Summary: This message deals with the apostle’s encouraging words to the hebrew believers. he gave them two keys to avoiding discouragement.
TEXT: Hebrews 12:3-11
TOPIC: “Two Keys For Avoiding Discouragement”
In Larry Olsen’s Outdoor Survival Skills, he tells of a guy who has been lost in the desert for days. His water and food have long since run out. His lips are parched, and his tongue is swollen. His legs are bruised and bleeding from dragging himself across the desert floor. His body is scorched from the sun and covered with insect bites and cactus pricks. As he props himself up on his bleeding elbow to look over a knoll, he sees nothing but wasteland through his sand-peppered eyes, and comments, "You know, a few more days like this and I might get discouraged." * Illustration Digest, Fall 1993
I. CONSIDER THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS (V. 3-4).
A. Consider Him
1. Consider who He was.
a. He was the Son of God.
1.) John 1:34 “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
b. He was the creator of everything.
1.) Col. 1:16 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
c. He is the sustainer of everything.
1.) Col. 1:17 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
d. He was God in the flesh.
1.) John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
e. He was the one who offered unconditional love and pardon for sin.
1.) John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
B. Consider what He went through:
1. Hostility from sinners.
a. The constant stalking of the Jewish religious leaders.
b. Followers who just did not “get it”.
c. Disciples who forsook Him in His hour of greatest need.
1.) Mark 14:50 “And they all forsook him, and fled.”
d. The mockery of kangaroo courts.
1.) The court of Annas (John 18:14)
2.) The court of Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57).
3.) The court of Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:11).
4.) The court of Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
e. Physical abuse at the hands of enemies.
1.) The beating with the cat-of-nine-tails.
2.) The crown of Thorns.
3.) The beard torn from his face.
4.) Slapped around.
5.) The crucifiction.
f. Made to bear guilt that was not his own.
1.) 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
g. A bloody death that was not deserved.
1.) He bled and died for us.
C. Consider your own trials in light of His.
1. This will help you avoid “weariness” and “discouragement”
a. Weariness = êÜìíù = to grow weary, be weary. To be sick.
b. Discouraged = eêëýù = to be enfeebled through exhaustion, to grow weak, grow weary, be tired out. To despond, become faint hearted.
2. Your trials cannot compare to His.
a. What have you had to endure for the cause of Christ?
1.) Ridicule and mocking cannot compare.
2.) Mistreatment at the hands of the world cannot compare.
3.) Poverty and need for following Christ cannot compare.
3. You have not paid the supreme sacrifice in “striving” against sin.
a. There are some believers who have shed their blood for the cause of Christ.
1.) Stephen (Acts 7)
2.) James the brother of John (Acts 12)
3.) Peter and the other apostles (Only John died a natural death).
4.) Many others through the ages (Foxes Book of Martyrs)
b. You and I have not been called on to die for Christ.
1.) Any suffering we do for Christ cannot compare with His suffering and death for us.
II. LOOK FOR LESSONS IN THE CORRECTION OF THE LORD (V.5-11).
A. The correction of the Lord is the guarantee of sonship (v.5-7).
1. Take courage from the fact that you are corrected by God…it proves you are His child.
a. Chastisement is proof of God’s love.
1.) The newspapers once carried the story of a father and mother who, finding that their little girl had taken and eaten something from the cupboard, began to shake and slap the child. When the child became drowsy, they did not let up, but continued their shaking and slapping for four hours. What cruel punishment for such a little offense! No, it was compelled by love. The child had swallowed ten sleeping tablets, and the doctor said the only hope of saving the child’s life was in keeping her awake. We do not always understand the path through which God leads us, but we may be certain His chastisement is always born of love. God does not choose to stop the harshness of the winds, but He rather directs us through them.