THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
5007 SOUTHSIDE DRIVE
LOUISVILLE, KY 40214
THEME: NO ONE CARES
TOPIC: HOW TO OVERCOME DISCOURAGEMENT
TEXT: PSALM 142: 1-7
Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi
In reference to the man by the name Alkaline Water, the phrase “Discouragement” could be explained thus: (a) The feeling of despair in the face of obstacles. (b) The expression of opposition and disapproval. (c) The feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well. These are some of the greatest weapons that Satan uses against the Children of God saved by faith. But when such discouragement comes your way, you may probably say: Is there any help from God? Is there any hope? Where or whom can I turn to in this great perplexity, discouragement, sorrow, and sadness? But my word of encouragement for you today is, let us learn a great lesson from those in the Bible that faced the same situation and what the Almighty Father did for them. For instance, when Moses obeyed the Lord’s instruction by leading the Israelites out of the land of Egypt into the desert, the people were discouraged also. But the first thing that Moses did was, he turned to God and the Lord moved in a mysterious way and solved their discouragement. When you too get discouraged and frustrated, the first thing to do is to seek for the guidance and the protection of the Almighty God. In order words, expect the Lord to eventually work in a mysterious way to solve your problem, sorrow, perplexity, and discouragement.
No Man Cared
This reminds me of the story of a man by the name; James A. Ponder, one of the authors of the book written by ten (10) men titled; Evangelism Men: Motivating Laymen to Witness. In this book James A. Ponder focused on a topic “No Man Cared.” I will briefly summarize his story thus:
Have you ever been lonely? I mean really lonely? Have you ever been discouraged? Have you ever felt as though you stood in the pitch-black darkness of the night facing the world alone, and there was no one to whom you could turn?
James A. Ponder continued by saying;
Perhaps that’s the way the young Hollywood Actress felt. Her palatial mansion was filled with closets of costly clothes and rooms of exquisite furnishings. Her face and name were known by millions. She was in constant demand for leading film roles. One night in the midst of all the evident fame and success . . . . ., she took an overdose of sleeping tablets and went off into eternity to meet God. The note she left was very simple. “Because I am terribly lonely.” Emphasis, mine!
James A. Ponder again narrated the story of a young man who left his college education and high paying job behind. He explained the young man’s discouragement thus:
He had a new convertible automobile, a closet filled with high priced, stylish clothes, and the title of being “the most eligible bachelor.” On Sunday morning, while the songs are being sung, the Scripture was being read, and the sermon was being preached in the neighboring church, the young man stuck a bird gun under his chin, pulled the trigger and went off into eternity to meet God. The note he left was terribly simple. “Because I am unbearably lonely.” Emphasis, mine!
Brethren, I perceive that was the way Job felt also at his time of perplexity because he narrated his problems in the book of Job thus:
May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’4 That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. 5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. 6 That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. 7 May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. 8 May those who curse days[a] curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan. 9 May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes (Job 3:3-10 (NIV).
Brethren, when you go through this type of rigorous calamity or incident narrated above, can you honestly and faithfully seek the face of God like King David? King David had a large family who loved him so much and great servants who waited upon his daily desires. But when bad condition arrived he carried unto the Lord in this way:
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. 2 I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. 3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. 4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. 5 I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” 6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. 7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me (Psalm 142: 1-7).
The Man, Daniel
Before the conclusion of this sermon, let me share with you the story of the man Daniel, who was thrown into the den of Lion. But because of his faithfulness in prayer to his Almighty Father, he was delivered by an Angel from the den of Lion. Daniel was captured and used as a slave in the foreign land. He was a man who devoted himself to prayer three (3) times a day, but his antagonist where against him and reported him to King Darius. The Scripture says;
At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.. . . ”
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.
In conclusion, let us learn a good lesson from the story of James A. Ponder, who talked about the lady who said nobody cared about her. In view of that she took an overdose of sleeping tablets and went off into eternity to meet God. She wrote a note that says, “Because I am terribly lonely.” Beloved, are you terribly lonely? No matter your sorrow and difficulty, do not kill yourself because the Lord is there for you and He will overcome your sorrow and difficulty.
Remember also the young man who stuck a bird gun under his chin, pulled the trigger and killed himself with a note that says; “Because I am unbearably lonely.” When you are very lonely and think there is nobody that cares about you, put your trust in the Lord and wait patiently on Him. Have faith in Him and be assured that He is there for you. Learn a good lesson from the story of Daniel when he was thrown into the den of Lion. King Darius was very perplexed, sorrowfully, and unable to sleep; he got up early in the morning and went in haste unto the den of Lion and said;
And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” (Daniel 6:20).
My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you” (Daniel 6:22).
The Scripture continued with this phrase:
The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones (Daniel 6:23-24).
There is a “Yoruba” song that says, “Eku le pe titi ale, sugbon ayo nbo lowuro.” In order words, “Weeping may last till the night, but joy will come in the morning.” My brothers and sisters, be assured that no-matter how hard the journey might be, no-matter the principalities and powers of Devil against you, even-though the way to triumphant victory is not easy, do not be discouraged because the Lord is on your side. The Almighty God that delivered Daniel is there to deliver you and He will fight on your behalf in Jesus’ name!
There is a song that says;
The Lord delivered Daniel /3
He will deliver me.