Jan. 10, 2005
What to do when you are Weary: Encouraging Yourself in the Lord
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
In the previous chapter of Hebrews, Paul gives a lengthy list of examples of saints who went through great trials and afflictions,
and endured, not surrendering their faith in God and his promises to their circumstances, or their trials. Even in death they
refused to let go of their faith. That faith, just as with Abraham in Rom_4:22 was imputed to them for righteousness. They suffered greatly, for the gospel's sake, for their testimony of
loving and trusting God. For being bearers of truth. Some endured the loss of all things, including their lives. But they
refused to surrender their faith to adversity. When adversity knocked down their door, they threw up the flag of faith, and
took it to their deaths with them.
Surely, you could not have that kind of determination in the face of torture, and
death, and such deprivation, unless you were intimately, personally acquainted with the Almighty God for yourself. Going on
someone else's experiences, or testimony would shrivel under the heat of the adversity these saints endured. They were thrown
in prison, some were homeless, wandering, on the run for their lives, some were beaten, bound, cut in two, beheaded, stabbed,
persecuted, mocked, scorned, discredited, vilified as the scourge of the earth. They had no reputation among men and were
looked on with contempt. But in God's eyes, they were jewels.
For those in places in these times, who are still being jailed, persecuted, and martyred for their faith, these scriptures
are strong encouragement not to give up. Jesus himself endured death on the cross, so he knows what dear saints are going
through in places like China, Sudan, Nigeria, Viet Nam, North Korea, and places like this where Christianity is hated and
punished with severity by ungodly rulers with no fear of God. On the other hand, in places like England, Australia, the United
States, (which are anything but united), and places in Europe, where people can still worship freely, the worst adversity
they suffer is for the most part not in their flesh, for they are not martyred, or jailed or beaten for their faith. But they
suffer a flood of the enemy against their mind, and their eyes, temptations abound, often ridicule on the job, and by an increasingly
hostile society that hates the name of Christ and all he stands for. The enemy is trying to steal their faith, and discourage
them from persevering, from enduring to the end so they won't be saved. What a tragedy to have succumbed to the lies of the
enemy and thrown your hands up in despair, and have to one day soon face the Master, who with pity in his eyes shook his head
and sadly say, "Why did you not believe, oh ye of little faith?"
Those who give up and walk away in defeat, are by their behavior conceding to the devil and come into agreement with him
that God is a liar and can't do what he said he would. To surrender faith in trials and adversity is to surrender all hope
of deliverance, not only for the one who surrenders, but for their loved ones that are lost as well. It's like the captain
of the ship in the storm, who gets tired of trying to steer the vessel through the storm and just walks away from the wheel,
tired of trying to keep the ship on course, and lets it be wrecked. All on board will perish for the decision of that captain.
The flood of despair and discouragement the enemy will pound people's minds with does not have to be endured. Faith can
raise up the shield and trust in the promises of God and defend. When the enemy whispers, "you've believed God for your husband,
and your kids, for so long, but they aren't even close to coming to church, they want nothing to do with your God, because
I have them and I'm going to kill them," faith can softly say, "It is written, the seed of the righteous shall be delivered."
When our eyes can behold the terrible things in the news, that people are doing to one another, even to innocent children,
the wars, the disasters, calamity and poverty on all sides, for some nations, and we can watch our own nation turning her
back on God violently, with scorn and disdain for his mercy, for his Mercy was named Jesus Christ, we can be sure judgment
is at the door. And we must remember that when Israel was judged, the righteous suffered some, too. They too, lost their homes.
Daniel, the three Hebrew children, they went into captivity, as well. But God was with them. He never left them or forsook
them. When they were surrounded by hostile enemies pillaging their cities, burning their homes, and capturing them and carrying
them away, God secured them. It must have been horrifying to behold, to see everything they were familiar with burned down,
destroyed or taken over by foreigners. But God held them up. He gave them favor and secured them in a foreign land. God will
not destroy the righteous with the wicked. Those who are wise will dig in his word, before the judgment comes, and learn how
God handles things, both the wicked and the just, during these trying times. The Old Testament was written for our learning
upon whom the ends of the world come.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Through patience, and comfort of the scriptures, we have hope. Patiently waiting until God's purposes are fulfilled as
his word declares they will be. No wonder he says we are to live by faith, not sight. Not feelings. Those who took heed to
the word of God and surrendered to the captivity lived. Those who rebelled were destroyed. And their seed. Remember king Zedekiah,
how Jeremiah warned him to surrender, and go, and he would not and when the enemy come in, the soldiers captured him, slew
his sons in front of him and then put out his eyes? And he was taken anyway?
