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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rick Warren » Rick Warren - Finding the Strength to Keep Going When I'm Emotionally Worn Out

Rick Warren - Finding the Strength to Keep Going When I'm Emotionally Worn Out

Rick Warren - Finding the Strength to Keep Going When I'm Emotionally Worn Out
TOPICS: Strength, Worn-Out, Emotions

Hi, everybody. I'm Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," and speaker on the Daily Hope broadcast. You know, because Daily Hope is heard on hundreds of radio stations around the world and on podcasts, I get a lot of letters every day. I want to read just one of them to start us off in today's message. It said, "Dear pastor Rick, I listen to your message every day on Daily Hope program, so I thought I'd write in and ask you to pray for me. With all that our world has been going through in the last year and a half, it seems that everybody I meet has run out of gas emotionally and relationally. Everybody seems to be going through the motions, but you can tell that their heart is not really in it. Everybody is tired and worn out. For me personally, I don't know how much longer I can keep up with the new demands in this age of the COVID virus. I try to look energetic and I try to be positive, but honestly, I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm ready to give up on my career, my dreams, and even my marriage. What can I do to get my spark back"?

You know, you may or may not identify with that letter, but today I want us to look in God's Word at finding the strength to keep going, finding the strength to keep going when I'm emotionally worn out. Now notice I'm not talking about when you're physically worn out, when you're physically tired. That's a much easier problem actually to solve. When you're physically tired, you just need rest and relaxation. You just get some time off and get some sleep. But sleep and rest alone will not cure the emotional fatigue, the spiritual fatigue, the relational fatigue that many people are feeling after the last year and a half of massive change in our lives. What you need is a strategy to recharge your spiritual and emotional battery.

You know, there's gonna be many times in life when you need to keep going, when your mind and your emotions have already shut down. They've shut down from emotional overload or from fatigue and just working too long and putting out too much time and helping too many people. Today, I want us to look at four solutions from God's Word about how to keep on going when you feel like giving up. The Bible has a lot to say about developing the qualities of resilience and endurance and determination. But before we actually look at some secret steps, or keys, or principles, I want to give you two examples in scripture of determination to keep going. One is Jesus and the other is the apostle Paul. Let me just show you these two. They're there at the top of your Outline, if you're taking notes.

The first is the determination of Jesus to keep going in spite of opposition. Jesus faced constant opposition in his ministry. Both the religious leaders and the political leaders were constantly trying to stop Jesus from teaching and ministering. They didn't want him doing this. He was too popular. And at one point, they tried to intimidate Jesus to stop his ministry by telling them, quote, "King Herod wants to kill you", end quote.

Now in, in Luke 13:32-33, we find Jesus response. When they came and they're trying to intimidate Jesus and get him to stop doing, to stop keeping on keeping on, and here's what Jesus said. He said, I want you to go back to Herod, he called him that old fox. And he said, I want you to tell King Herod this, this is the verse on your Outline, quote, "I will keep on driving out demons, I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow and on the next day. And then I'll reach my goal". In any case, Jesus says, I must keep going. Did you hear that? I must keep going, Today and tomorrow and the next day. Jesus said, nothing's gonna stop me, least of all a fear of somebody else or some kind of criticism or opposition.

So Jesus had the quality of resilience and endurance and determination to keep on keeping on. The second example we have is the determination of Paul. And Paul was determined to keep going in spite of pain. We find that in 2nd Corinthians 4:8-9. It's there on your Outline. Paul says there in the New Living Translation, "We are hard pressed on every side by troubles". Does that sound familiar? Maybe you feel right now you're hard pressed on every side by troubles. In other words, it's coming at you from many different directions. Paul says, "We're hard pressed on many sides, every side troubles, but we're not crushed and broken". And then he says, "We're perplexed". In other words, sometimes we're confused, we don't know which way to go, but he says, "We don't give up and quit".

That's determination. We don't give up and quit. And then he says, "We're hunted down, but God never abandons us". And he says, yes, we get knocked down. But we get up again and we keep going. Both Jesus and Paul use this phrase how to keep going, how do you keep going? So where do I get the strength to keep going when I feel like I'm tired, I'm worn out, I don't have the emotional energy to keep doing? The answer is you the power and the strength to keep going the same place Jesus and Paul got it. You get it from God. But that's just the simple answer. There are actually some key actions, four key actions, and attitudes that you're gonna need to make it to your finish line, to have the strength, to keep on keeping on in the things you know God wants you to do when you feel like giving up.

