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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Christian And Discouragement

It is easy to become discouraged in this present world whether you are a Christian or not. Sometimes Christians are discouraged by their own personal failures. This often happens when we evaluate our efforts to serve God, the church, and others as inadequate. Charles H. Spurgeon reminds us that our strength is in God’s Hands:

“Yet now be strong, O Zerubabbel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.” (Haggai 2:4-5)

By the mouth of His servant Haggai stern rebukes were uttered, and the whole people were aroused. . . .

The present times are, in many respects, similar to those of Haggai. History certainly repeats itself within the church of God as well as outside of it; and therefore the messages of God need to be repeated also. The words of some almost-forgotten prophet may be re-delivered by the watchman of the Lord in these present days, and be a timely word for the present emergency. We are not free from the worldliness which puts self first and God nowhere, else our various enterprises would be more abundantly supplied with the silver and the gold which are the Lord’s, but which even professing Christians reserve for themselves. When this selfish greed is conquered, then comes in a timorous depression. Among those who have escaped from worldliness there is apt to be too much despondency, and men labor feebly as for a cause which is doomed to failure. This last evil must be cured. . . .

To begin with, here is DISCOURAGEMENT FORBIDDEN. Discouragement comes readily enough to us poor mortals who are occupied in the work of God, seeing it is a work of faith, a work of difficulty, a work above our capacity, and a work much opposed.

Discouragement is very natural: it is a native of the soil of manhood. To believe is supernatural, faith is the work of the Spirit of God; to doubt is natural to fallen men; for we have within us an evil heart of unbelief. It is abominably wicked, I grant you; but still it is natural, because of the downward tendency of our depraved hearts. Discouragement towards good things is a weed that grows without sowing. To be faint-hearted and downcast happens to some of us when we are half drowned in this heavy atmosphere, and it also visits us on the wings of the east wind. It takes little to make some hands hang down: a word or a look will do it. I do not, therefore, excuse it; but the rather condemn myself for having a nature prone to such evil.

Discouragement may come and does come to us, as it did to these people, from a consideration of the great things which God deserves at our hands, and the small things which we are able to render. . . . Have you not felt the depressing weight of what is so surely true? Brethren, all that we do is little for our God; far too little for Him that loved us and gave Himself for us. For Him that poured out His soul unto death on our behalf the most splendid service, the most heroic self-denial, are all too little; and we feel it so. Alabaster boxes of precious ointment are too mean a gift. It does not occur to our fervent spirit to imagine that there can be any waste when our best boxes are broken and the perfume is poured out lavishly for Him. What we do fear is that our alabaster boxes are too few, and that our ointment is not precious enough. When we have done our utmost in declaring the glory of Jesus, we have felt that words are too poor and mean to set forth our adorable Lord. When we have prayed for His kingdom we have been disgusted with our own prayers; and all the efforts we have put forth in connection with any part of His service have seemed too few, too feeble for us to hope for acceptance. Thus have we been discouraged. The enemy has worked upon us by this means, yet he has made us argue very wrongly. Because we could not do much, we have half resolved to do nothing! Because what we did was so poor, we were inclined to quit the work altogether! This is evidently absurd and wicked. The enemy can use humility for his purpose as well as pride. Whether he makes us think too much or too little of our work, it is all the same to him as long as he can get us off from it. . . .

But, brethren, we must not allow this sense of littleness to hamper us; for God can bless our littleness, and use it for His glory. (Sermon: “The Abiding of the Spirit the Glory of the Church”)

2 Responses

  1. […] The Christian And Discouragement (via Samuel at Gilgal) Posted on July 28, 2011 by loopyloo305 It is easy to become discouraged in this present world whether you are a Christian or not. Sometimes Christians are discouraged by their own personal failures. This often happens when we evaluate our efforts to serve God, the church, and others as inadequate. Charles H. Spurgeon reminds us that our strength is in God’s Hands: "Yet now be strong, O Zerubabbel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong … Read More […]

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  2. […] The Christian And Discouragement (via Samuel at Gilgal) It is easy to become discouraged in this present world whether you are a Christian or not. Sometimes Christians are discouraged by their own personal failures. This often happens when we evaluate our efforts to serve God, the church, and others as inadequate. Charles H. Spurgeon reminds us that our strength is in God’s Hands: “Yet now be strong, O Zerubabbel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong … Read More […]

    Like

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