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Summary: How negative attitutdes damage people

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THE FRUIT OF DISCOURAGEMENT

May 17, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

What are the reasons for your discouragement? Perception that:

• It’s taking too long (Abraham)

• It’s not fair (Jonah)

• I’m all alone (Elijah)

• It’s not possible (Thomas)

• Maybe they’re right (two blind men on the road in Jerusalem)

• My hope was unfounded (Peter)

Scripture: Numbers 13 & 14

The just freed nation of Israel makes their way to the edge of the land they had been promised by God and they send out 12 spies. When the spies return all 12 are in agreement about the goodness of the land God has led them to. Only 2 advise the community to press on; 10 discourage the people and the leaders about crossing the Jordan. The community listens to the 10 and in one act of unwitting rebellion against God they discover the bitter fruit of discouragement.

The fruit of discouragement:

1. People are demoralized (Numbers 14:1-2)

2. Perspective is destroyed

a. Evidence of the goodness of the land was brought back.

b. They ignored the reality of God’s deliverance from the Egyptians. God could have killed them anywhere.

c. They allowed their own feelings of inferiority to take over. “We looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.”

3. People feel deserted (14:3)

a. In no uncertain terms they were saying to God, “You’re leaving us hanging here!”

4. People are divided (14:4 & 10)

a. They wanted a new leader to take them back

b. They wanted to kill the only positive people among them.

5. God’s blessing is diverted (14:23)

a. No adult entered the Promised Land except Caleb and Joshua.

The devil’s only hope to defeat believers is to discourage them until they deny the provision, protection & privilege as God’s children.


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