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Sunday morning March 29, 2020


Written Service for:


Sunday Evening March 29, 2020


“The disease of discouragement”

 

Psalms 84

 

In 2005 I went to Kenya to preach a series of meetings, we had some great meetings that included at least 902 decisions for Christ… So many in Eldoret we couldn’t count them.

 

The only problem I had on the most successful trip I have ever had, is that I

contracted “the Highland strain of Malaria.”

 

I had never been that sick in my life… (Describe symptoms) It was interesting as I returned home to the U.S., the reaction people gave me…

 

Many were afraid that somehow they could catch it… But they were only afraid because they didn’t understand the disease…

 

And honestly I didn’t understand it either before I got it… (Deadly only if it’s not treated)

 

But the reality is we have never been here before. This is the first time in the 50 years our fellowship has been around that we have not had regular church services…

 

If you let it this Virus will keep us from spiritual growth, and from living a healthy Christian life…

 

But I want to look at one issue that like Malaria, many people misunderstand…

 

And again like Malaria, it’s only deadly if it is not treated…

 

I want to minister on the Dangerous Disease of Discouragement.

 

I. Diagnosing the Carrier-

 

 A. We are talking about a disease that no Christian is immune to…

 

      1. It is almost like a childhood disease that every one has to get, there is no way

          to out grow it, it is common to children…

 

            a. The main difference is you can get it more than once…

 

            b. The symptoms of discouragement are not difficult to identify…

 

            c. If you see someone who has been infected, you will be able to see the signs…

 

      2. You will see a collapse of faith, followed by a feeling of despair, and

            hopelessness in their walk with God.

            a. In our text David is writing about the blessings of serving God… and he makes

                reference to a geographical location… and I see a modern correlation.

 

Vs 6 says “As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools…

 

      3. “Baca” Literally means a place of dryness, a place of weeping…

 

a. It is talking about a place of defeat, and a place of emptiness.

 

            b. David is saying that every believer is going to at some time in there walk with

                God pass through the Valley of Baca.

 

            c. A time when you don’t feel like you’re able to break through, and touch God…

 

 B. There are three main symptoms in some one infected with discouragement…

 

      1. First their eyes are affected… They don’t see clearly…

 

a. Things are blurred, distorted, they loose their perspective…

 

            b. All they are able to focus on is the negative…

 

c. All they can see is their situation… They develop tunnel vision.

 

Job 17:7 “My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow, And all my members are like shadows…”

 

a. Because I don’t feel well, don’t see well, life has lost its clarity…

 

b. I can no longer locate myself in the word of God.

 

            c. People who are discouraged cannot see where you are coming from, all they

                see is their problem.

 

      3. It also affects the memory…

 

a. We can no longer remember anything good that God has done for us.

 

b. What happens is as you dwell on yourself, and your problems, you forget every

    promise…

 

Ps 103:2-5, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…”

 

      4. This is the real danger we face… Discouragement begins to eat away your

            memory, and you can no longer see how far God has brought you.

            a. The only thing we can remember is the failures… “I will not go on, I cannot, I

                am unable… This is too much… This is just not fair…”

 

            c. Suddenly you have no momentum to carry on… You just want to quit!

 

 C. You’re tired of fighting; you’re tired of confessing things you are not seeing…

 

      1. Your tired of believing what is apparently not happening. Everything inside you

            just wants to quit.

 

Ps 42:5, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?”

 

            b. New living translation says: “Why am I discouraged? Why so sad?

 

c. The biggest problems it causes is a loss of vision, and heart… and if not treated

    it will with out exception be fatal!

 

II. The Need to Isolate the cause-

 

 A. If you serve God long enough, one of the things you learn is God is not interested in

      just making things seem right.

 

        1. God is interested in getting to the root of the problem…

 

            a. Discouragement always looks for a foothold in our emotions…

 

            b. You and I are extremely susceptible to mood swings… People are easily moved

                by their emotions…

 

c. The danger is our emotions become a breeding ground for discouragement.

