For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.
    ~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tips for Struggling with Discouragement (Part 1)

When we get discouraged, it's often because our EFFORTS don't meet up with our EXPECTATIONS. When that happens, we'll either give up or want to give up.

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE, (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Scott’s Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds. Determined to make amends for this perceived personal failure, he returned to Antarctica in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909 he and three companions made a southern march which established a record Farthest South latitude at 88°23'S, 97 geographical miles (114 statute miles, 190 km) from the South Pole, by far the closest convergence in exploration history up to that time. For this achievement, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home. (source: Wikipedia)

In 1913, he planned another expedition, and he ran this ad in the London Times:

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success."

Legend has it 5000 men applied for what Shackleton defined as a great adventure.

The book of Acts is a Believer's call to adventure, call to be worldwide storytellers of Jesus.  The book of Acts also tells readers about real people who went on an adventure. What can we learn from them?

1. Be spiritually self-disciplined!

In Acts 13:1-3, worship, fasting, and prayer preceded the "going." 

Yet how many times do we get to "going," only to stop and pray, worship, or even fast when the going gets tough? Seek God first, then consider your needs.

Bertha Smith was a missionary to China for 40 years. Prior to going, she had a overwhelming yearing to get married and have children. Then one day she took her eyes off her own "need" and focused on God. She got to the point where she told God, "I want to enter into an agreement with You..."  What did she agree? That she would have a love in her heart for the people of China as if they were her own flesh and blood. They would be the children she longed so desperately for.

Are we spending more time regurgitating what someone has taught us about Jesus . . . or learning directly about Jesus ourselves? When was the last time we had a fresh revelation from God? When was the last time God brought you to the point of a spiritual/emotional/mental change?

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