Summary: It is okay to be discouraged when working for the Lord. It is not okay to be defeated. How can we as servants of the Lord maintain our enthusiasm and continue with our efforts when we work for the Lord.
What’s the Point?
1 Corinthian 15:58
Do you ever get discouraged? Do you ever get to the stage that you cry out to no one in particular, but to everyone, and say “What’s the point!” Have you reached that moment in time where you just wonder “Why bother?”
I daresay that everyone in here today has sometime or other asked those questions. Perhaps even more than once.
We all get tired and discouraged and wonder what purpose we serve in the grand scheme of things. It seems as if no one listens to you: children, spouse or parents.
At work you seem to do the same thing day in and day out. Sometimes, the job can be very boring. You take this part and attach it to that part and pass it down to the next person. And start all over again with a new part. . . for eight hours a day. . . 5 days a week. You say to yourself there has got to be more to life than this!
At school you sit there and listen to the teacher drone on and on and on. You ask yourself why must I sit there and take notes on a subject you have no interest in and seemingly has no purpose in your life plans?
What about your faith? You go to church every week and listen to the preacher talk about someone you have never seen. The preacher waxes eloquently about this person coming back to earth to take you home with him. Just like you have heard preached for the last dozen years or so. Or more accurately for some church members, the same sermon spoken by a long list of preachers over the last 30, 40 or 50 years.
You ask yourself: what is the point? Is he ever coming back? Why are we here?
Aye, there are many reasons to get discouraged. At home,
Even at church.
But there is a difference in being discouraged and in being defeated. When you are discouraged you can get back up, dust yourself off and carry on. You are open minded and willing to look for something to encourage you to keep going.
However, when you are defeated there is no hope.
There is nothing to encourage you.
You have no desire to look.
You have no desire to get up.
You have no desire to fight. It drives you to do nothing, but sit there and wallow in your misery.
Look around you, in this sanctuary right now are fighters. You have come back this week to listen once more to a sermon about someone you have never seen. About someone who claims he will return for you. Some of you have been coming back for years, decades even. You may have been discouraged, but you keep coming back because you have hope and faith. You are not defeated.
You may feel like you are in a small minority. You may feel like there are many that no longer care about their faith and religion. You may have seen family members, loved ones and friends that have given up, but you still care. You still have hope. You still have faith. You still cling to the knowledge that you are a child of the Lord and he will not abandon you.
Being alive and being a Christian is like riding on a huge roller coaster. There are going to be many highs and lows in this life. Sometimes, life seems to crawl along. Other times we are whipped around seemingly about to fall over the edge. Why? What is the point in being mistreated like this?
Discouragement and defeat comes from Satan. Hope, belief and faith comes from the Lord. We are not perfect. We are human. We are also the battlefield for our hearts and minds. Satan will throw everything and anything at us to not only discourage us, but more importantly, to defeat us. Satan wants more than anything to assure himself that we will be an ineffective witness of God’s love.
We must be aware that there will be times that we are discouraged. And that is okay, as long as we get back up and go back to work for God. We should never give up. We should never back down. We should never get defeated or hopeless. If we do then Satan has won.
We look around today and we see a lot of empty seats. Should we be discouraged by this? Should we think that since we are few in number there isn’t much we can do? Do we think we are outnumbered, undermanned and outmatched for our calling? Remember, God doesn’t need much to accomplish much. With only 300 men Gideon defeated the Midianite army. With just Moses, Aaron and a few priests, God rescued over a million Hebrews from Pharoah’s army at the parting of the Red Sea. With just twelve men, God spread Christianity around the known world in just a few decades.