Forest Park Church
Scheme #2 Discouragement
September 12, 2021

Scheme #2 Discouragement

September 12, 2021

I.

A: Signs

The signs of discouragement are sometimes subtle.

  • It’s not like you have completely given up;

  • it’s more like you have lost hope.

A:

  • Your passion for your work is gone.

  • You are working but your heart is not in it.

B:

  • You have stopped believing that things are going to get better or that you will ever achieve your goal.

C: 

  • You have lost focus on your goal because it seems you will never get there. You may be busy but your tasks are make-work projects that have little to do with your long term goals.

I Kings 18 – 19 we have a story about the prophet Elijah that depicts how God interacted with his prophet when he was so discouraged he wanted to die.

B. Causes of discouragement.

#1 Cause –

I Kings 19:1

Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah had done and that he had killed the prophets. 2 She sent a message to Elijah: “You killed my prophets. Now I’m going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.”

Elijah was afraid when he got her message,

#2 Cause –

I Kings 19:3

3 Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 4 then walked another whole day into the desert.

#3 Cause –

I Kings 19:4

Finally, he came to a large bush and sat down in its shade. He begged the Lord, “I’ve had enough. Just let me die!

#4 Cause –

I Kings 19:4

I’m no better off than my ancestors.

 

II.
 
Discouragement is one of Satan’s most deceptive tools. He uses discouragement to get us off track of the mission God has given us.
 
There is a reason:

  • Moses wanted God to kill him (Numbers 11:13-15)

  • Joshua had to be told repeatedly to be strong and courageous and do not be discouraged (Joshua 1)

  • David wrote songs of lament

  • David had to tell his son Solomon to not be afraid or discouraged (1Chron. 28:20)

  • Jeremiah wrote Lamentations

 

Discouragement was the reason for all of that.

  • Moses was discouraged by the griping Israelites.

  • Joshua was discouraged as he looked to fill the shoes of Moses.

  • David was discouraged as he fought for his life from Saul.

  • Solomon was discouraged as he faced leading the kingdom into a new day.

  • Jeremiah was discouraged as he preached, no one listened, and Jerusalem was destroyed.

 

Discouragement often comes in, sits down, and kicks back. We need to realize it for what it is – a tool of the enemy.
 
III.
 
Elijah is the classic example of this for spiritual leaders. After Elijah had the great victory over the prophets of Baal, he went into what some might call reality.

  • The endorphins crash,

  • You realize the results weren’t quite what you had hoped,

  • Discouragement sets in.

 What we find is God ministers to Elijah in his discouragement.

He gives him direction.

A.

I Kings 19:1-5

Then he lay down in the shade and fell asleep.

Suddenly an angel woke him up and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 Elijah looked around, and by his head was a jar of water and some baked bread. He sat up, ate and drank, then lay down and went back to sleep.

7 Soon the Lord’s angel woke him again and said, “Get up and eat, or else you’ll get too tired to travel.” 8 So Elijah sat up and ate and drank.

The food and water made him strong enough to walk forty more days. At last, he reached Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, 9 and he spent the night there in a cave.

B:

vs 8-10

While Elijah was on Mount Sinai, the Lord asked, “Elijah, why are you here?”

10 He answered, “Lord God All-Powerful, I’ve always done my best to obey you. But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!”

This too shall pass!!!

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

C:

Vs. 11

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

D:

Vs 14

Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

And, just when Elijah thought he was the only faithful person left, God reminds Elijah that there are still 7000 people who are faithful.   We have to gain the right perspective to defeat discouragement.

I have always appreciated this quote from R.C. Sproul: “God has entrusted the ministry of the word to us, not its results.” 

Romans 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

IV. If you allow you, you have turned the enemy’s weapon on him.
 2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Never forget this statement:
When something Satan meant to destroy you starts being used by God to improve you, he’ll back off.

That can apply to sin,

Satans attacks, and more.

And it applies to discouragement.

  • One of the greatest benefits of discouragement is humility.

  • Discouragement is going to get you down.

  • While your down, you might as well bow down to God.

  • When you start doing that, Satan wants to get out of there!

  • Then you’ll find yourself looking up at God instead of being pushed down by Satan

  • suddenly you’ll find yourself encouraged. What did David say?
     

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.  

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Conclusion

Defeat the Causes of Discouragement

Ps. 42:5

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Once you know the answer to this question then you can respond effectively. In fact, Each of the causes of discouragement has a correct response.

1. REST YOUR BODY – (Rest Physically and Mentally)

2. REORGANIZE YOUR LIFE (why am I here?)

3. REMEMBER GOD WILL HELP YOU- (Recognize Gods Presence in you life.)

  • Just ask Him.
  • He can give you new energy.

  • There’s incredible motivating power in faith.

4. RESIST THE DISCOURAGEMENT – (Recognize God is working, even if we can see it.)

“Fight back! Discouragement is a choice.

  • If you feel discouraged, it’s because you’ve chosen to feel that way.

  • No one is forcing you to feel bad.

  • Hang on!

  • Do what’s right in spite of your feelings.

  • No feeling lasts forever.”

God is still on His throne, he is working in this world, and He loves you more than you can imagine.

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