Courage overcomes feelings
Feelings are so dangerous – they are the key to discouragement.
“You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your Feelings” (Pearl S. Buck)
In other words: Feelings don’t rule you, your courage does.
James 4:17 (NIV) – If anyone then knows the good, they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
By Pastor George Lehman
Here’s a very important point:
“When you are out of control something is ready to take over”. Toba Beta
Bad choices, blame, anger, worry, anxiety, stress, frustration, defeat and ultimately Discouragement.
Out of control feelings.
This was written to deal with those feelings:
Philippians 4:6-7 (Ampl) – Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. 7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV) – But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
God gave you your feelings as a gift.
We can feel happy, we can feel affection, we can feel self-assured, we can feel confident, we can feel emotion, we can feel loved and accepted. These are Great feelings!!!
BUT there is a downside to feelings.
Let’s say you have a bad day or get bad news, someone treats you badly, and you have a disappointment.
It’s at these times those sad, angry emotions come over you.
One of the great feeling destroyers is… DISCOURAGEMENT!
We have seen from the last sermon that it’s very dangerous to allow discouragement to make its home in your heart – because:
You make wrong decisions, you say things you don’t mean or do things you will regret later.
Discouragement (Moedeloosheid) means:
- To become disheartened
- To depress the spirit,
- To have a lack of confidence
- It’s that which destroys courage.
The most common causes of discouragement include:
- Personal failure, prolonged battles.
- Continued unanswered prayer;
- Emotional strain, physical illness and not understanding that all things work together for good.
- Feelings become the ruling party in your life
This will most certainly affect the way you will Finish your race.
Its times like this our feelings of discouragement cause us to think…
“I’m tired of this”, “I’ve had enough” and so we make rash decisions that have long term negative effects.
With the help of the Holy Spirit and with the truths of God’s word…
We must do our utmost to reign in our feelings that are out of control.
There is such a powerful example of the danger of living out of feelings in the Bible.
Story of Jacob and Esau.
When we read about the forefathers of the faith – the names of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob come up.
No one talks much about Esau.
Esau was the first born and had the birth right.
It should have been – Abraham, Isaac and Esau.
Esau acted on short term feelings. He was hungry so he traded his inheritance for some fast food. (Genesis 27)
Sadly, many discouraged Christians ruled by their feelings, make short term choices to satisfy a need or a desire to feel better, to get a temporary fix
They sell their future in moments of passion, hunger or lack and to just have some sanity.
When people do that, their feelings become the enemy of their destinies.
You always pursue where your heart is going....
Through Moses God said:
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 (LB) – 15) “Look, today I have set before you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. 19) “I call heaven and earth to witness against you that today I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live!
I can say I choose life and blessing but, disobedience cuts it off.
We have the ability to bring our ‘out-of-control’ feelings into line with God’s word.
The opposite of discourage is encourage.
God never uses a discouraged Christian. He must change him first and then use him. Billy Graham
Encouragement is intended to strengthen, uplift and help other believers in their Christian life.
The Bible instructs us to:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (LB) – So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Hebrews 3:13 (NIV) – But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Do you realize – to be an encourager is a choice?
If you set your heart, mind and attitude on being an encouragement to others
…by releasing your worries, anxieties and feelings you will lift your discouraged heart!
Proverbs 15:15 (Ampl) – All the days of the desponding (versagen) and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings*], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].
*Forebodings: always feeling something bad is going to happen
Your life will benefit so much more than the ones you are encouraging.
Many times, we want to be encouraged and focus on our misfortunes all the time.
How can you be an encourager?
Encourage-rs must firstly be encouraged by God personally.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (LB) - What a wonderful God we have—he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
You need a strong heart and enough energy in your own battery to jump start someone else.
Encourage-rs must be open to opportunities to encourage. If you are self-focused, self-centred and concerned about your own issues, you’ll miss the opportunities.
Romans 15:4-6 (LB) – These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death. 5 May God who gives patience, steadiness, and encouragement help you to live in complete harmony with each other—each with the attitude of Christ toward the other. 6 And then all of us can praise the Lord together with one voice, giving glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We live by encouragement and we die without it – slowly, sadly and angrily. Celeste Holme