Product Of Discouragement
[ Preached by Pastor Kenneth Chin at Acts Church Malaysia on 5 June 2016 ]
Read | Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12 talks about the right attitude we should have when running the race of faith. When we sign up to run, one should aim to finish it and finish it well.
Lay aside every weight
The race of faith has its own challenges, but we may have also carry extra baggage. These are unforgiveness, anger and fears, though they are internal and hard to notice, it can easily be a drag.
In the long run, it becomes unbearable and leads us to slow down and give up! Remember, we run this race for God, and we need to lay aside every weight created by man.
Lay aside the sin that ensnares us
The scripture mentions, “the sin which so easily ensnares us”. The word “sin” here is a singular, what is this single sin that the author of Hebrews suggests – that is so subtle and easily catches us unaware?
Read | Hebrews 12:3
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
The answer lies in the verse later – giving up, faintheartedness, or more commonly, discouragement. The opposite of possibility is impossibility. The opposite of faith is discouragement.
The race of faith that God wants us to run has no place for it, but discouragement inevitably comes, that’s the reality when facing challenges in life.
All of you today is a product of all your discouragements put together. How have you been responding to discouragement determines who you are today. You can either choose to become bitter or become better.
Run the race with endurance
Endurance is needed to finish the race. It is the same with our faith run, but the difference is, our spiritual endurance is rarely enough. When we are in an avalanche of discouragement and challenges, we need to turn to God. Following the examples of many faith heroes in the bible, He gives us the strength to go on.
Read | Matthew 24:13
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Looking unto Jesus
Man will inevitably discourage us. It is wiser to find hope with our eyes on Jesus. Christ had also run this race before and finished it well. Follow not man, but Christ.
Overcome the challenges through His Word and finish by faith. Follow the One who has gone before and is now seated on the right hand of God’s throne.
Run the race with Joy
Read | Nehemiah 8:10
… do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.
With such a perspective, we can face discouragement but still feel hopeful and free. There can be prison men who feel free and also free men who feel imprisoned. We cannot avoid being discouraged but we can choose to not live in discouragement.
Therefore, let us lay aside the weight and the sin that ensnares us. And let us run the race with endurance and joy while looking unto Jesus.
Written by Writer’s Ink
Edited by Hailey Chung