Now let's get right into it. The first key to daily strength, the daily strength that you're gonna need to keep going in a time of crisis or conflict or chronic stress, the first key to daily strength that you need to keep going is this, write it down: Honestly tell God what I'm feeling. That's the starting point. You start with just being honest to God. Honestly tell God what I'm feeling right now. I'm running out of energy. I'm running out of gas. You don't tell Him what you think you ought to feel. You admit what you're really feeling. So are you feeling frustrated? Then tell God. Are you feeling exhausted? Then tell that to Him. Do you feel like you can't go on like this? Tell Him. You feel like you're under attack? Tell God. You feel like you're discouraged? Tell God. You feel overwhelmed? Tell God. You just go ahead and dump everything you're feeling right now on the Lord.

You say, can I actually do that? Well, the Bible says it 1st Peter 5:7, New Jerusalem Translation says this, "Unload all your burdens on Him, since he is concerned about you". I love that, unload, unload. You know that word in the Greek, which the Bible is originally written in, the word unload means literally drop it. That's what it means. You let it go. It's not like you're throwing it a long distance. It's like, if you're carrying a big boulder, you just let it go. You dump it. You unburden yourself. The Bible says that when you feel like you're overstressed, you're overworried, you're overburdened, you just let it go. Now, how do you do that? By being honest to God.

Now, sometimes it's intimidating being honest to God. We kind of pretend like God doesn't really know everything in our lives. If you're gonna be truly honest to God, you need to remember three facts, okay? Number one: God already knows every emotion I feel. Write that down. God already knows every emotion I feel. The Bible says in Proverbs 33, excuse me, Psalm 33:15, "The Lord gave each of us our mind, so nothing we can do can be hidden from Him". Well, of course. Since God created your mind, obviously He can read it. So nothing can be hidden from God. So you're not ever gonna surprise Him. And when you start telling God exactly how you feel right now, He's never gonna say, wow, I didn't know that. I didn't know you felt that way. That's a surprise to me. Golly! No, get this. When I confess my feelings to God, it's not for God's benefit. It's always for my benefit, because God already knows.

So why does God want me to unburden? Why does He want me to unload? Why does He want me to confess, to admit, to just tell Him the stress that I'm under? It's for my benefit. When you talk it out to God, when you tell God, it relieves a lot of unconscious tension, and a lot of internal conflict and stress in your life. Now, that's just the first thing you have to remember. God not only knows everything I'm feeling before I even mentioned it, the second thing is God understands my feelings better than I do. Yeah, you have the feelings, but God understands them better than you do. 1st Chronicles 28:9 says this in the New Century Version, "The Lord knows what's in everybody's mind and He understands," circle that, "He understands everything you think".

Now I certainly don't understand everything I think. I doubt you understand everything you think. A lot of times we have thoughts, we go, where'd that come from? What does that mean? And why did I think it? When you have an emotion, a lot of times you go, where did that come from? Why do I feel this way? We don't always understand. But God always understands your emotions. Why? Well, because He gave them to you. You see, the only reason you have emotions is because you're made in God's image. God is an emotional God. The Bible says, God gets tired, doesn't get tired, He gets jealous, He gets angry, He gets sad. The Bible said, God laughs. All these emotions are appropriate in their right place. God is an emotional God. And the only reason you have emotions is because you're made in God's image. Horses don't get jealous. Cows don't worry. You know, ants don't get sad. Every emotion you have is God-given.

Now, as I said, they can be misused. Your emotions can be abused. Your emotions can be used inappropriately to hurt people and to harm people like every other gift of God. But your ability to feel emotions is actually part of being human. So your reticence to tell God what you're feeling really is kind of dumb because, number one, God already knows what you're feeling, and number two, he understands your feeling better than you do. Third fact you need to realize, remember is this: God loves to listen to me. Write that down. God loves to listen to me. Did you know that? In Psalm 116:1-2 Today's English Version, David says this, "I love the Lord". He says, "I love the Lord because He listens. He listens to my prayers. He listens to me every time I call to Him".

