Sunday, September 9, 2018

Discouraged Hearts

Temple Baptist Church - 9-9-2018
Numbers 13:23-14:3; Deuteronomy 1:1-3, 28


A.  This morning, I want to preach on a subject very familiar to most of us. 

1.  We live in “fat” times physically but “lean” times spiritually. People who love the LORD and want to make a difference in this world find these days of spiritual discouragement. 

2.  I am not condoning discouragement as it is sinfulness but just explaining that all of us have this problem at times. 

3.  I want to look at the causes of and answers to discouragement.

B.  God brought Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the Promised Land. 

C.  In our text for this morning, we find the children of Israel still in the wilderness, camped at Kadeshbarnea (Kadeshbarnea-Wilderness of the Fugitive or Wandering) but just a “hop-skip-jump” from stepping into the Promised Land—a land flowing with milk and honey

1.  A land flowing with milk and honey.  A beautiful type of the child of God living in victory.  God brought us out of sinful lives to bring us into a victorious life.  God has promised to be with us and for us. 

2.  And it was such a place.  “And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It isa good land which the LORD our God doth give us.”  It took two men to carry one bunch of grapes on a pole between them. 

3.  It was all that God said that it was!  In verses 20-21, Moses told the people to “fear not neither be discouraged”  Twelve spies were sent into the land and 10 gave an evil report while two gave a good one.  The “evil report” discouraged the heart of the people.

D.  The cost of their discouraged hearts was great.

1.  Discouragement Traded Eleven Days For Forty Years!  Vs. 2-3 Discouragement lengthens your trials and tribulations!  They had already made the 11-day trip and were in Kadeshbarnea!  All they had to do was cross over Jordan and the land was theirs.

2.  Discouragement Traded Victory For Defeat!  Vs. 40; 45 Discouragement caused an assured victory from the Lord to become a devastating defeat because the Lord was not with them.  Discouragement destroyed their joy!

3. Discouragement Traded Canaan For The Wilderness!  Vs. 25; 40 Canaan was truly a land flowing with milk and honey and the wilderness that they had come through was a barren, arid land.  Discouragement will keep your soul dry while denying you the milk and honey that God intended to flood your soul!

4.  Discouragement Traded Their Burying Place From Canaan To The Wilderness!  Vs. 35; 40  “But as for you!”  Israel died in defeat!  I don’t know about you, but I want my life to end right.  I want to die serving the Lord, not in discouragement and defeat!

E.  Thus, it is in our day.  Discouragement is a Choice!  We hear more people speaking in discouragement than you do rejoicing in victory.  We do face much in the way of disappointment in our day and much of it is because of the brethren as well as the world.

1.  We Face The Discouragement Of Depravity – I have never seen it on this wise.  Evil is called good and good is called evil.  People have absolutely no morals and America has literally gone to the dogs.  So have most of today’s churches!

2.  We Face The Discouragement Of Deceivableness – Preachers and teachers have left the Old Paths of doctrinal correctness and separation for the road of popularity, prosperity, and numbers.

3.  We Face The Discouragement Of Division – God’s people have forgotten who the enemy is and spend most of their time either mad or hurt and on the sidelines while the real battle rages around them un-noticed.  Division is a sin and is a result of carnality and immaturity!

4.  We Face The Discouragement Of Disappointment – Family, friends, failures, etc.  Murphy’s Law seemingly has become a reality in these last days.

F.  I call Discouragement Public Enemy #1!  Their hearts were discouraged (vs. 28).  Sometimes, if you are not careful, you just get tired of the fight! We lose more people to discouragement than sinfulness.  We lose more people to discouragement than to apostasy.  We lose more people to discouragement than to division.

1.  They Were Discouraged Because Of The Way Though The Lord Was With Them  - Numbers 21:4  And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

a.  You May Not Be Done Right.  People and the world are not your friend spiritually.

b.  You May Not Be Rewarded Right.  There will be times when you are overlooked or just ignored.

c.  You May Not Have What Others Have.  Often, the world and those who do wrong seem to have all the things in life while you have few.

