Summary: Discouragement is like a parasite that comes along side us and sucks the very life out of us – if we let it!
Ever felt like your life was the most unlucky of all? No matter what, the human spirit can be an amazing thing. Take for example the case of Larry Hanratty, who was named by the Los Angeles Times in 2007 the most unlucky man in California.
This poor man was nearly executed to death in a construction site accident. For weeks he was in a coma with his lawyers fighting for his liability claim – until one of his lawyers was disbarred, two of them died suddenly and his last lawyer ran off with his wife!
Then after his recovery in June, he was in a terrible car accident and before the police arrived on the scene, he was robbed of $55.00. On July 4th, his insurance company tried to stop his worker’s comp claim; he came within 2 days of being evicted from his home. By the end of July of 2007, he was suffering from lupus and the start of a lung condition that required him to carry a canister of oxygen with him; he was taking 42 pills a day for his heart condition and his liver aliments.
Finally the City Council came to his aid and then his friends rallied around him. After all that had happened to Larry that year, he said to the Mayor of Whittier, “There’s always hope”!
Where does your discouragement come from?
• From family or parents? Well I have a word for you…
Colossians 3:21 “Fathers do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
• Maybe your body? Well I have a word for you…
2 Corinthians 4:16 “Be encouraged even though the outer man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed everyday.”
• Perhaps it’s your ministry? Well I have a word for you…
2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore since we this ministry, do not lose heart.”
• Possibly a tough trial? Well I have a word for you…
Ephesians 3:13 “Do not lose heart because of trials and tribulations.”
• Feeling lonely and forgotten? Well I have a word for you…
Jesus said “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
The Book of Nehemiah puts us in a very interesting period with the Jews. They were returning to Jerusalem after a 70 year exile in Babylon. It’s the 3rd wave of Jews returning - and Nehemiah still in Babylon - gets word that the city is still in ruins, rebellion was rampant among the workers, and unrelenting hardships were mounting. Tobiah, Sanballat and the Arabs are giving the Jews a very hard time with their vision of having their city walls rebuilt again.
Discouragement is like a parasite that comes along side us and sucks the very life out of us – if we let it!
Parasite = an organism that destroys when it penetrates a plant or an organ of the body and leached off the area it parks itself. Science tells us that there are millions of parasites in the world.
Parasite #1: Fatigue. Vs. 10a
“The strength of the laborers is failing.”
Great coach Vince Lombardi the said, “Fatigue makes cowards out of us all.”
52 days into the project and major fatigue is setting in on all the workers. Our human body is built in such a way that time, pressure and exertion eventually begins to tear at us and cracks start to appear in life’s foundation! That’s when the devil has a circle around your name and your life is at the top of his slimy list.
Two ways to protect from this parasite:
• Pace yourself from the beginning.
• Protect your boundaries. I know Christians think their going to hell if they ever say “NO”!
KEY: fatigue depletes our vitality for life.
Parasite #2: Frustration. Vs. 10b
“There is so much rubbish”
Have you ever worked on something in your life and it just never seems to get better or completed? Maybe healing a relationship, that promotion, a wayward child, finances?
Visions of glory now seemed like a mirage in the desert. Ever present rubbish just seems to linger and the rubble of life just makes us want to give up! This is the beginning of the dreaded 7 letter word…BURNOUT! The parasite of frustration is getting deep into what’s left of any hope!
I’ve heard it said that there are 4 ways we can live… “You can live out, freak out, wear out or burn out.”
How do you know that the parasite “frustration” is eating away at your life?
• Pulling the whole weight of life uphill.
• Reaching the summit of life all alone.
• Feeing exhausted, but won’t admit it.
KEY: Frustration discounts the value of life.
Parasite #3: Failure. Vs. 10c
“We are not able to finish the walls”
May I say that failure is universal to everyone, but it effects do not have to be universal to anyone. The greatest danger to failure is how it grips us after we have listened to the negative side of life – then we begin to buy into the distortion failure tries to make us believe! Listen - its one thing to get knocked down at a place in life but it’s another thing to get back up and face life again! I’m telling someone today – get back up and face life again!