God is a listening God. And that's a third reason why you should tell God exactly what you're feeling every day. God is never too busy for a conversation with you. You get too busy for a conversation with Him, but he is never too busy for a conversation with you. God has an unlimited data plan, okay? He doesn't have call waiting. He doesn't have a recording say push two if you want the Holy Spirit, push three if you want to talk to Jesus. No, he doesn't have attention deficit and go, what were you talking about? Can you say that again? God is always attentive and He's always ready to have a conversation.

You see, the truth is God is always waiting on you to talk. God is never gonna say not now, I can't talk about it, I'm busy. Can you talk to me a little bit later about this? No, God is waiting to talk to you. You say, well, what about when I'm just complaining? He still listens. Did you know that? The Bible says that God listens to your complaint. When you complain, it says, God is listening. That's a prayer. Can a prayer be a complaint? Yeah, a lot of the psalms are complaints of David. In Psalm 55:17, David says this: "Morning, noon and night I complain of my distress, and still the Lord hears my voice".

Now listen to me, God can handle your complaints. He can handle your frustrations. He can handle your doubts. "God, I doubt this". He can handle your fears. He's not gonna be upset with you on that. He can handle your questions. He can handle your grief. You can handle your discouragement. He can handle your struggles, your depression. Why? Because He made you to love you. You can't make God stop loving you. You can try, but you'll fail, because God's love is based on who He is. Psalm 103:13 says this, "The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate". I love that verse. You know why? Because as a father, I love it when my kids who are now adults, I love it when my kids want to talk to me about anything, but I especially love it when they want to talk to me about their feelings and telling me what's going on in their heart. And God loves that too.

When you are honestly free with telling God how you really feel, you tell God what's really on your heart. Psalm 145:9 says this, on the screen. "The Lord is good to everyone and He shows compassion to all he has made". Did you get that? The Lord is good to everyone. He shows good things to everybody, even those who are atheist, who don't believe in Him or whatever, who are rejecting him, who are mad at him. The Lord is good to everyone, and He shows compassion to all He has made. By the way, if God is good to everybody and He shows compassion to all He's made, shouldn't you and I do the same with people we disagree with? Do you show compassion to people you disagree with? Are you good to people who you think are an enemy? God is good to everyone and compassionate with everyone.

Now, because God knows every feeling you already have, and God understands every feeling and He knows better than you do, and God loves to listen to us, and even our complaints about stress and COVID and everything else and change, and He's always listening, then God tells us to come quickly to him whenever we're stressed, whenever we're at the end of our rope, whenever we're ever ready to throw in the towel, as that letter said, whenever you're distressed. Lamentations 2:19 says this: "Cry out," to God, "cry out in the night, pour out," you hear this? "Cry out in the night, pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord". Have you been doing that? If you haven't, that's one of the reasons why you may be emotionally dry and drained and that.

Do you hear the passion in that verse? Do you hear the urgency in that verse that God wants you to have? He says, cry out, not mumble, some memorized cliche prayer for the gift and the giver, and bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. No, he says, cry out. Say, God, help me. Help me. I don't know if I can keep going or not. It's just too hard. I'm about to lose it. I'm at the end of my rope. I'm out of options. I can't handle this. That's being honest to God. Now this is the first key to gaining daily strength, the daily strength that you need in order to keep going and make it to the finish line and finish well in your life. And the first key is this. Honestly, tell God what I'm feeling.

Now, the second key to daily strength that you're gonna need to keep going is this, you don't just honestly tell God what you're feeling, number two, you humbly ask God for strength. I humbly ask God for strength. There's an action step and there's an attitude with each of these four keys. Psalm 105:4 says this, "Look to the Lord and to His strength". That's pretty clear, don't look for any other source for emotional strength. Look to the Lord. Who are you looking to for emotional strength in your life? Look to the Lord for His strength. Job 12:13 says this: God is the real source of wisdom and strength. God is the real source. So why do you keep asking other people for support and for strength? God is the real source. If God is the real source of strength in your life, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical strength, why don't you keep asking for strength literally throughout your day?

