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March 22, 2022 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ comparison make you discouraged. Compare your life with somebody else's life. We always compare up. By the way you compare your job with somebody else's job.
Compare your house, your home somebody else's comparing your marriage with somebody else's marriage.
Compare your close somebody else's close discouraged joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join pastor will go for now is once again he shows up how God's word meets our world author Stephen Pyle writes of a heartwarming story situation that happened in London in 1978, 1978 the firemen, the City of London, a gone strike and so their duties were performed by British military zone January 14 of that year, an elderly woman in South London. Call the military and told them that her cat needed to be rescued on the top of the tree, so the military came in with tremendous military precision were able to rescue her cat in this elderly woman was so happy with what they had done that.
She asked him to come in for tea and they did and they had tea with her and talk to her and as they were leaving.
Then they embraced each other on the front porch of her house and exchanged greetings and thanks and then they got into their truck and pull down the driveway and ran over the cat and things don't often turn out the way you think they will fire high expectation is often extinguished by cold splashes of reality in our lives. Few of us stop and think about it for a moment imagine when you were teenagers for you teenagers should be real hard, but few of us do have a job you always imagined you have your teenager, you have the marriage that you and dreamed about when you were a teenager give the body life can be cruel. We live in a culture that a variety of media that we have costly parades in front of us.
What a perfect job should look like remarriages look like public bodies like the perfect health is in the process of seeing that leaves so many of us discouraged, we become discouraged me. The whole idea that we talk about having a midlife crisis just tells me simply that happens to a lot of people. By midlife. They become extremely discouraged.
What I want to say this morning is you don't have to live in discouragement as a solution to discouragement is always final word of God in your Bibles to Haggai, chapter 2, the prophet Haggai near the end of the Old Testament. Haggai was a postexilic prophet, which meant aperture was taken of the seven-year 70 year captivity in Babylon. They were brought back into the land by Zerubbabel and then God began to send profits their way and he sent to prophets their way. One Haggai. The other Zechariah, Zechariah, whose book is right next to Haggai a sort of heading as the clouds kind of profit mystical writing about the future using all kinds of imagery Haggai nuts and bolts straight for nothing mystical about what Haggai says he is the James of the Old Testament everything to him is straightforward. His ministry was very short-lived. From September to December and one year. That's when he gave his prophecies and you don't hear anything about before anything after God want to see some specific to his people. He wanted this man to do it.
Haggai in the chapter 1 told the people that they had to reconsider the think about the way they were living a life they had taken the cedars of Lebanon and panel their houses with it. They had not started construction for about 17 years on the temple of God, God was not pleased with that. And so we told them that they need to think about this what they're doing and he confronted them with Haggai and he said look up to get on thinking about going to the mountains and get busy and build the temple. Haggai had something happen to him that I don't know any pastor who would ever have that happen to them rarely, but Haggai spoke the whole community people in Jerusalem and spoke once to them.
If you read that you maybe this is the key. He only spoke about three minutes.
Maybe that's what it takes but when he was done. It says in verse 12 and the people show reverence for the Lord. They totally repented and I got to work on the dump. That's amazing and it's absolutely amazing that you can speak one time to God's people and they just say okay you're right I'm going to do it that way, but he did but it didn't last as it so rarely does the people change the hearts of being self-centered to God centered, but were going to see something begins to happen. In chapter 2 verse three verses on the 21st of the seventh month. The warlord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, speak now to Zerubbabel the son of CL the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehoshaphat the high priest and the remnant of the people saying, who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory. And how do you see it now does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison. These first three chapters we see the reason for their first three verses we see the reason for their discouragement and is found in verse three, Haggai says to someone close by who was left among you who saw the temple in its former glory. You have to be overly you can just imagine that somebody walked by. The temple was they were rebuilding an elderly person bobbing very slowly looked over and said what's that that's nothing, I will. I was a child I got to see Solomon's Temple and it was magnificent in this. This is not that's what he goes on to say how do you see it now does it not seem to you like nothing in any keyword.
The last word in comparison see if you'd seen Solomon's Temple and first Kings six and seven there's descriptions of it walls paneled with all that cedar paneling overlaid with pure gold doors made out of all of wood handcarved cherub beam on all the doors. Polished stones everywhere brass pillars, golden lampstands, magnificent, beautiful, beautiful temple, and they were building that they did have the resources so they were building what they could this be like comparing the Taj Mahal with the Morgan utility shed, just not the same as so they began to get discouraged. Their whole view was it just is nothing were wasting our that's just not what I be you see that word is the word that is really at the heart of discouragement that last word in that verse comparison comparison will make you discouraged. Compare your life with somebody else's life. We always compare up.
