Adult Lesson – Dealing With Discouragement

DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT

Phillipians 4:10-13

 In 1 Corinthians 9:11-18, Paul wrote that he didn’t accept gifts from the Corinthian church because he didn’t want to be accused of preaching only to get money. But Paul maintained that it was a church’s responsibility to support God’s ministers (1 Corinthians 9:14). He accepted the Philippians’ gift because they gave it willingly & because he was in need.       

 4:11   I have learned… therewith to be content—Paul knew how to be content whether he had plenty or not. The secret was focusing on Christ for strength. Do we have great needs, or are we discontented because we don’t have what we want?

 4:12 Paul was content because he could see life from God’s point of view. He focused on Christ & on what he was called to do.

 4: 13 I can do all things—Christ supplies resources necessary to complete what He asks us to do. Galatians 2:20;  1 Timothy 1:12  We will face troubles, pressures, & trials. As we walk with Him, Christ will strengthen us. We can do anything God sets before us to do.   Revelation 3:7-8

 

NINE PRINCIPLES FOR DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT

 

  1. REMOVE ALL GUILT BY REPENTANCE & CONFESSION

A guilty conscience is a warning signal God placed inside us that goes off when we do wrong. The worst thing we can do is eliminate the guilty feelings without eliminating the cause. A tender conscience makes us aware of our sin so we can ask God’s forgiveness & then correct our behavior.  1 Timothy 1:19; 4:1-2 

 Each time we deliberately ignore our conscience, we are hardening our heart. As we study & pray, God will speak to us thru our conscience. Ask God for forgiveness of our daily sins—the sooner we repent, the sooner our fellowship & peace are restored. Be specific—name your sins. 1 John 1:9

Regret over doing wrong is not true repentance. True Repentance involves obedience & changing our behavior.  Many Christians are plagued by guilt.  Either they don’t understand what salvation is or they have not repented.

The absence of guilt isn’t always a barometer of whether we are doing right. Because we can deny reality, we cannot measure obedience by our feelings. Instead, we must compare what we do with God’s standards for living. Jeremiah 17:9-10

 

  1. ATTACK YOUR PROBLEM WITH THE WORD OF GOD

Biblical counseling is applying the Word of God to life’s problems. (Bitterness or an unforgiving spirit— Hebrews 12:15 )

  1. ENCOURAGE YOUR HEART IN THE LORDLearn how to encourage yourself by communing with God. The Bible is a love letter from a Father to His children. 1 Samuel 30:6    Psalms 55, 35, 51, 32, 69, 38

 

  1. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM FEARFUL PEOPLE.

Critical, negative thinking is contagious.  What is dragging your spirit down?  Is it the people you hang around?    Deuteronomy 20:8  Galatians 5:7

 
  1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE

Surround yourself with people who are experienced, wise, & faithful….people who will lift you up, not drag you down.    Proverbs 27:17

 

  1. AVOID MAJOR DECISIONS IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT

Decide ahead of time what you are going to do. Do not get give in to discouragement. Keep your focus on Jesus.   1 Corinthians 15:58

 

  1. OVERCOME YOUR PRIDE & SHARE YOUR DISCOURAGEMENT WITH OTHERS

 Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. There are still occasions to confess our faults to each other:  

            (a) If we have sinned against an individual, ask him or her to forgive us.

     (b) Discuss your situation with someoneWHO WILL PRAY FOR YOU! James 5:16-18 

Galatians 6:1-5

V1  Overtaken in a fault—captured by a character flaw or besetting sin.   Fault refers to a character flaw or moral weakness. Sin refers to a willful action of disobedience.  When asking for prayer, don’t give a lot of unnecessary sinful details.

BALANCE –Don’t allow your mind to be polluted or discouraged by allowing them to go into too many details.  Watch out for bitter or critical spirits. Don’t become polluted.

 

  1. FOCUS ON YOUR POSITION IN CHRIST. Heb 12:1-44: 1 a great cloud of witnesses is the people described in Hebrews 11—heroes of the faith in Heaven.  We do not struggle alone, & we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face.
 

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, & to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit.

These Hebrew Christians were facing difficult times of persecution, but none of them had yet died for their faith. Because they were still alive, the writer urged them to

continue to run their race. Just as Christ did not give up, neither should they.  Without Christ, we would have no hope at all.  1 Corinthians 15:58

  1. DISCOVER HOW GOD CAN USE  THIS SITUATION FOR GOOD.  ROMANS 8:28

  God will turn your sorrow into joy if you let HIM work in your life.  God allows us to go through testings:        

  1. A) to show us our weaknesses; &
  2. B) to prepare us for greater service later on. 

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