Not just once in the morning or once at night, why not throughout the day, God, I need strength as I'm going into this meeting. God, I need strength is I'm doing this doctor's appointment. God, I need strength as I'm picking up the kids. God, I need strength as I'm preparing this task, or this meal or whatever. You know, the Bible says, you do not have it because you don't ask God for it. You have not because you ask not. Did you know that about 20 times in the New Testament we are commanded by God to ask. We are commanded about 20 times to ask in prayer, the Bible says, ask, and it shall be given, seek and you'll find, knock and the door will be open. Jesus said, if you asked for anything in my name, I will do it. Jesus said, ask so that your joy will be full. You know, this week that was reading an article that said that one of the primary symptoms of emotional fatigue and emotional stress is often sleeplessness. It's insomnia. That when you are emotionally empty, when your tank is empty, you have the inability to get to sleep.

Now studies have confirmed this, scientific studies have confirmed that the more depleted you are emotionally, the harder it is for you to get to sleep or to stay asleep. And when I saw that, I thought, man, the impact of COVID and all the changes in our world has probably left millions of people sleep deprived. Now you may have never realized this, but did you know that your relationship with God can affect your sleep? When you're out of fellowship with God, when you are estranged from God, when you're at war with God, He tells you to do something, you know, I don't want do it, when you're in rebellion against God, did you know that your body recognizes that even if you aren't consciously aware of the contract? Your body takes it out. But when you're in harmony with God, you get the peace and you get the strength of God, and the peace and the strength of God, do you know what it does? It leads to better sleep.

You know, I gave you an example of this, when king David was a fugitive, he's running for his life, people were trying to kill him and he's running for his life and he's hiding in caves, during that time, he wrote these words, Psalm 3:5, he says, "I can lie down and go to sleep, and I'll wake up again because the Lord gives me strength". You see the connection between God giving you strength and you being able to sleep? So here's the second way you can gain new strength to keep going when you feel like, I don't know if I've got the energy to keep going. Keep asking God for strength every day, over and over and over. God will never get tired. You can ask him 50 times or 100 times a day. Psalm 138:3 says this: "When I pray, you answer me and you encourage me by giving me the strength I need".

How do I get strength I need? By asking for it in prayer. So I humbly ask God for strength, just like I honestly tell God what I'm feeling. Now, I told you that there's a corresponding attitude for each of these four actions in developing resilience, in developing endurance, in developing an attitude of continuing to keep on keep on. One of these attitudes is seen in the life of Daniel. There on your Outline in Daniel 10:11-12, God told this to Daniel. Daniel was in a situation where he was under enormous stress in his culture. And God says this to Daniel: "O Daniel, greatly loved of God". By the way, you're greatly loved by God. "O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully. Since the first day you began to pray and humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven".

He said, you know what? You've been praying for this for a long time. I heard the request. We answered it, decide to answer it instantly. But notice he said, "when you prayed and you humbled yourself before God," circle that word "humbled," and then I want you to write down this next truth. The attitude that moves God to answer your prayers, are you ready for this? Is humility. The attitude that moves God to answer your prayers is humility. God I'm depending on you. I'm trusting in you. I can't do this on my own. I don't have the wherewithal. I don't have the emotional energy to keep on keeping on. That admission is humility. So let's just review. If I need strength to keep going and all of us do, you're gonna need it this week, how do I have the strength to keep going when I want to just do nothing? Number one, honestly tell God when I'm feeling and humbly ask God for His strength.

Now, here's the third key that the Bible teaches us to having the daily strength that you need to keep going when you're under stress or in times of great change. Here's the third key, number three: Gratefully thank God, gratefully thank God for all this good despite all that's bad. Let me say that again. The third key to having the strength to keep going is to gratefully thank God for all that's good despite all that's bad. It's a matter of choosing what you think about, because the world is filled with both good and bad. Now, here's the principle in 1st Thessalonians 5:18. The Bible says this: "Give thanks in all circumstances". Hmm. What does that not include? None. Give thanks in all. I looked up the word all. It means all. "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus".

