Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Discouragement: Pt 5 When you look through your lens, where is your focus?

"In one of my favorite Peanuts cartoons, Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels and then threatens him with her fist if he doesn't. 'What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?' asks Linus. 'These five fingers' says Lucy. 'Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.' 'Which channel do you want?' asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, Why can't you guys get organized like that?'

Change is not always convenient or comfortable; but sometimes dealing with discouragement it must happen.

We all deal with discouragement…all of us go through times that weigh heavy on our heart. What can we do? We saw that first we must establish certain things:

First step - Establish certain things: {1} Set The Record Straight - a. Deal With Guilt; b. Deal With Lies; {2} Separate yourself from sources of discouragement - NOT PROBLEMS BUT SOURCES OF PROBLEMS - a. Establish a time and place to commune with the Lord; b. Turn off people with little or no faith; c. Seek out examples - Christian Biographies; {3} Stand Still - Do not make decisions in that state of mind - No sense of reality

"People hate change -- the only person who likes change is a baby with a wet or
dirty diaper"

Second step – We need to change certain things:

Not only do we need to establish where we stand, but we should also face the fact that we need to change certain things in our life.

First: we often need to change the direction of attention…not necessarily where we are moving, but where our attention is moving.

Far too many times our focus is on the wrong issues, and just a slight adjustment in that focus can make a big difference.

"`I am the most miserable man living,' wrote a famous American leader. `If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. To remain as I am is impossible.  I must die or be better.'  Abraham Lincoln."

He lived in a very tumultuous time…but had to learn that his emotions are not the best thing to focus on.

"Adversity does not make us frail; it only shows us how frail we are."

We need to change from focusing on our discouragement & ourselves  - throwing a pity party that we end up actually wallow in it; instead we need to focus on the BIG picture! 

The Biggest picture we can focus on is God’s reputation!
ConsiderHe trusts us enough with His name to allow the source of the discouragement! This is the key to turning problems into projects! We need to ask: How can I glorify God in this situation?

Philippians 1:15–18 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;  the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

We need understand our position in Christ – Forgiven; we are more than restored from the fall, we are made joint heirs! Every circumstance we are in has been allowed by our Father, and because we are “in Christ” no matter the situation, God will guide us through to victory…if we remain close to Him.

2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

The New Testament states ("in Christ) = 89 times. God always has a reason for allowing His children to endure difficulties.

2 Corinthians 1:3–5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

So we can help others…including this with no relationship to the Lord.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

If Christ suffered what makes us think we will not? He showed us through example that our Father is faithful.

2 Timothy 1:15–18 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.  The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.

When we see our brothers discouraged we can become their comfort.

Take a moment right now and consider the last time you felt discouraged, what occupied your attention? You; your pain; the question why me? Did you consider you are now in the spotlight and by your actions you can make a statement about our God?