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Faith is Encouraging


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Faith is Encouraging

  1. 1.       Introduction   1. All  of  us  need  encouragement,  which   means  all  of  us  should  be  encouragers.     So  far,  we  have  studied  many  facets  of   faith-­‐  victory,  understanding,  pleasing,   and  rewarding.    I  am  looking  forward   today  to  our  study  about  how  faith  is   encouraging.       2. It’s  my  prayer  that  this  study   encourages  you  to  keep  your  eyes  fixed   on  Jesus,  the  object  of  our  faith,  who  not   only  saves  us  but  also  strengthens  and   directs  our  way.       3. You  know  regardless  of  where  or  who   you  are  you  have  within  you  by  the   power  of  God  to  be  encouraged  by  Him   and  to  be  an  encouragement  to  others.     4. The  writer  to  the  Hebrews  tells  us  that   one  of  the  things  we  want  to  accomplish   whenever  we  assemble  together  as  the  
  2. 2. church  is  “to  encourage  one  another.”   Hebrews  10:25   5. Paul  really  wanted  to  visit  Rome  so  he   writes  this  great  letter  to  Romans  that   contains  a  lot  of  great  Christian  advice   and  doctrine.    But  when  you  read  the   letter  through  in  its  entirety  you  are   struck  by  how  encouraging  it  is.     6. For  example,  in  the  very  first  chapter-­‐   he  tells  them  he  can’t  wait  to  see  them   to  “impart  some  spiritual  gift  to  them  to   make  them  strong-­‐  that  is,  that  you  and   I  may  be  mutually  encouraged  by  each   other’s  faith.”     7. Or  how  about,  “in  all  things  God  works   for  the  good  of  those  who  love  him,”   (8:28);  “in  all  these  things  we  are  more   than  conquerors  through  him  who  loved   us.”  *8:37;  “nothing  in  all  creation  will   be  able  to  separate  us  from  the  love  of   God  that  is  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord”   (8:39);  then:  Romans  15:5   May  the  God  who  gives  endurance  and   encouragement  give  you  a  spirit  of  unity  
  3. 3. among  yourselves  as  you  follow  Jesus   Christ,  so  that  with  one  heart  and  one   mouth  you  may  glorify  the  God  and   Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.”   8. Encouraging-­‐  get  ready  for  the  rest  of   the  lesson  as  we  study  how  faith  is  so   encouraging.     Faith  is  encouraging  because  it  is   strength  for  my  troubles.   1. When  we’re  weary,  pressed,   discouraged,  or  disappointment  our   mind  begins  to  be  filled  with  all  sorts  of   negative  thoughts,  concerns,  and  fears.     We  begin  to  dwell  on  our  troubles  and   problems.    Have  you  ever  noticed  that   the  more  you  think  about  your  troubles   the  worse  they  become?   2. I  want  you  to  be  encouraged  that  in   your  troubles  when  you  turn  to  God  by   faith  he  strengthens  you.    He  is  the  God   you  gives  endurance  and   encouragement.     3. A  common  image  in  the  Old  Testament   is  the  vineyard  owner  tending  to  his  
  4. 4. vineyard.    Israel  is  compared  to  the   vineyard  and  God  is  the  vineyard  owner.     The  picture  is  of  God  tenderly,  firmly,   and  diligently  taking  care  of  Israel  as  a   vineyard  owner  would  with  his   vineyard.     4. Vineyards  are  subject  to  weather   conditions.    Stormy,  windy  conditions   can  knock  some  vines  down  off  their   trellis,  break  them  and  they  are  fallen  on   the  ground.  If  the  branches  of  the  vine   remain  on  the  ground  they  might  die,  go   wild,  and  cannot  bear  fruit.       5. So,  the  vineyard  owner  takes  the   fallen  branches  of  the  vine  and  lifts   them  back  up  on  the  trellis  so  they  can   bear  fruit.       6. The  act  of  “lifting  up”  the  branch  back   onto  the  trellis  to  bear  fruit  is  a   recurring  thought  throughout  the  Old   Testament.    God  lifts  up:   the  burdened   the  distress   the  needy  