People ask, I want to know God's will, what's God's will for my life? There it is: God's will for your life is the attitude of gratitude, to give thanks in all situations and all circumstances. Now notice, don't misread that verse, it doesn't say, for all things give thanks. It says, in all things give thanks. Give thanks in all circumstance, doesn't say give thanks for all circumstances. You get cancer, you don't have to be thankful for that. A little child is molested, you don't have to be thankful for that. Somebody gets in an accident, you don't have to be thankful... That's actually a ridiculous, I mean that that's evil. You don't have to be thankful for evil. It doesn't say give thanks for everything. There's a lot of things that we shouldn't be thankful for. But it says in all circumstances, circle that "in all circumstances". It is God's will for me to develop the attitude of gratitude.

And this is the third key to keeping on. You know, I've been in ministry 52 years. How have I been able to keep my joy? This is one of the principles. The attitude of gratitude. A number of scientific studies have concluded that the attitude of gratitude is the healthiest emotion the humans can have. In fact, every time you take time to express gratitude about anything, to anyone, to God or to anybody else, every time you take time to express gratitude, it helps refill your empty emotional gas tank. For your own good you need to develop the attitude of gratitude. It's one of the four keys to keeping on keeping on, to having the strength to make it to the finish line. One of the most practical, yet powerful habits that you can develop is to make a daily gratitude list, to sit down for five minutes each day and go, okay, what am I grateful for? And you start making a list of things that you're thankful for. That will strengthen your soul. Okay? This is the third key to having the energy, emotional energy to keep on keeping on.

Now, it's easy to be grateful, obviously, when your emotional tank is full and things are going great in your life and you don't have any problems or just a few of them. And it's much harder to find things to be thankful for, when you're in a crisis or when you're facing a prolonged chronic stress, like we've been experiencing due to all the changes that COVID brought. But when you're worn out, listen, when you're worn out or when you're experiencing burnout, emotional burnout, and you're just got the blahs, that's when you need the tool of gratitude the most, to help refill your empty emotional gas tank. Now the greatest example of gratitude, and this principle is found in the life of Job. Remember the story of Job? Job was the wealthiest man of his generation, very great, great man, very successful man. But he lost everything in a single day, and he didn't know why.

What happened in a single day with Job? All of his children murdered by terrorists. All of his crops, all of his livestock and his home was completely destroyed in a single day. And on that same day, Job contracted a painful deadly disease. You talk about having a bad day. His life literally collapsed overnight. And Job had every reason to be angry and to be bitter. Because nothing made sense. Here he is serving God, doing the right things. He was a just man, the Bible said. But nothing made sense. He literally lost everything in his life in one day. What did Joe do? He did this third point, when he was in a situation where he was going, I don't know if I've got the strength to go on, what he did is he gratefully worshiped God when everything around him did not make sense. Obviously, it's easy to worship God when everything's going your way. But how do you worship God when everything's not going your way?

Job 1:20-22, it says this, "In grief, Job tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground and he worshiped God". Is that a strange thing to do in the middle of having lost everything in your life? "He fell to the ground and worshiped God". And here's what he said, here's Joe's perspective. "I was born with nothing, and I'm gonna die with nothing. The Lord gave and now the Lord has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised," that's gratitude, "in spite of everything," the Bible says, "that it happened," this is the next verse. "In spite of everything that had happened, Job did not sin by blaming God". Now, if you're taking notes right now on your Outline, I want you to circle the phrase "praised in spite of everything". Circle that phrase, "he praised in spite of everything".

Do you do that, or do you only thank God when things are going good in your life? You see, throughout this book, Job expresses trust. and praise and gratitude to God, even when he has no idea why all these problems and tragedies are happening in his life one right after another. And when Job could not find anything, any circumstance that he could be grateful for, he just couldn't find anything, he lost it all, what does he do? He expresses gratitude for God's character. He expresses God for what he knew God was really like. Now, that is a lesson we all need to learn. When you're going through a time and you go, I can't find anything in my life to be thankful for. Well, I bet you could. Okay? I bet you could. But if you were not able to find anything you could be thankful for in your life, you could still be thankful for who God is. And Job shows us that in spite of how I feel, I can always be grateful.

I've listed just three or four of the things he's grateful for in the book of Job, there are about 15. But Job says I can always be grateful "that God is loving and cares for me," Job 10:12. "God is loving and cares for me". And I know that even when things are going wrong in my life, God is a loving God and He cares for me. I can be grateful for that. Then Job 23:14, I can be grateful "that God has a detailed plan for my future". I can't see it, but because I know God is good God and He has a plan for my life, it's a good plan. He has a detailed plan for my life. In Job 34:13, "I can be grateful that God is in control of what I don't understand". That's been comforting to me so many times. God's in control of what I don't understand. And then, in Job 23:10, I can be grateful "that God will reward me after I'm tested".