 

      2. When we get caught up in our emotions, we become unstable spiritually…

 

            a. It is impossible to have a correct spiritual outlook when we have allowed a

                mood, or feeling to dictate our outlook on life.

 

            b. Something we have to understand is that the devil is the master choreographer

                of feelings. He has mastered playing in the minor keys of life…

 

            c. If he knows that when we feel a certain way, we will act a certain way, he will

                manipulate every circumstance he has to make us feel that way.

 

    3. He understands how much stock we put in our emotions, and he can cripple our

        spiritual life by playing on our emotions!

 

 

            c. Discouragement is a bottomless pit, and once you are there, it is almost like

                you like it…

 

 B. It’s like when we get up in the morning, and feel good… Well then God is on the

      thrown, there is victory in the camp!!!

 

    1. I feel great, God is on the thrown, Praise God!!! But if we feel bad…. Look  out!!

 

a. Suddenly all of heaven is in jeopardy… Now God is having a bad day too!

 

          b. No believer even when Society has not shut down can afford the luxury of

                living by their feelings.

 

            c. Feelings are liars!!! Write it down!!! Feelings can lock someone in a spiritual

              comma… They can see you, and hear you, but they are just not responding.

 

      2. E.g. “I don’t feel like praying… I can’t even go to church… I don’t feel like

          reading my bible….”

 

            a. Too often Christians in this generation act according to how they feel… You

                can’t afford to let feelings be your yardstick…

 

            b. There is never, and never has been a feeling that can measure spiritual reality!

                God does not always move in our emotions…

 

c. He won’t always make you feel good while he is moving. One of the major

    causes are demonic strategies designed to dominate our emotions…

 

    3. These will move us away from the things of God. You and I must learn to function

          regardless of how we feel…

 

            a. Another cause of discouragement is the frustration of our will…

 

            c. One of the things that can kill momentum in life is when things just don’t go

                our way!

 

      4. What we planned, what we wanted to happen…. What we told everyone was

            going to happen…. Doesn’t!

 

            a. That is frustrating, you feel like you want to die!!!

 

            b. Well let’s be honest….

 

c. We don’t really want to die… We just want people to feel sorry for us and think

    we do….

 

            d. Part of growing as a Christian is accepting the failure of what we have

                  planned.

   

 D. You soon learn that you can either accept it, or go off and pout, either way it isn’t

      going to happen.

 

III. The Cure for Discouragement-

 

 A. One of the worst parts of the Malaria, is the medicine you have to take to get well…

 

      1. You know that the medicine will make you sick… but if you don’t take it you

          won’t survive… Just going to the Doctor won’t make you better…

 

            a. And the cure for discouragement is two fold, it’s will require more than just

                going to God…  

 

            b. It is not “well I am discouraged and if I stay this way long enough, then God

                will reach down and touch me.”

 

            b. God will not do for us what he wants us to do for ourselves…

 

      2. This is where our faith comes in.

 

            a. Part of the cure understands that God will not abandon you!!

 

            b. Regardless of what you are feeling, regardless of your emotions, your

                pain… God has not abandoned you!!

 

            c. He wants to help us when we are in Baca, but we have to do our part…

 

      3. You must have the will to go on!

 

            a. Part of the development of our character is that god will make sure that you go

                through that valley!

 

            b. We have to learn to find God in that place…

 

            c. In our driest moments, regardless of our surroundings or feelings if we look, we

                can find God!

 

 C. Don’t ever allow your faith to be paralyzed by your feelings.

 

      1. The hour of discouragement is always followed by an outburst of personal growth.

 

            a. These times strengthen something inside of us…

 

            b. Every believer has to pas through the wilderness, and you must find God in

                those times.

 

      2. Happy is the man or woman who passing through dry times, and in that place does

            not give up, but digs in, and digs deep until they break through and lay a hold of

            God!!  

 

            a. God is not hiding from us this evening…

 

            b. When we wallow in discouragement, it is you, and I who are hiding from God!!

 

            c. We can come out of this thing stronger than we were before, but that will take a

                commitment to keep on keeping on, in spite of all that is happening.