  5. 5. the  broken   the  grieving   the  sick        How  encouraging  that  he  lifts   us  up  out  of  our  burdens,  distress,  need,   brokenness,  sickness,  and  suffering.     7. Job  refers  to  this  in  22:29  When  men   are  brought  low  and  you  say,  “Lift  them   up!”  then  he  will  save  the  downcast.”       Job  knew  and  experienced  tremendous   suffering  and  troubles.    You  read  his   testimony  and  he  goes  through  all  the   emotions  that  are  associated  with   suffering.    He  knew  what  it  was  to  be   downcast-­‐  to  be  fallen-­‐  but  he  was   encouraged  by  his  faith-­‐  that  God  lifts   up  the  downcast.   8. Storms  are  not  the  only  thing  that  can   cause  a  vine  to  fall  down.    Solomon,   when  addressing  the  importance  of   neglecting  your  marriage  wrote:     Catch  for  us  the  foxes,  the  little  foxes  that   ruin  the  vineyards,  our  vineyards  that  are   in  bloom  Song  of  Songs  2:15   Solomon’s  point  is  that  the  love  
  6. 6. between  a  husband  and  wife  is  usually   not  afflicted  with  a  major  problem  to   overcome  but  over  the  course  of  time   the  little  things,  the  little  foxes,  gnaw  at   the  relationship,  to  the  point  that  a   strong  marriage  of  love  is  brought  down   by  accumulation  of  little  things.    So,  he   says  you  got  to  catch  the  little  foxes,  pay   attention  to  them.     9. Our  faith  is  the  same  way.    Most  of  us   will  not  a  major  crisis  of  faith  moment   where  we  are  suddenly  faced  with  a   major  issue  that  challenges  our  faith.     No,  the  little  things,  the  little  foxes,  like   fear,  worry,  stress,  unhappiness,   discouragement,  disappointment,  begin   to  take  their  toll  and  we  stop  exercising   faith,  believing  in  the  power  of  prayer,   and  gradually  over  time  we  start  to  rely   less  on  God  and  are  controlled  more  by   our  emotions  and  circumstances.       10. Instead  of  fruitful  faith  that   encourages  us  and  strengthens  us,  we   are  left  discouraged,  weak,  and  
  7. 7. unfruitful.    Here  is  the  good  news-­‐  the   encouraging  news.    I  don’t  have  to  stay   that  way-­‐  I  can  exercise  my  faith-­‐   whatever  faith  I  have-­‐  and  God  is  going   to  give  me  strength  for  my  troubles:     When  you  do,  get  ready  because  he  is   going  to  lift  you-­‐  that  is  what  he   promises  and  in  Christ  Jesus  all  the   promises  of  God  answered.       11. Are  the  little  foxes  gnawing  at  your   faith?    Are  you  feeling  downcast,  weak   and  fearful?    Here’s  a  promise  from   Peter’s  letter  5:7   Cast  all  your  anxiety  on  him  because  he   cares  for  you.   12. In  the  New  Testament,  Jesus  says  He  is   the  vine  and  we  are  the  branches  (John   15:1-­‐5.    The  encouraging  promise  to   Christians  is  that  if  we  remain  in  him  we   bear  fruit,  glorify  God,  and  experience   the  incredible  lifting  power  of  God’s   love.     13. Oh  course,  the  greatest  example  of   God  lifting  us  up  is  on  the  cross.    Just  
  8. 8. prior  to  his  crucifixion  as  he  was   predicting  what  would  happen  to  him,   and  the  crowd  is  challenging  his   statement  about  death,  he  said,  “But  I,   when  I  am  lifted  up  from  the  earth,  will   draw  all  men  to  myself”  (John  12:32).     14. Who  would  have  thought  that  in  the   dark  despair  of  the  sinless  Jesus  being   nailed  to  the  cross  beams  and  then  lifted   up  on  cross  between  earth  and  heaven,   that  the  most  encouraging  act  of  God   was  about  to  be  achieved-­‐  that  from  the   death  of  Jesus-­‐  everyone  who  would  put   their  faith  in  him-­‐  would  have  their  sins   forgiven.    So,  we  can  sing,  lay  your   burdens  down  at  the  feet  of  Jesus,  lift  up   your  hearts,  lift  up  heads  …     15. Jesus  said  that  in  this  world  you  will   have  troubles,  but  let  not  your  hearts  be   troubled,  believe  in  God  believe  also  in   me-­‐  and  be  of  good  cheer  for  I  have   overcome  the  world.      