By the way you compare your job with somebody else's job you compare your house, your home with somebody else's home.
You compare your marriage with somebody else's marriage. Compare your clothes somebody else's cause get discouraged, you compare your children somebody else's children and you both discouraged yet. Once you begin to compare right at the heart of it is discouragement we keep thinking that they might thirst. We should be more we should do more. We should have more. We always compare ourselves with somebody else on the beginning get discouraged.
And God says that's is not the way to live and it's exactly the way we live people compare churches. That's kind of an interesting thought. It's interesting we have people come from other churches and they always compare church. The church it came from and if it's a first love church, it doesn't compare margin should move somewhere else and he sent back to email Ernest back out there and of tremendous city Dallas Texas Houston Texas Birmingham churches everywhere. What we can. We been looking that we can find a church that compares you never compare comparison is what you do when you want to become discouraged.
The reason for their discouragement was comparison but notice the timing of their discouragement was left among us is but now take courage. He says declares him or take courage. Also, the son of Joshua John to some Jehoshaphat, the high priest and all you people in a land take courage and declares the Lord, and work. What's interesting about this is that if you look at the timing of this before he begins to give them the prophecy what they need to do. He knows that there's a problem.
They told him to do something about it, but the timing of his kind of interesting. Notice in verse 15 of chapter 1 says on the 24th day of the six month of the second year of Darius the king 24th day of the six-month notice chapter 2 verse one on the 21st day of the seventh month. The warlord came to Haggai's lesson four weeks lesson four weeks after they repented got themselves really going to became discouraged, they became discouraged by comparison using the timing of their discouragement was right after spiritual victory that often happens at the time you get discouraged is right after you had a spiritual highlight in your life.
See, I think that's because that's when Satan takes interesting. It's easier moving in the right direction.
He sees that you could be used to the glory of Jesus Christ and so all he has to do is put you in the right set of circumstances, and you become discouraged. So that's what he followed up with any use comparison is the way sometimes when you change the priorities of your life.
It's followed by a moment or. Discouragement sometimes when you recommit to your marriage and try to put your marriage back together was followed by a period of discouragement sometimes and you rededicate yourself to the disciplines. The Christian life getting in the word of God getting in prayer being around other believers worshiping God, followed by.
Discouragement really believe that that's all part of the strategy. The ideas that that's a time to drag you back down. I can remember myself that the one tree to my life. I can remember really being discouraged with the end of the second year Dell seminary at the end of the second year I was discouraged enough to really contemplate not finishing this moving back to Western Pennsylvania.
I was really I had an welded say this I had had enough of Hebrew and he would had enough of me today. I mean, it was just that way. And by the way when you're sitting beside in class. Old Testament majors and people who really afford recreational reading read Hebrew and you grinning you just feel like a buffoon in the class but I could just remember thinking I just think it's time to pack. I just think it's time I just had so I'm so tired of it and never talk to Paul Meyer, the prison psychiatrist professional in my classes. His whole view was that that's good that means right on the right track.
As the enemy is real.
Discouragement is being hung out in front of you. See if you quit, don't quite and I remember making it through and I could see that was a point in life are Satan after you finally figured he might be doing something constructive. Who knows. So let's try to come up before he does.
Happens all the time I get couples in my office, especially marriage counseling go to a lot of difficulties and then when they get what is a breakthrough with a recommit, they really want to try to put together their marriage and it had a lot of issues and a lot of pain being distributed back and forth. Inevitably, I know that that first Sunday after the counseling I'll see them will be in the lobby to be actually holding hands and assuming giddy happy at that time but I know within a month or so to be back in the says always discourage something came up something happen. The other shoe fell something big and it's always part of the strategy to destroy your commitment always part of the strategy to make you discouraged and so the timing of discouragement so often after you've had spiritual breakthroughs in your life.
So if you're a spiritual high point in your life. Be leery at that particular time Singh would love nothing more than stop your enthusiasm for Jesus Christ, to the reason for discouragement is comparison in the timing for the discouragement is right after spiritual high and the solution was right there.