Lord, how did I get on all this? All I know is the pressure against our minds can be horrendous. I have experienced it
lately, in a way that is worse than ever. When it's so hard to pray, so I don't, and then that just gives the enemy more ammunition,
to accuse me with. When the litany in the mind is "haven't you had enough? You can't enjoy life with all this stuff going
on, things were much better before. Go back there, you'll find relief in the things you used to do. The life you used to live.
Go back. This isn't working like that Book you think so much of says it will. Look around you. It's a joke. You're a joke.
A failure. You missed God. You don't even know him, you're just deceived. You can't even talk to him now, it's been so long
since you were faithful in your prayer life, just thinking about him isn't enough. You don't pray like you should, you ain't
given him your best, and you know he won't accept less. You're all washed up."
Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
I thank God for that scripture. It has held me up and helped me to my knees more times than I care to admit to. It is blessedly
true. It's full of hope. He is my Blessed Hope. Him in me is my only hope of glory. Oh, thank you Jesus....And it encourages
me to return, again and again. It keeps me coming back.
He says back in Hebrews, lay aside every weight. Lay aside the enemy's lies, lay aside every burden that loads you down,
the word says cast them on him, he will sustain us.
Psa 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never
suffer the righteous to be moved.
The sin which besets us, he can subdue.
Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our
iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Phi 3:21 Who shall change our
vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue
all things unto himself.
We have to believe him for it, ask him for it (Eze_36:37). I looked up the word "beset" here, in Heb 12:1. It literally means a competitor (a racer) thwarting in every
direction. Jesus already triumphed over sin, and since we are in him, as it says:
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
There, in those two scriptures lies more help than we will ever need to overcome sin. He overcame, he is above all, there
is nothing He can't handle if we bring it to him instead of trying to deal with it ourselves, and Lord, you know I am preaching
to myself here...for I am guilty, and I thank you for showing me how to surrender it to you and let you have it. For I cannot
handle it. It's not in man to order their own steps.
Psa 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh
to direct his steps.
Don't I know how true that is!!! When ever I try, I fall flat on my face. It does not work. He says let us run with patience,
and that translates, cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy, waiting. Let us run with patience the race set before us. In
the Greek, race means assembly, contest, conflict, fight. A race. Keep it ever in our minds what we are doing, where we are
going, and Who is on our side. And that we have a great cloud of witnesses watching us. In the spiritual realm, both good
and bad, as well as our families and friends and co workers, and those around us in such need.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
When we are weary and discouraged, we need to look to Jesus, he was the one who began our faith, when we got saved. He
was the beginning. He is the end of our faith. That word "Author" here it means " a chief leader, captain, prince." "Finisher"
means " a completer, consummator." He despised having to submit to the degradation and shame of the cross. But for the joy
the Lord set before the Son of God, he endured. What was that joy? Scripture says there is joy in heaven among the angels
when a sinner repents. The cross was about redemption. Death of the power of sin over our lives. Opening the way into the
holy of holies, giving us all equal access by faith to the Father. And now, Jesus is set down at the right hand of the Father.
He says consider Him, when I am tired, and my mind is battered and weak. When I am weary, I can draw strength from knowing
he endured much more than I, and he did it for me, to bring me to himself, to help me know he is all I will all ever need.
Wearied means to tire, faint, sicken. But faint itself means to relax. When I get tired of the fight, when I am weak,
his strength is made perfect in weakness.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made
weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather
glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Faith in his word strengthens.
Psa 68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou
hast wrought for us.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
I just have to remember these things, and he gave me the Holy Spirit to help me remember, and teach me how to stand on
these precious promises. So that in standing on these promises, I can partake of what he has-his Divine Nature, his awesome
power to conquer anything, my flesh, my enemies, my carnal mind, my doubts, my fears, the lies of the devil. He already conquered
it all. He lets me experience these things to teach me how to fight, and so I can comfort others. Not to make me give up.
Not to cause me to feel unloved or left out or abandoned. But so through my experience, I gain confidence in his strength
and word, and can help others going through the same thing. Somebody not long ago was preaching about God's Boot Camp. I think
it was Bro. Terry Bowling. I remember mentally thinking at the time, Lord, take me there. I guess I have arrived. I thank
you Lord, for your long suffering. For the encouragement of your word. For teaching me not to expect the Pastor to lift me
up, when I am down, for you said YOU were the lifter up of mine head.
Psa 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
YOU are my strength, my defense, and you have given me all I need to defend myself with against the adversary of my soul.
You gave me your truth to combat his lies. Your Holy Spirit to help me understand your truth and show me how to use it. Your
promise to always instruct and teach me.
Psa 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will
guide thee with mine eye.
Thank you Father, for your strength, your love, your patience. I so want to be more like you. I love you, Father. I love
you Jesus, and I love you Holy Ghost.
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