  9. 9. Faith  is  encouraging  because  it  is   protection  in  temptation.   Everyone  faces  temptation.    Even  Jesus   did.    Maturing  in  faith  is  not  the  absence   of  temptation  but  how  you  deal  with   temptation.       1. Faith  is  encouraging  because  it   provides  protection  in  times  of   temptation.    While  the  temptations  are   the  same  that  face  every  generation,  we   are  not  the  same.    Some  things  that   tempt  me  might  not  tempt  you.  Or,  we   may  find  ourselves  tempted  by  the  same   things.     2. The  point  the  New  Testament  clearly   makes,  is  that  a  Christian  is  not  helpless   in  the  face  of  temptation.  In  fact,  just  the   opposite.    Throughout  the  New   Testament  we  are  told  that  by  faith  in   Christ  we  can  resist,  escape,  fight,  and   be  strong  in  the  Lord.     3. Can  you  think  of  some  things  that   tempted  you  prior  to  being  a  Christian   that  are  no  longer  have  that  great  pull  
  10. 10. on  you?    What  is  the  difference?    Will   power  or  the  Holy  Spirit  changing  you   from  the  inside  out?    You  know  the   answer.       4. Even  as  a  Christian  there  are  some   things  that  use  to  be  a  real  strong   temptation  that  do  not  have  the  same   strength  they  use  to?    Why  is  that-­‐   because  you  are  maturing,  you  are   trusting  in  God’s  protection,  and  He  is   changing  you  from  the  inside  out.     5. Listen,  there  will  always  be  some   things  that  will  be  a  strong  temptation   for  you  no  matter  how  old  you  get-­‐  hang   in  there.    Here’s  the  encouraging  part.   God  protects  us  in  temptation.    How?     6. 1  Corinthians  10:13  God  is  faithful;  he   will  not  let  you  be  tempted  beyond  what   you  can  bear.  But  when  you  are  tempted,   he  will  also  provide  a  way  out  so  that  you   can  stand  up  under  it.     Isn’t  that  an  encouraging  verse!   Temptation  is  designed  to  make  us   unfaithful  to  a  faithful  God.    God  is  
  11. 11. protecting  us  even  when  we  are   thinking  about  being  unfaithful  to  him-­‐   how  encouraging.       In  my  temptation-­‐  when  I  feel  there  is   no  escape,  trapped,  I  have  to  give  in-­‐   here  is  my  faithful  God-­‐  showing  me,   providing  for  me  a  way  out…    If  I  will   just  take  my  eyes  off  the  temptation  and   focus  on  him-­‐  the  way  out  will  be  clear   and  obvious.     7. Incidentally,  do  not  make  this  verse   say  more  than  what  it  says.    I  hear  this   verse  quoted  incorrectly  quite  often.  I   hear  people  say,  remember  the  word  of   God  says  that  God  will  not  give  you   anymore  than  what  you  can  bear  or   handle.    So,  if  you  going  through  this   trial  God  knew  you  could  handle  it.     8. Look  at  this  verse-­‐  it  is  referring  to   temptation  not  trials  or  troubles.    The   promise  refers  to  temptation-­‐  it  says   nothing  about  trials  or  troubles.  I  can   point  to  other  scriptures  where  God  
  12. 12. cares  for  us  and  comforts  us  in  our  trials   and  troubles  but  this  is  not  one  of  them.     9. This  verse  deals  with  his  protection  in   times  of  temptation:    Two  things:   a)  In  his  faithfulness  he  knows  my  limits   and  won’t  let  me  tempted  beyond  my   abilities  through  faith  to  overcome.     b)  In  my  temptation,  God  provides  a   way  out-­‐  an  escape.     10. Now,  let’s  think  about  that  for  a   moment-­‐  the  first  promise:  won’t  be   tempted  beyond  what  I  can  bear.    When   sharing  with  other  Christians   throughout  the  years,  I  use  to  say  about   certain  temptations-­‐  that  is  not  a   temptation  for  me.    Here  is  where  I  am   tempted.”   11.  So,  over  the  course  of  time,  without   realizing  it,  it  became  somewhat  a   source  of  pride  for  me  to  say-­‐  that  is  no   temptation  for  me-­‐  as  if  I  was  not   capable  of  that  particular  sin  because  it   did  not  appeal  to  me.    You  know  what,  I  
