Few things steal a church’s joy like discouragement…especially if that discouragement comes not from outside circumstances but from inside instigators. Scripture tells us that we are to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). But far too often we choose instead to speak words that dishearten, hinder, and deter each other from living the life God intends.
We’ve all heard the old spiritual “It’s me, O Lord, Standin’ in the need of prayer.” But how many of us live this way? Judging others is a job best left to God. He alone knows our hearts and our motives; He alone is qualified to judge.
You never really know who is in need of encouragement. Encouragement spurs us on; affirms us. A word of kindness, an arm around the shoulder, a note, a phone call, a random comment said in passing... genuine encouragement never fails to help.
In the previous lesson, we studied several faithful men from the Reformation era. Time failed us, though, to tell the whole story of the greatest difference maker of that period, Martin Luther. Let’s pause for a while at his portrait and draw courage from his example of faith.
Nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted. It’s never in vain. Even if you receive no credit or even a “thank you” don’t be discouraged! God promises you will be rewarded when the time is right.
By way of introduction, we want to get our foot in the door of this series by looking at the great biographical chapter in the New Testament—Hebrews 11—which has been called “God's Hall of Faith.” These men and women lived lives worthy of being remembered, so let's remember them—for they, being dead, still speak.
Moving to the unfamiliar and unknown was what God called Abram to do. How could he do it? Why would he want to? The answer is found in one word: obedience.
As we look at Abraham’s life as a whole, we’ll be reminded that he was as much a sinner as he was a saint, and we’ll find both warning and inspiration.
Are you the worrying type—fearful of the possibilities tomorrow may hold but also grieving mistakes of the past? As we stand at the beginning of a new year, we must admit that we can’t predict the future and we can’t change the past. Trying to do either is a waste of time and energy. Learn from Philippians 3 and Hebrews 12 how to keep your eyes focused on Jesus and run your race of faith today.
What do you do when you lose heart? We've all been there. You're so discouraged you just want to give up. One of the best cures for discouragement is a good laugh.