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Overcoming Life’s Discouragements. Life brings many opportunities for discouragement. Some of these can be temporary in nature Fatigue…physical or mental exhaustion Frustration…when you feel overwhelmed with your to-do list Failure…your best laid plans don’t work out

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life brings many opportunities for discouragement
Life brings many opportunities for discouragement
  • Some of these can be temporary in nature
      • Fatigue…physical or mental exhaustion
      • Frustration…when you feel overwhelmed with your to-do list
      • Failure…your best laid plans don’t work out
      • Fear…fear of criticism, fear of responsibility, fear of commitment, fear of ???
we can acquire baggage that weighs us down
We can acquire baggage that weighs us down
  • Uncaring lifestyles
  • Lack of honesty with people around us
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Filthy communication all around you
  • Unclean thoughts or habits
  • People you don’t like...and you show it
  • Looking down on the less fortunate
  • Bitterness/jealousy/envy toward others
even deeper discouragements
Even deeper discouragements
  • Each of us struggles with the demands of adult life…providing food, clothing, and shelter. God told Adam in Genesis 3 that he would have painful toil in his life, and we still live that way
  • Each of us has a need for an intimate relationship (Genesis 2:18), but, not all of us are blessed with one
  • Each of us sometimes struggles for meaning in life (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)
  • We all struggle with guilt and Satan’s war on our relationship with God (Romans 7:21-24)
more discouragements
More discouragements…
  • Each of us deals with sickness and diseases. We see it all around us…and experience it ourselves
  • We face the reality of death and sometimes feel unprepared
  • So what is the answer?
      • What can we anchor ourselves on?
      • When it is late at night and we are sleepless, what can we depend on?
a key is in i john 2 15 17
A key is in I John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world.

17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

  • We can’t love the world! Isn’t that one really hard?!
  • We must do God’s will? How do we do that?
a simple powerful measuring stick to place next to ourselves each day
A simple, powerful measuring stick to place next to ourselves each day

Micah 6:6-8

6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 

7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 

8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

what does act justly mean
What does “act justly” mean?
  • Do the “right thing.” God puts this in our heart and the Spirit will guide us, but, we must study his word to truly understand
  • Walk away from sinful behavior, even when your sinful nature pulls you toward it…even when it is embarrassing to walk away
  • Care for the “weak and helpless,” those who can’t defend themselves, even when your desire for companionship pulls you in another direction
what does act justly mean9
What does “act justly” mean?
  • We do this because we are weak, we have pride, we succumb to peer pressure and self deception.
  • There is a Casting Crowns song that says “don’t take the second look, when darkness pulls the strings.” Don’t let darkness pull your strings!
what does love mercy mean
What does “Love Mercy” mean?
  • Freely and willingly show kindness to others
  • Don’t speak negatively, joke AT people, run down people, take advantage of people, leave people in the “wake” of your success
  • Do help people, help the unfortunate, help the vulnerable, love those who attack you, show them the WAY by how you live
what about this walk humbly with god
What about this “walk humbly with God?”
  • Don’t live arrogantly or irresponsibly or carelessly
  • Start by truly recognizing God IS in control
  • Daily actively submit your life to God
  • Pray for the Spirit to work powerfully within you
  • Do everything with prayer and thanksgiving
instead heed philippians 4 4 7
Instead heed Philippians 4:4-7

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

in hebrews 12 1 3
In Hebrews 12:1-3

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

in hebrews 12 1 314
In Hebrews 12:1-3
  • The Greek wording means “being set or placed before” us continuously.
  • This is not a 100 yard sprint or even a cross-country race. It is like a steeplechase-marathon!
  • So what is important?
      • Speed? No
      • Endurance? Yes
      • Perseverance? Yes
in hebrews 12 1 3 cont
In Hebrews 12:1-3 (cont)
  • What does it take to run this race?
      • Daily we have to throw off the baggage we are carrying (all the sins and sinful mindsets I talked about earlier)
      • Don’t allow Darkness to pull your strings!
      • Daily be committed to run the race with perseverance and keep your eyes on the ETERNAL GOAL!
in hebrews 12 1 3 cont16
In Hebrews 12:1-3 (cont)

Be committed to living a just life, be merciful in your dealings with all people, be humble in your daily walk, and prayerfully focus your life on God’s will for you daily!

If you do these things, discouragement will NOT be a permanent visitor in your life.