  13. 13. began  to  realize  my  view  of  this  was  a   little  skewed.     12. It  was  too  much  about  me-­‐  that  does   not  tempt  me.    I  started  thinking-­‐  why  is   not  tempting  to  me  but  this  is  tempting   to  me.    Then  it  dawned  on  me-­‐  the   reason  why  I  am  not  tempted  by  certain   things  is  because  God,  in  his   faithfulness,  knows  me  better  than  I   know  myself-­‐  and  He  knows  if  I  was   tempted  by  that-­‐  I  could  not  stand  up   under  it-­‐  I  would  fall  into  sin-­‐  it  would   be  beyond  my  ability  to  endure.     13. So  now,  when  someone  is  describing   to  me  a  temptation  they  are  having  and   it  is  not  a  temptation  for  me,  I  say  a   prayer  to  God  thanking  him  for  his   grace  to  protect  me  from  being  tempted   by  that.   14. And  you  should  be  so  encouraged  as  a   Christian,  that  God  loves  you  so  much   that  he  protects  you  from  the  things  that   would  drive  you  into  sin  by  not  letting   you  be  tempted  by  them,  and  letting  you  
  14. 14. know  that  are  you  being  pulled  towards   to  make  you  unfaithful  to  him  by   sinning-­‐  He  knows  what  you’re  going   through  and  he  is  providing  a  way  out.     15.  He  also  knows  how  human  we  are-­‐   there  is  only  one  human  that  will  ever   leave  this  earth  being  tempted  with   every  imaginable  temptation-­‐  yet  he   never  sinned.    His  name  is  Jesus.    It  is   because  Jesus  know  the  pull  the   temptation  and  did  not  sin  that   Hebrews  writes   Let  us  then  approach  the  throne  of  grace   with  confidence,  so  that  we  may  receive   mercy  and  find  grace  to  help  us  in  our   time  of  need.  Hebrews  4:16   Faith  is  encouraging  because  it  brings   mercy  to  my  discouraged  heart.     1. In  recent  conversations  with  different   people  a  common  thread  linked  them  all   together.    One  was  talking  about   financial  hardships  from   underemployment,  another  stressed   that  insurance  would  not  cover  the  
  15. 15. medicine  they  needed,  another   perplexed  as  to  why  their  marriage   failed,  in  a  conversation  with  a  preacher   for  over  30  years  who  now  finds  himself   under  heavy  criticism  and  his  job   threatened  not  because  of  anything  he   preached  or  taught,  but  over  personality   conflicts.    What  is  the  thread  that  links   all  these  Christians  together?   2. Discouragement.  All  of  them  need  a   heavy  dose  of  encouragement.    They   need  mercy,  grace,  help,  comfort,  and   encouragement.  They  are  losing  heart   because  they  are  discouraged.     3. Are  you  discouraged  this  morning?     Something  gotten  you  down  where  you   are  losing  heart?    You  don’t  have  to  stay   there.    God  promises  us  mercy  for  our   discouraged  heart.    Discouragement  is   contagious  and  deadly.   4. It  certainly  was  afflicting  the   Corinthian  congregation.    The  two   letters  contained  in  the  New  Testament   has  Paul  encouraging  the  Corinthians  to  
  16. 16. trust  more  in  God  and  have  more  faith   in  him.    In  the  2nd  letter  4:1-­‐18  he  deals   with  it  extensively.     He  writes:   2  Corinthians  4:1,7-­9   Therefore,  since  through  God’s  mercy  we   have  this  ministry,  we  do  not  lose  heart.     But  we  have  this  treasure  in  jars  of  clay   to  show  that  this  all-­surpassing  power  if   from  God  and  not  from  us.     We  are  hard  pressed  on  every  side,  but   not  crushed;   perplexed  but  not  in  despair:   persecuted  but  not  abandoned   struck  down,  but  not  destroyed.     5. We  do  not  lose  heart-­‐  God  encourages   us  by  giving  us  mercy  when  we  are   discouraged.    Sure  things  in  life  get   tough-­‐  Paul  says  he  has  been  hard   pressed,  perplexed,  persecuted,  and   struck  down.    That  is  tough-­‐  every  one   of  those  could  bring  on  a  bout  of   discouragement.      
  17. 17. 6. But  do  you  hear  the  triumph,  the   victory  in  Paul’s  voice:    By  God’s  mercy   we  will  not  lose  heart:  In  life  I  have   taken  the  shot  of  being   hard  pressed-­‐  but  not  crushed   been  perplexed-­‐  but  no  despair   been  persecuted-­‐  but  not  abandoned   been  struck  down-­‐  but  not  destroyed.     7. In  other  words,  the  devil  has  thrown   his  best  punches,  and  they  hurt  and   sting  and  leave  their  marks-­‐  but  I  have   put  may  faith  in  God-­‐  and  by  God’s  grace   I  am  still  standing  and  I  will  not  lose   heart.     8. God’s  mercy  in  time  of  need  is  greater   than  the  fear  of  discouragement.    When   I  feel  like  a  fragile  clay  jar-­‐  God  says-­‐  no-­‐   my  surpassing  power  will  energize  you   and  get  you  through  the  pressing  times,   the  perplexing  times,  the  persecuting   times,  the  times  when  you  are  about  to   cave  in.      