As I read it verse four solution to discouragement, take courage, he says there's a probable take courage, Joshua and into the people he says take courage that amazing how what is the solution to discourage dropped the dish just dropped the disc in your left courage that we still take courage and humor were I do remember some Hebrew by the way that Hebrew word means inner tenacity means persevere means in Dorton. That's what he said be tenacious, take courage to that's right at the heart of the solution to courage to discouragement is courage, but the element of what courage is. His courage is doing things for spring through things, enduring things and we don't feel like your place in turn with me to Hebrews chapter 10 Hebrews chapter 10 verse 32 thread of Hebrews says. But remember the former days when after being enlightened. Notice after they had a spiritual high after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations and probably become insurers with those who were so treated you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have yourselves a better possession and abiding one discouragement was right there for the Hebrew believers. Betsy had the property being seized by Hebrew Jewish authorities because there were believers in Jesus Christ, they were losing their way of living, easy to be discouraged. He says of them, though. After you and let you endured verse 35 therefore he says do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward for you have need of endurance to the when you have done the will of God. You may receive what was promised would you need to endure you endurance you need the courage of endurance in Chapter 11, then of Hebrews the whole chapter which we call the Hall of Fame of faith is really the Hall of Fame of endurance and as he writes on and on. He tells you what they endured in the beatings. They took some of them were killed. Some of the cave.
He goes on and on and on.
But notice over chapter 12. Then at the end of the Hall of Fame. The examples he had a faith, he says. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith for the joy set before him did what endured. That's kind of what courage does. By the way, and that's what faith does faith F a I TH forsaking all I trust him faith forsaking all I trust him I would do whatever it takes. That comes out to look like courage is endurance will be needed.
We needed in our lives not to be discouragement to have courage universally deleted by the end Betty Davis at older ages and for cowards. You know she's right.
You know we read this, we see the Hall of Fame of faith and we keep thinking these are the people that had it so wonderful because these are the champions of the Christian faith. They were stoned, they were sawn into they were tempted. They were put to death of the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goat skins being destitute, afflicted, and ill treated. There's the champions of our faith of what they endured jitter. Christianity is a little bit like it's just the sort of like the ad was in the paper watchdog three legs wide and left thigh missing right here tell broken accidentally neutered answers to the name of lucky Christians are like his wounded is painful. What makes it so exceptional is not the fact that we don't have it never happened to us is that we can endure and have courage as we go through it back to Haggai take courage, take courage, take courage, and then is to go to the Lord and work there is be courageous drop in this not get back to work.
That's what he says just going back to what you are doing, which is pretty mundane compared to what Solomon had done pretty much normal everyday life. He said that's what it takes courage is absolutely operating in the normal world in the midst of fear of anything. Comparison failure whatever it is but courage operates. That's what it does. Mark Twain said courage is the mastery of fear not the absence of an old that's really what it takes.
And so even though they were discouraged by comparison feeling they weren't accomplishing anything. God's answer to.
It was just get busy, take courage, persevere indoor and start building again. That's the solution to discouragement. Now the question is old. How you do that to me that's the question we don't want to do is one thing but how to do it. That something else that's what he gives us and the rest of the chapter is going to save Haggai's essay three things to do in your discouraged drop it just to get busy and you can do it by one first, one by remembering what God is doing. See the end of verse four for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, how connecting courage is as well because I'm with you, says the Lord of hosts would think of things bother you. What are you comparing it makes you discouraged in your life is what is at the concert in the spirit of fear. And he says don't worry about that. Get busy for I'm with you. It's interesting to me that this idea that I am with you is to simply trying to tell you book you know face this alone and I think that's often what we end up doing only get despairing or discouraged.
We actually were facing something along but you never says I am with you G enlightens me he strengthens me. That's what he does.
There are no limitations to what God can do, of God working in your life, no limitations. That's an amazing thing. Paul said to the Ephesians in Ephesians chapter 1 that he prayed that he wished that they would know the power, the power that they had at their disposal. Then he goes on explains of the powers resurrection power is that's where my prayers for you would understand the power that you have. Paul understood in the Philippians he said I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me to understand what you really have a resource if you know Jesus Christ in the spirit of God and will understand the resources that you have the resources to give you contentment and circumstance are difficult you contentment in the midst of ill health, giving the perseverance to work out the problems in the situation you're in at work or in your marriage have any idea what your disposal pulses are only way I can tell you what's at your disposal as you have a sense of the kind of power that you have the same kind of power that raised Christ in the dead think about that that would you think about when something discourages you. You and God are majority.
That's really what it takes you and God are majority in the matter how fearful it may seem that you now discouraged you are, you can persevere through that. I remember reading the account once of a Rosa Parks persona bus in Montgomery, Alabama really changed United States forever and for the good.
She said on that bus. She was not a real assertive person.
She said I knew I was not sitting there alone I knew I sat there with the board.
I was going to take whatever came my way because I knew I could because he was with current system to pastor Bill Gebhardt. The radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time.
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Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt.
I'm Jason Gebhart. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order