Growing Closer to God Pt 14
Freedom From Discouragement
Freedom From Discouragement
Two weeks ago we talked about freedom from condemnation. Last week we talked about freedom from defeat and this week we will be discussing freedom from Discouragement.
I heard the story that one day the devil was auctioning off his tools. They were highly priced - laziness, pride, hate, envy, and jealousy. One tool was not for sale. One person asked, "Why is that tool not for sale?" Satan whispered, "I can't afford to get rid of that one. It's my chief tool - discouragement! I can pry open any heart with that tool, and once I'm inside, I can do anything I want!"
Discouragement is a direct attack from Satan to steal your joy, your peace, and your patience. I have watched many people, pastors included, that have walk away from their calling, maybe not their faith, but their calling because of discouragement. Discouragement doesn’t come on the mountain top and it doesn’t usually come in the valley. Discouragement usually comes while trying to scale to the top of the mountain.If discouragement is allowed to take it’s course it’ll give birth to depression. Satan uses discouragement to get us to question our calling or to give up completely.
In our section of Romans this morning we will be discussing three type of groanings and why they aren’t supposed to discourage us, but rather encourage us to the fruit-filled life of Christ. There are also promises contained in this verse for those who continue to press on through the discouragement.
The first discouragement we find is through creation.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
The sin of Adam affected even the trees, plants, and flowers. Many people love fall, but fall is a sign of the sin that befell all of us. When the leaves change colors and the cool crisp air blows across our face things are dying. Death was never supposed to happen. People were never supposed to die.
tell us about bondage, decay, and pain. These words were never supposed to touch us, but because of the affects of sin true abundance can’t happen. Those who aren’t saved and experiencing Christ’s freedom walk around in discouragement as they have no hope for the future.
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
This tells us believers groan. This groaning is to serve has our hope. Today many Christians have taken this hope and used it for an excuse of inactivity. They wait longingly for the New Heaven and New Earth, but in reality we aren’t supposed to wait for it, we are supposed to populate it.
There are some of us here that are getting discouraged in hard times and Satan is talking in your ear. He says many things like- you’re not good enough, you don’t have enough knowledge, money, ability, power. But this is all a lie. We talked last week about how God Will bring everything he started into completion for those who trust in Him. I hope all of you left as encouraged as I did last week, but what about the time in the middle. We know God will bring all things into completion. If you’re like me sometimes the waiting just gets to be too much. The waiting overwhelms.
The only thing we can hold onto is that we know the waiting period can’t last forever. The pain in climbing the mountain will come to and end and give way to the mountain top. Satan wants to convince you that you’ll never make it, but God promises that he will complete it. When I run with Shayne there is a burn that overtakes my whole body. It makes me want to give up and stop, but I understand in this scenario that without pain there isn’t gain. This is true with the true Christian. The pain you’re feeling today will end up in your victory tomorrow.
Then there is the pain I have in my neck. This pain was caused by an accident. The physical therapist gave me exercises to do and stated that pain does not equal gain at this time and that I am to stop the exercises if there is pain. What’s the difference. One pain is muscular which can only grow through stretching. The neck pain is because something is damaged and needs to be repaired.
We as Christians know that pain is temporal because God will complete it. What separates our pain from the nonbelievers pain is the that their pain isn’t for growth—their pain is pointing to a life lived wrong. We have the hope of not only becoming a better person while here on Earth, but also obtaining our heavenly holy bodies free from pain and guilt.
The sinners pain is nothing more a taste of what is to come. If they eventually don’t come to know Christ their pain will worsen. If I don’t do what the physical therapists tell me I could create a permanent injury from a temporary injury.
Now another groaning is the groaning of the Spirit.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
We see this when Jesus was on the Earth. The shortest verse of the bible
I have heard many preachers state Jesus cried because of the suffering of his friend. However, this can’t be true. Jesus not only waited for him to die before showing up. Jesus knew he was going to heal him. so why did he cry?
We see this goraning in
Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
The reason Jesus cried and Jesus growned was because of verse 39
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Do you hear the prison and hopelessness in Martha’s voice. This despair. Jesus was hurting because of the prison of fear and depression His people were in. And then, like the Holy Spirit does now He cried out on their behalf.
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”
Jesus is saying I cried out in the midst of their sorrow they will believe in me. I am rescuing them from the death of their pain with one simple phrase: Lazarus Come Forth.
When the Holy Spirit groans on your behalf he is speaking life into what was once dead. He is taking what you thought was a failure and making a success. We are reassured this in verse.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
This is a promise of God that is often misunderstood by many Christians.
God Cannot and Will Not Sin.
God Cannot and Will Not Sin.
He doesn’t create bad circumstances in your life. That was addressed in the beginning of this verse when we saw that Adam’s sin created the pain, discomfort, discouragement that we experience today, but God takes the pain to plant seeds of death.
Jesus didn’t kill Lazarus. But he used Lazarus’ death to increase the faith of those around him.
God doesn’t create your discouraging situations, but he uses those times of discouragement to strengthen your faith and bring forth encouragement.
HEre’s the issue: You can sulk with whatever you’re going through right now and allow Satan to kick you while your down or you can give it God and allow him to breathe life into it.
Don’t allow your discouragement today to cancel your blessing tomorrow.