After I'm tested, there will be a reward for all the problems that I'm going through right now. Now let me just say this to you. I don't know what sapping your strength today, but I do know that one of the antidotes to what's sapping your strength is personal worship. That is one of the four antidotes to the things that drain your emotions. Personal worship. King David modeled this key also, besides Job, Psalm 63:2 says this, David says, "So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength". Drinking in Your strength. Wow. In God's glory. Worship is a time to drink in God's strength. That's why worship is so essential to your life. If you stop worshiping, you're gonna run out of emotional energy. Here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength. Strength comes from worshiping God.

In Psalm 69:32 says this, it's on the screen, "Those who worship God will be encouraged". Why? Because when I worship, I focus on God, and you know what I've discovered? The bigger God gets in my view, the smaller all my problems get. When God's not in my view, my problems seem so big. But when I compare them to God, my problems shrink in size. I can't tell you how many times I've had a problem that I thought it was overwhelming to me. And then I'd go to church service, a worship service, and I would worship with other believers, and all of a sudden it just shrinks, the problem. It's not as big 'cause I see the greatness of God.

All right, now let's just review four keys and four attitudes to the power of recharging your emotions so you can keep on and have the strength to finish well. First key to keep going: honestly tell God what I'm feeling. Don't hold it in. Don't stuff it. Second key to keep going: Humbly ask God for strength. in humility, God, I need You. I need Your strength today. And you say it over and over. Third key to keeping on keeping on gratefully thank God for all that's good despite all that's bad. There's a lot of bad in the world, but if you look for it, there's plenty of good, too. And now we come to the fourth and final key to having the strength to keep on keeping on when you feel like giving up.

Number four: constantly keep God as my focus. Constantly keep God as my focus. I'm humbly asking and I'm gratefully continuing and I'm honestly telling God how I feel, but now I'm constantly keeping God as my central focus. What does that mean? It means don't let yourself be distracted by less important things. All the stuff that the cable news and everybody else thinks is so important, it's not that important. Now, this is a powerful tool for having the strength to keep going for the rest of your life to finishing well. Hebrews 12:2 says this: "We must focus on Jesus". This is the fourth key. The fourth secret. "We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He, Jesus, saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven".

Now that versus chock-full of spiritual truth. But I just want to mention a couple of things. The reason that Jesus was able to keep going strong, are you listening? The reason Jesus was able to keep going strong even through the pain and the shame of the cross was because what he focused on. Did you see that? He wasn't focusing on the current pain, the current problems, the current stress, the current difficulties, the current criticisms, he wasn't focused on all that. No, he was focused on the future joy. He says he looked to the joy that was set before him. He looks past the cross to the reward. He looks to the future glory. He has an eternal perspective.

Now listen, if you only face life, your life, with short-term perspective, you're not gonna keep going strong. I don't give you a snowball's chance in hell of finishing well, if you have a smaller, short-term focus, because you'll give up, you'll quit. But if you want to be like, Jesus, you look past the pain to the promise. You look past the cross to the joy in heaven. Let me just ask you a pointed question right now: What do you think about the most these days? Think about that. Be honest. What do you think about most these days? Is it short-term and long-term? And what do you talk about most these days? The reason I'm asking this question is because whatever you think about the most and whatever you talk about the most, that's your life focus. And if it's not Jesus, it's no wonder you're draining, it's no wonder society is draining you and all the things, if you're focused on all the problems and you can't wait to the latest news, well, no wonder.

2nd Corinthians 4:16-18 says this: "This is why we never give up". Are you listening? This is the key. "This is why we never give up. Our spirits are being renewed every day. And our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce in us for us and immeasurably great glory that's gonna last forever". The temporary problems are gonna produce a everlasting glory and reward forever. "So, he says, 'we fix our eyes,'" that's focus, "'not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.'" It's choosing what you're gonna look at, choosing what you're gonna focus on, "for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal".

