Pastor Rick Warren sermon When You Feel Like Giving Up: your life is not a 50-yard dash, the goal is not to get to the end as quickly as you can, instead your life is a marathon, instead the goal should be to pace yourself and do the right things so that you make it all the way to the finish line.
sadly a lot of people friends they shrivel up inside and they die before they die, they never experience what it feels like to really be alive or connected to God.
It is our hope that in this marathon of life, which is a long journey, as believers we make it to the finish line standing.
if you’ve ever watched a marathon, you know that the starting point is always very crowded, there’s a ton of people at the starting line but as the race progresses the crowd thins out and the longer the race grows, there’s more space between the runners and many people drop out and they don’t make it to the finish line.
Pastor Rick Warren wants is to help us finish the race that God has called us to run and that you not just finish it but we finish well.
if you’re going to make it all the way to the finish line in your life, you’re going to have to build some character qualities, some Christ-like qualities such as endurance and resilience and balance and pacing, you’re going to have to learn these skills. A lot of people start off great in life but even before they get to the halfway point in their life, they’ve already really messed it up and they’ve given up which is worse than messing up.
Pastor Rick Warren say’s it again, giving up is always worse than messing up. Everybody messes up, why do people give up in the marathon of their lives? because they got discouraged now, discouragement is a deadly disease, discouragement will sap your energy it will blur your focus, it will distort reality, you don’t see things clearly when you’re discouraged, you don’t see things as they really are and it kills your motivation.
The problem with discouragement is, it’s also highly contagious, you get around a group of discouraged people, you’ll get discouraged, you get around a bunch of negative people, you will become negative.
Pastor Rick Warren teaches us that God says in his word, in this book of Nehemiah what we should do when we feel like giving up. What do you do when you feel like giving, how do I defeat these common enemies, that create discouragement in my life, you do what Nehemiah did, and Nehemiah did four things that pastor rick warren tells us to in cooperate into our lives.
The first is to rest, it is the first antidote to fatigue this is simply done by getting some more sleep than you’re getting. Do you realize that regular rest is so important God put it in the big Ten Commandments; rest is in the big ten.
We need to reinforce on our weak areas, what does that mean, it means you honestly assess where you are most vulnerable discover what is the rubble in my life, what is the weakness in my life, what is the low point in my life, you need to know what works, what the devil uses to work on you, and what your fundamental sin what’s your fundamental temptation. you need to reinforce your weak areas.
Third thing that Nehemiah did was to refocus on god, Nehemiah says
In verse 14. Because he knows that one of the problems one of the causes of their discouragement is fear, aware of their anxiety i stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people do not be afraid of the enemy, instead he’s saying remember the lord who is great and awe-inspiring. Nehimiah was able to shift their focus from fear to God.
The fourth thing Nehemiah did was to resist discouragement, pastor warren tells us never to give in without a fight, he said we must fight back against our discouragement and fight back the devil.
If we can bring ourselves to follow this rule, we will stand a greater chance of getting to the end of the marathon standing.