In our last letter before the Weekly SERMON we said that it's not a disgrace to become DISCOURAGED, it happens to all of us, to some more than others. It is not a disgrace to become DISCOURAGED, it is a disgrace to stay there. Now the word DISCOURAGE means "TO MELT" as in "I am melting under the circumstances." It also means "to be cast down." Sometimes DISCOURAGEMENT comes when you start worrying over a situation, usually one you have absolutely no control over. May I encourage you at this point to etch in your memory bank three passages of scripture?
FIRST: I PETER 5:6-7, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due season, Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you." Now let me read verse 7 this way, "Throw ALL your WORRIES upon God for it is God who CARES for you." What a promise from God.
SECOND: Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The summary of these verses tells us to “PRAY” about everything and “REJOICE” (that is thank God for everything).
THIRD: Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with ALL thy heart and LEAN NOT UPON THY OWN UNDERSTANDING …" There is nothing wrong with seeking all the advice you can get. There is nothing wrong in thinking through all the details you have at your disposal. But leave it there. Do not try to figure it out. Why? Because that is the time when you begin to worry. The verse continues, "In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." that my friend means to acknowledge the SOVEREIGN GOD of the Universe.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7 we read, “Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. (2) And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. (3) Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. (4) And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. (5) So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. (6) And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. (7) Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.” I want to call your attention to the little phrase in verse 2, “Nothing…save a pot of oil.”
There was a time early in the ministry, a pastor’s wife confided in an older friend that she had run out of strength and was resentful and exhausted. Her attention was directed to the little pot of oil within her. "You have all you need within you," said the woman, "in the person of the Holy Spirit. You have heavenly help a heartbeat away. It works as you begin to appropriate what you have. Go home, shut the door, and spend time with the Lord. Then begin to pour out whatever you have into the empty vessels of your neighbors." That was not exactly what she wanted to hear; but she went home, shut the door, and asked God to show her where to begin pouring. "Give me an idea, Lord," she prayed. Then she arose, called a babysitter, and set off for the town center where she began pouring her life into high-risk teens, opening a period of ministry that transformed the lives of many young people.
If you are at the place God wants you to be, do not quit. Instead, shut the door, pray, and ask God to give you a fresh idea for His work. Then begin pouring out of your little pot of oil. And as you pour out, God will pour in!
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