Now let's go back on that verse. He says, first, he said, you've got to look, here's why we never give up. He said, we never give up because we're not focusing on the short-term, we're focusing on the long-term. We're gonna keep going. And he says, there's five ways in that passage that I just read, five ways to stay strong emotionally. Are you listening? We never give up, because, number one, our spirits are being renewed each day. You say, how do I get my spirit renewed every day? Get in this book. "Thy Word is truth, sanctify them through thy truth". The Bible says, this is food, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. You wouldn't think of fasting for a week, but some people, they don't open their Bible for an entire week. If you don't eat the food... This is soul food. The way you get your spirit renewed is to get in this Word every day. His word, first word, his word, last word.

Second reason we don't give up 'cause we know that all the troubles on earth are temporary. They don't last. You know what, even if I had a problem that lasted my entire life, and I have some problems in my life that have lasted my entire life, I was born with some brain disorders and things like that, but even if it lasts all my life, that's minuscule compared to the trillions and trillions of years we're gonna have in heaven. So we know the problems on earth are temporary. Have a long-term expect. Three, we know that God is using everything in our lives to build our character. All things work together for the good of those who love God, God is using even the bad stuff to build our character. Four, the Bible says in that passage, we know the reward's gonna be great and it's gonna last for eternity.

And number five, we're keeping our eyes on God. We're focused. We fix our attention. We're focused on God, not on the problems. So let me ask you, what are you focused on today? All the mess in the world? Stop looking at your problems. Start looking at Jesus again. Now I want to close with a scripture, that's gonna be my prayer for you all this next week. It's Colossians 1:11, because I want you to make it to the finish line. My job as your pastor is, a spiritual coach, To help you keep on keeping on and to not get sidelined in this marathon of life, to not run off in the ditch, to not finish the race. Colossians 1:11, Living Bible, says this, and I'm praying this for you. "We're praying that you will be filled with all His that's God's mighty, glorious strength". I'm praying for God to fill you with His mighty, glorious strength so you don't feel weak.

"So that you can keep going," this is what we're talking about this weekend, so that you can keep going, you need the strength to keep going, "we're praying that God's mighty, glorious strength will fill you so that you can keep going no matter what happens, always full of the joy of the Lord". That's my prayer for you. You know why? it'll not only make you happier, but the world desperately needs you to be that kind of person, full of joy in the Lord. You're able to keep going because you're filled with the mighty strength of God's spirit in you. And that makes you joyful even in the most depressing times and in the most discouraging situations, it still makes you joyful. It's not false optimism. It's the joy that comes from a deep trust in Jesus.

That's my prayer for you. I hope you'll put these into practice this next week. Before we close, let me say a word to those of you who may not be sure that you've been saved by Jesus. The only way you're gonna finish well in life is by letting Jesus give you his presence in your heart, his power in your life to enable you to fulfill his promise that he has for your soul in your whole life. You need to be saved.

Notice the last verse on your Outline. 2nd Timothy 1:8-9. And I love The Message translation says this, "We can only keep on going, we can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, the power of God who first saved us". Now, before you can have the power of God in your daily life, you got to let God save you. He first saves you, and then He gives you the power for daily living. Now, if you're not sure whether you've been saved or not, it would be my honor right now to lead you in a prayer of salvation, if you're not sure. Let's just settle this issue for once and for all, your eternal destiny, all right?

So let's all bow our heads together, and I'm gonna pray a simple prayer. And I'd like to ask you to just follow me in it. And if you're sincere, and you mean it in your heart, God's gonna hear you and He will save you. The Bible says, whoever calls the name of the Lord, will be saved. So let's bow our heads and just say something like this:

Dear God, you know, I'm tired, and you know, many times I feel empty and I feel out of gas, and I don't feel like I've got what it takes to keep on going, and I feel like sometimes given up in different areas of my life. I want your power in my life and more than that, I want You in my life. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me. Help me to understand what that's all about. And as much as I know how today, I ask you Jesus Christ to put your spirit of love inside me, come inside me and fill me with new energy, with new strength, the strength that comes from trusting in you. I can't do this on my own. I need your help. So as much as I know how, today I'm saying, "yes, God, yes, I want You in my life". And I want to spend the rest of my life getting to know You as a friend, and fulfilling the purpose that You created me for. I humbly ask You to accept me into Your family, by Your grace. And I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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