Encouragement In Time Of Trouble
Hebrews 12:1-8, 12-16, 28-29
1. Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Confirmation. 12:1-2
A. The . . Removal Encouraged By Those Confirming. 12:1-1a
1 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
B. The . . Race Encouraged By Those Confirming. 12:1b
“. . . and let us run with endurance the
race that is set before us,”
C. The . . Required Encouragement By Those Confirming. 12:2-3
1. A Requirement To Look at The . . Work of Jesus. 12:2a
2 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, . . .”
2. A Requirement To Look at The . . Welcome of Jesus. 12:2b
“. . . and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3. A Requirement To Look at the . . Way of Jesus. 12:3
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against
Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Illustration The Kiss
Andor Foldes is now seventy-two, but he recalls how praise made all the difference for him early in his career. His first recollection of an affirming word was at age seven when his father kissed him and thanked him for helping in the garden. He remembers it over six decades later, as though it were yesterday. But the account of another kiss that changed his life says a great deal about our inner need for purpose.
At age sixteen, living in Budapest, Foldes was already a skilled pianist. But he was at his personal all-time low because of a conflict with his piano teacher. In the midst of that very troubled year, however, one of the most renowned pianists of the day came to the city to perform. Emil von Sauer was not only famous because of his abilities at the piano, but he could also claim the notoriety of being the last surviving pupil of Franz Liszt.
Sauer requested that young Foldes play for him. Foldes obliged the master with some of the most difficult works of Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann. When he finished, Sauer walked over to him and kissed him on the forehead.
“My son,” he said, “when I was your age I became a student of Liszt. He kissed me on the forehead after my first lesson, saying, ‘Take good care of this kiss -- it comes from Beethoven, who gave it me after hearing me play.’ I have waited for years to pass on this sacred heritage, but now I feel you deserve it.”
Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Confirmation.
2. Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Chastening. 12:4-8
A. The Proper . . Attitude About Chastening. 12:4-5
4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And
you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My
son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when
you are rebuked by Him;
B. The Proper . . Appreciation About Chastening. 12:6-7
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son
whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as
with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
C. The Proper . . Authentication For Chastening. 12:8
8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become
partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Illustration Billy Graham comments on the subject:
“God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness. In His wisdom, He knows that an uncontrolled life is an unhappy life, so He puts reins on our wayward souls that they may be directed into the paths of righteousness.”
Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Chastisement.
3. Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Carefulness. 12:12-16
A. Carefulness About . . Strengthening. 12:12-13
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble
knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may
not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
B. Carefulness About . . Shortcomings. 12:14-15
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one
will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of
God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and
by this many become defiled;
C. Carefulness About . . Sacrilege. 12:16
16 lest there be any fornicator or
profane person like Esau, who for one
morsel of food sold his birthright.
Illustration Hungry Pythons
Here is an instruction on how to react to hungry pythons, as given to Peace Corpsmen serving in Brazil:
“Remember not to run away, the python can run faster. The thing to do is to lie flat on the ground on your back with your feet together, arms at your side, head well down. The python will then try to push its head under you, experimenting at every possible point. Keep calm (that was underscored).
“You must let him swallow your foot. It is quite painless and it will take a long time. If you lose your head and struggle, he will quickly whip his coils around you. If you keep calm and still, he will go on swallowing. Wait patiently until he has swallowed up to about your knee. Then carefully take out your knife and insert it into the distended side of his mouth and with a quick rip slit him up.” Resource, Sept./Oct., 1992, p. 2
Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Carefulness.
4. Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By . . Confidence. 12:28-29
A. Confidence About The . . Foundations. 12:28
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be
shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
reverence and godly fear.
B. Confidence About The . . Fire. 12:29
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Illustration Coach Bear Bryant
John McKay, of the NFL, tells a story illustrating the supreme confidence of University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant:
“We were out shooting ducks, and finally, after about three hours, here comes one lonely duck. The Bear fires. And that duck is still flying today. But Bear watched the duck flap away, looked at me and said, ‘John, you are witnessing a genuine miracle. There flies a dead duck!’”
Encouraged In Time Of Trouble By.. Confidence.