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Summary: The power of encouragement in the daily life of the believer. When we are presented with a challenge, and everything we know has been taken from us, we must stand on faith and follow the direction of God, without the involvement of our emotions.

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The Landmine of Discouragement

I Samuel 30:1-6

David was distressed for the people spake of stoning him.

There have been plenty of times in our lives where we are discouraged.

We get distressed for various reasons. Sometimes it is because we are under attack. Other times it is because we caused trouble for ourselves. When we put too much trust in others, we can very easily be let down.

We have received a promise from God that he is not a man and he can never lie.

Family and friends are human; they have problems and challenges just like we do. If we depend on them for everything, we get let down when they go through a challenge and aren’t there to save us.

Talk about the story of Saul and how this situation fit into the current story.

Achish

Saul

Medium

Ziklag

Encouragement

I Samuel 30:7-8

Overtake- Overwhelm/without effort/without casualty/without fail

Conquer-requires energy/human power and logic/requires battle/casualties

Steal- to take undercover/without being noticed/with the intent to not be found out

Recover- to take without force as a gift/reward given by a supernatural authority

WHAT CAUSES DISCOURAGEMENT?

#1 Cause - FATIGUE

When youre physically or emotionally exhausted, youre a prime candidate to be infected with discouragement. Your defenses are lowered and things can seem bleaker than they really are. This often occurs when youre halfway through a major project and you get tired.

#2 Cause - FRUSTRATION

When unfinished tasks pile up, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. And when trivial matters or the unexpected interrupt you and prevent you from accomplishing what you really need to do, your frustration can easily produce discouragement.

#3 Cause - FAILURE

Sometimes, your best laid plans fall apart -- the project collapses -- the deal falls through -- no one shows up to the event. How do you react? Do you give in to self-pity? Do you blame others? As one man said, "Just when I think I can makes ends meet -- somebody moves the ends! That’s discouraging!

#4 Cause - FEAR

Fear is behind more discouragement than we’d like to admit. The fear of criticism (What will they think?); the fear of responsibility (What if I can’t handle this?); and the fear of failure (What if I blow it?) can cause a major onset of the blues.

WHAT’S THE CURE FOR DISCOURAGEMENT?

There’s a fascinating story in the Bible about how a guy named Nehemiah mobilized the residents of Jerusalem to build a wall around the entire city. Half way through the project, the citizens became discouraged and wanted to give up -- because of the FOUR causes I’ve given.

Here’s what Nehemiah taught about defeating discouragement (Nehemiah 4):

REST YOUR BODY

If you need a break -- take one! You’ll be more effective when you return to work. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think! (Psalm 116: 7)

REORGANIZE YOUR LIFE

Discouragement doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing. It may just be that you are doing the right thing in the wrong way. Try a new approach. Shake things up a little.


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