  18. 18. 9. Be  encouraged  in  the  times  you’re   discouraged  and  claim  God’s  promises   of  mercy.   Faith  is  encouraging  because  it  gives   eternal  perspective  to  life.   1. Whether  it  is  trouble,  temptation,  or   discouragement,  they  all  can  distract  us   from  focusing  on  the  strength,   protection,  and  mercy  provided  by  God.     2. In  fact,  we  often  reminded  in  the  New   Testament  that  the  very  things  the  devil   uses  to  discourage  us-­‐  God  can  use  to   stretch  and  grow  our  faith.     3. What  are  apparent  defeats  and   failures  are  sometimes  the  very  areas   where  God  is  doing  his  greatest  work.     So,  we  are  encouraged  to  fix  our  eyes  on   Jesus,  to  focus  on  heaven.     4. Back  in  October,  my  son  David  and  I   were  guests  of  people  who  owned   terrific  seats  in  the  Tennessee  Titans   stadium.  The  game  was  also  on  the  NFL   Thursday  night  Network:  It  was   between  the  Tennessee  Titans  and  the  
  19. 19. Pittsburgh  Steelers.  We  had  great  seats   and  it  was  perfect  weather  conditions.   And  the  evening  was  topped  off  with  the   Titans  upsetting  the  Steelers  in   overtime.     5. It  had  many  decades  since  I  had  been   to  a  pro  game.  With  the  seats  we  had  we   had  a  close  up  view  of  the  players  and   field.    The  players  are  super  athletes-­‐   giants-­‐  and  the  game  was  played  at  a   very  fast  speed  and  the  hits  sounded   very  violent.     6. I  particularly  enjoyed  watching  Ben   Rothsberger-­‐  the  quarterback  for  the   Steelers-­‐  superstar  quarterback.    What  I   noticed  in  watching  the  game  live  as   opposed  to  being  on  T.V.  were  the   passing  routes.    Ben  would  call  the  play,   the  ball  was  hike  and  Ben  released  the   ball  and  threw  it  to  a  certain  spot  while   we  watched  the  play  unfold,  as  the   receiver  in  his  route  would  run  to  the   spot  to  catch  the  ball.    
  20. 20. 7. If  Ben  threw  in  the  direction  of  the   player  it  was  either  real  low  so  the   player  could  look  back  and  catch  the   ball  as  he  hit  the  ground  or  it  was  over   his  head  leading  the  player  to  the  spot   in  front  of  him.     8. The  only  time  Ben  would  throw   directly  to  the  player  was  pretty  much   on  a  very  short  pass  or  broken  play.     9. As  I  watch  this  transpired-­‐  I  thought  of   faith.    The  coaches  drew  up  the  plan  and   route,  the  quarterback  trusted  the  plan   to  throw  to  the  spot,  and  the  receiver   ran  his  route  trusting  that  at  a  certain   time  if  he  got  there  the  ball  would  be   there  to  catch.   10. Here’s  the  connection  I  want  to  make.     God  wants  to  walk  by  faith  and  not  by   sight.    As  much  as  we  want  him  to  just   focus  on  our  current  trouble  or  trial  or   discouragement-­‐  God’s  purpose  is  to   stretch  us,  to  make  us  in  faith  trust  him   to  run  to  the  spot  where  he  wants  us.    If   we  do  not  trust  him,  we  will  not  run  the  
  21. 21. route  and  we  miss  what  he  has  in  store   for  the  place  where  he  wants  us  to  be.     11.  Walking  by  faith  encourages  me  to   trust  God  and  his  ways.    To  know  he  is   stretching  me,  leading  me,  and   sometimes  directly  me  to  cut  to  the  left   or  slant  off  my  course  to  meet  him   where  he  wants  me  to  be.     Isn’t  that  what  Paul  is  speaking  of  in  the   rest  of  2  Corinthians  4   v.13  I  believe;  therefore  I  have  spoken.     With  that  same  spirit  of  faith  we  also   believe  and  therefore  speak  because  we   know  that  the  one  who  raised  the  Lord   Jesus  from  the  dead  will  also  raise  us  with   Jesus.   The  next  time  you  are  discouraged  and   waiting  on  God  where  you  are,  instead   of  speaking  words  of  discontent,   confusion,  fear,  or  worry-­‐  why  not  pray   and  begin  to  speak  words  of  faith  into   your  situation.       12. Say  a  prayer  like  this:  Dear  God,  I   know  by  the  power  of  your  words  this  
