.
Did you ever find that the more you do for Christ, the more discouragement seems to try and hit you?
Discouragement and disappointment come our way to throw us off and make us want to give up.
At other times they come as a result of our own delusion. It is like the wife who woke up one morning and said, “Honey, I just had a dream that you bought me a new gold necklace. What do you think it means?” “I don’t know, but Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Tuesday, you’ll know,” He replied. A few nights later, she again woke up after having a dream, “This time, I dreamed you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?” “You’ll know Tuesday,” He replied. The night before Valentine’s Day, she again woke up telling him about her dream, “This time I dreamed that you brought me a diamond necklace. What do you think it means?” “Honey, be patient. "You’ll know tonight." he said. That evening, the husband came home with a package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it--to find a book entitled, "The meaning of dreams."
We are all subject to times of discouragement and the people of God here were no exception.
Discuss text from verses 10-14 (go to transition statement)
Transition Statement: Here in verse 14 we have the first key to overcoming discouragement, and that is simply to remember the Lord.
1. Remember The Lord – 4:14
A. Maybe you heard about a guy named John who had a really horrible memory. One day John ran into a friend whom he had not seen in a long time. He greeted him & said, “Bill, do you remember what a bad memory I had?” Bill answered, “Yes, I certainly do.” “Well, it’s not bad any more. I went to a seminar that taught us how to remember things. It was a great seminar, & now I have a wonderful memory.” Bill answered, “That’s great! What was the name of the seminar?” “Well,” John said, “wait a minute, my wife went with me. I’ll ask her.” He turned & saw his wife nearby. Then he turned back to Bill & said, “What’s the name of that flower with a long stem & thorns & a red bloom?” “Do you mean a rose?” Bill answered, “Yeah, thanks,” John said, “Hey, Rose, what’s the name of that seminar we attended?”
B. Our older generation always gets picked on for not having a good memory. Well, for the rest of us, here are the top ten signs you are getting older 1. You’re asleep, but others worry that you’re dead. 2. Your back goes out more often than you do. 3. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room. 4. You sing along with the elevator music. 5. You would rather go to work than stay home sick. 6. You enjoy hearing about other people’s operations. 7. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge. 8. The end of your tie doesn’t come anywhere near the top of your pants. 9. Your ears are hairier than your head. 10. You’re sitting in a rocker and you can’t get it started.
C. Sometimes, when we get discouraged, it is easy to forget the Lord
D. There are some traits of God that we can remember to encourage us:
i. The Lord is good – Psalms 34:8 - O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
ii. The Lord is on our side – Psalms 118:6 - The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
iii. The Lord is helpful – Psalms 121:1-2 - 1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
Transition Statement: Our second key in overcoming discouragement is found in verse 15, which tells us to return to the work.
2. Return To The Work – 4:15
A. Two frogs fell into a can of cream, or so I’ve heard it told, the sides of the can were shiny and steep, The cream was deep and cold, "Oh, what’s the use?" said No. 1, "tis fate -- no help’s around -- Good-bye, my friend! Good-bye, sad world!" And weeping still, he drowned. But No. 2 of sterner stuff, kept paddling, which was wise, then while he wiped his creamy face And dried his creamy eyes. "I’ll swim awhile, at least," he thought this cream I still can tread "It wouldn’t really help the world if one more frog was dead." An hour or two he kicked and swam -- Not once he stopped to mutter, But kicked and swam, and swam and kicked, Then hopped out, via butter.