Ever Suffer with Discouragement?

Written by Starr

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Numbers 11:10-15 10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. 11 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favor in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? 13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
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Moses: great man of God. Used of God to deliver the Israelites from Egypt. He led them day and night through the wilderness. He maintained faith in God. But because of their murmuring, he became discouraged. To the point where he wanted to die (v. 15)

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Josh. 7:6-9 6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. 7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! 8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
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Joshua: Great man of God. Leader of God's people. But because he was defeated in battle, Joshua became discouraged and depressed.

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I Kings 19:3-4 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer–sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 ¶ But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers
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Elijah: Great man of God. Prophet who said it wouldn't rain until God says so. He trusted God to feed him by the brook Cherith. He was willing to take a stand. But when wicked ol' Jezebel, a big mouth woman, opened her mouth and started saying things against him, he became discouraged. (in v. 10 when God asked him what he was doing there, you see him making excuses to God - I'm the only one left!)

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10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
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Because he was discouraged, he imagined that he WAS the only one!

David: Great man of God. Man after God's own heart! If Satan can attack David and all these other great men of God, men of faith, and cause them to be discouraged - he will do the same with us!

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Psalm 42:3, 5, 6, 9, 11 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Her'monites, from the hill Mizar. 9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
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Nehemiah: Another great man of God. Used to rebuild the wall. But when Sanbalat started mocking and saying things against him and the other men and the work they were doing, they became discouraged. So much so that all they could see was "rubbish" they couldn't even see the wall that was half FINISHED!

Nehemiah 4:6, 10 6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work 10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

Hudson Taylor said once that it doesn't matter where pressure comes from, only what we do when pressure comes. We can either let the pressures of our life press us closer to our problems or press us nearer God. They should press us nearer God!

Paul had discouragement too:

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8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
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As Christians we need to be alert to the devil and his tactics. Especially discouragement. He WILL attack us too! If these great men could get discouraged, depressed and defeated - we need to know what caused it.

Circumstances!
1 - Difficult times! They are sure to happen (James 1:2)

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2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
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2 - Loss of security! ie: jobs, friends, family, all can disappoint us. Loss of familiar circumstances. great financial loss or change.

Some symptoms of discouragement are:

1 - loss of strength - physically & emotionally. You just want to quit, throw in the towel.
2 - loss of vision & goals. This happened to Moses - he forgot he was God's man for the job. Nehemiah had lost his vision so much that all he could see was the rubbish and not the half finished wall!
Discouragement can be terminal - but it doesn't have to be!

If difficult times cause discouragement in the life of a believer, WHY then, does God allow difficult things to happen in our lives?!

1 - James 1:2-4 - To help us mature in the faith.
2 - Psalm 119: 71 - To help us learn God's ways & His Word.
3 - Romans 8:28-29 - To conform us to the image of Christ! Mold us, shave off the rough edges.
4 - Deut. 8:2-3 - To test our faith and show us where we are spiritually. If we really are living for Christ.

What then, is the CURE for this discouragement?

FOCUS on God! Peter battled w. this! As soon as he took his focus off of God and put it on his circumstances - he began to fail, to sink.

First of all we need to:

1 - Know God's will for our life.
Ephesians 5:17 and John 14:21
He will make Himself known to us IF we keep His commandments.

John 7:17 - God knows our heart & whether we'll do His will or not. Why would he reveal it to us if He knows He can't trust us to be obedient w/ what He says? We need to be willing to do whatever He says!

2 - Claim God's resources
David did this in: Psalm 27:1

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1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
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He claimed the strength of the Lord! Remember this is one of the things we lose when we become discouraged - our strength. David knew what to ask for, what to seek after. If we read on to v. 4 in that same chapter...

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4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple
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We need to be careful about the things we desire! We need a close intimate relationship w/ the Lord ourself before we can ever think of trying to help soemone else. And that includes our family! We need to realize when discouragement comes, what God is trying to do in our life. Remember, DISappointment is HISappointment! All of the great men we looked at, yes, became discouraged, BUT God dealt with them and continued to use them!

Unto Moses:

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23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not
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Unto Joshua:

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10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
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Unto Elijah:

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11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake 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 a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Eli'jah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Eli'jah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Haz'a-el to be king over Syria: 2 Kgs. 8.7-13 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: 2 Kgs. 9.1-6 and Eli'sha the son of Shaphat of A'bel–meho'lah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Haz'a-el shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Eli'sha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Ba'al, Rom. 11.4 and every mouth which hath not kissed him
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We have a promise from God in the following verse, but it is our choice what direction we go with it.

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31 but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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If we just WAIT, God will show us in His time. But the way to keep from getting discouraged when we're going through those difficult times is to:

* Know God's will for our lives
* Claim His Resources
* And Have a close relationship w/ Him.








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