(The way will get hard.  Life is neither easy nor fair.  God is greater than our disappointments.)

2.  They Were Discouraged By The Giants Though The Lord Was With Them – Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.  (We all face “giants” in our lives.)

a.  Impossible Problems – Giants in our lives that seem to have neither solution nor end.  Things that are out of our control become giants and we become grasshoppers in our own sight.

b.  Personal Failures – Many have the idea that saved people no longer struggle with sin but they are so wrong.  Just re-read Romans, chapter 7, where Paul gave us some insight into his personal life.  If you fall, just get up again.  If you fall 1,000 times, just get up again.  One day, we will fail and fall no more.

(You will face some giants along the way of life.  God is greater than our “giants!”)

3.  They Were Discouraged By The Brethren Though The Lord Was With Them - Deuteronomy 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities aregreat and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. 

a.  God’s People Are Often Divided.  As much as we hate discord, it often becomes a reality to be dealt with.

b.  God’s People Are Often Disgruntled.  Evil communications corrupt good manners and being around complaining people causes discouragement.

c.  God’s People Are Often Doubting.  When people doubt God, it is contagious.

d.  God’s People Are Often Disappearing.  People come, get in, and then begin to disappear.  What a discouragement to people who love the church and desire to see it grow.

(Pastors, missionaries, evangelists are quitting on every hand.  If you are not called, stay out of the ministry.  You won’t last until the “water gets hot!”  People who were once faithful to God and His house are now at home complaining and pointing the finger at others.  People that are in God’s house have continual issues.)

I want to look at two things that should keep us from being discouraged.

1.  The Lord’s Past Performance.  God did so many marvelous things for Israel and does the same for us.

a.  The Lord Had Delivered Them From Egypt - Numbers 33:3  And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high han.d in the sight of all the Egyptians.

Deuteronomy 4:20  But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

Jeremiah 11:4  Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:  (God has saved me and delivered me from Satan, self, and the power of sin  What a wonderful deliverance He has wrought in my life.)

b.  The Lord Brought Them Through The Red Sea - Psalms 106:9  He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

Exodus 14:22  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Exodus 15:8  And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

Isaiah 51:10  Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?  (Not the Sea of Reeds, but “great deep!”  The Lord has brought me through some impossible situations and did so in such a way as to let me know that it was Him and Him alone who delivered!)

c.  The Lord Provided For Them In The Wilderness - Psalms 78:19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

1)  God Provided The People With Manna - Psalms 78:23-25 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, 24  And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. 25  Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

2)  God Provided The People With Water - Deuteronomy 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein werefiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

3)  God Provided The People With Clothing - Deuteronomy 8:4  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.  (I can honestly say that the Lord has been so good to me.  I have lacked nothing over these past 30 years that I have been saved and do not expect to starve in the future!)

(We get discouraged despite what the Lord had done for us.)

2.  The Lord’s Perpetual Promises.

a.  The Lord Promised Them The Land – vs. 8, 20-21  The land was theirs for the taking and so is a victorious life here in Christ Jesus.  Victorious Christian living is ours for the taking.  We are over comers through faith in Christ.

b.  The Lord Promised To Go Before Them – vs. 30  He was before and behind Israel.  The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear Him.

c.  The Lord Promised To Fight For Them – vs. 30  Who is able to stand before the Lord.  If He is for us, and He is, who can be against us?  Nothing is impossible with Him!

d.  The Lord Promised To Carried Them – vs. 31  He will equip you each day with what you need.

(We get discouraged despite the Lord’s promises.)

Conclusion:  vs. 32  Discouragement is simply not believing what the Lord has promised.
Discouragement is a common sin among God’s people. Discouragement is the sin of unbelief!

2 Corinthians 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

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