  22. 22. creation  came  into  existence.    By  your   power  your  raised  Christ  Jesus  from  the   dead.    You  have  promised  me  strength   and  mercy  and  with  confidence  I  believe   in  your  promises  and  therefore  I  will   speak  words  of  faith  into  my  situation.       13.  When  we  turn  it  over  to  God  and  trust   him  I  will  go  to  whatever  place  He   wants  me  to  be  –  because  my  faith   encourages  me  to  speak  words  of  faith.     14.  Again  from  2  Corinthians  I  keep  my   eternal  perspective  by  doing  the   following:      The  grace  that  is  reaching  more  and   more  people  may  cause  thanksgiving  to   overflow  to  the  glory  of  God.    Therefore   we  do  not  lose  heart.   When  I  respond  to  my  troubles,   temptation,  and  discouragement  with   words  of  faith  that  claim  God’s  strength,   protection,  and  mercy-­‐  it  not  only   encourages  me  but  also  encourages   those  around  me.    I  become  a  great   witness  for  my  loving  and  generous  
  23. 23. God.    Others  will  be  drawn  to  the  mercy   and  strength  of  God  because  of  how  I   respond  in  faith.    That  thanksgiving   gives  glory  to  God.    That  thanksgiving   takes  the  place  of  my  troubled,  tempted,   or  discouraged  heart-­‐,  which  keeps  me   from  losing  heart.    Now,  that’s   encouraging.     15.  So,  Paul  concludes:   2  Corinthians  4:16-­18   So  we  fix  our  eyes  not  on  what  is  seen,  but   on  what  is  unseen.  For  what  is  seen  is   temporary,  but  what  is  unseen  is  eternal.   He  is  speaking  to  you  this  morning  and   saying  is  encouraged-­‐  keep  your  eternal   perspective  to  life.    Heaven  is  your  spot-­‐   it  is  your  goal.  Will  you  trust  God,  run   the  route  he  sets  before  you,  and  trust   that  he  will  be  there  when  you  arrive  in   faith?   16.    Just  like  he  did  with     Moses  who  was  living  in  Egypt  but   trusted  God  to  meet  going  towards  the   Promised  Land.    
  24. 24. 17. Just  like  Joshua  who  on  the  this  side  of   the  Jordan  but  trusted  God  to  go  into  the   promise  land  and  found  God  and  victory   in  Jericho.     18. Or,  David  who  was  living  as  the   youngest  among  many  brothers  and  a   shepherd  who  by  faith  trusted  God  and   by  God’s  power  became  the  great  King   of  Israel.     19. Just  think  of  Jonah  who  wanted  to   keep  running  in  Israel,  to  run  his  own   route  but  eventually  after  running  from   God,  he  ran  to  God,  and  finally  ran  with   God  and  found  God’s  awesome   forgiveness  in  the  repentant  land  of   Nineveh.     20. I  could  give  you  many  other   illustrations  of  fixing  our  eyes  on  where   God  wants  us  to  go  in  faith  but  I  think   you  get  my  point.     21.  May  you  leave  worship  this  morning   encouraged  in  your  faith.  Fix  your  eyes   on  Jesus-­‐  trust  him  to  lead  you  where   you  need  to  go,  claim  by  faith  that  God  
  25. 25. will  lift  you  in  times  of  trouble,  be   confident  that  God  will  give  you  the   protection  you  need  in  times  of   temptation,  and  fill  your  heart  with  his   mercy  so  that  instead  of  being   discouraged  and  losing  heart-­‐  you  are   encouraged  and  overflowing  with   thanksgiving  that  God  is  being  glorified   by  your  faith  in  Christ  Jesus.     22.  Let’s  close  with  an  invitation,  that  in   light  of  what  we  talked  about  this   morning  now  has  even  greater  impact   upon  us.  Here  it  is-­‐  is  from  Jesus   himself:     Matthew  11:28-­30   “Come  to  me,  all  you  who  are  weary  and   burdened,  and  I  will  give  you  rest.  Take   my  yoke  upon  you  and  learn  from  me,  for   I  am  gentle  and  humble  in  heart,  and  you   will  find  rest  for  your  souls.  For  my  yoke   is  easy  and  my  burden  is  light.”