Rick Warren, a pastor from Lake Forest, California shares a recent message from his series “How God Turns Setbacks into Comebacks!” We have all faced a situation or a season in life where we really wanted to just give up and felt like there was no hope left. But giving up is not an option and I believe God is wanting to refresh and revive weary hearts today. Let’s take a closer look at what Pastor Rick Warren has to say about perseverance and fighting for all that God has for us. If you feel like you’re on your last string of hope, we pray for you to take hold of God’s hand and let this message impart faith and vision into you for your current season and for your future. God is with you today and He loves you so much.
Learning from Nehemiah
Nehemiah is one of the great giants in the faith and Rick Warren mentions the great passage of overcoming discouragement. Nehemiah 4:13 shares, “Therefore, I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.” If you’re not familiar with this story, Nehemiah and the Israelites are rebuilding the Jerusalem walls that were devastated by their enemies. This act alone is courageous and they relied on God to help them with what looked like an impossible situation.
Rick shares about this passage, “Nehemiah and the army didn’t give up on the goal, they just advised a new strategy.” Even though Nehemiah and his army were working tirelessly and with resistance from their enemies, they did not give up and continued the work of the Lord! Rick Warren continues in his message with, “Whatever you are discouraged at right now, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop what you are doing it; it doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong thing. It may mean you are doing it the wrong way. Maybe you need to change the way your doing your schedule, change the way you are doing your diet, change the way you are relating to people.”
Stay Together as Family
Nehemiah posted every person in his army by families! Like Rick Warren highlights, “he made sure the men had support.” Rick asks his listeners, “What’s your support group? One of the reasons you could be discouraged is being [that] you are trying to handle everything by yourself and you need a support group.” We need godly leaders, mentors, and friends who are going to talk things out with us, cry with us, give us courage, and challenge us! Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The only way Nehemiah and his army could build the wall was through constant communion with one another. Without family, they would all be on their own, lost and attempting to defeat their enemies on their own. Rick Warren mentions, “Who is encouraging you and who are you encouraging?” He highlights how we as believers NEED spiritual families around us for continual support. The story of Nehemiah and the wall continues to show when one man was tired, they would switch roles. We need one another to lean on in different seasons. When one of us is weak in an area, we need God and his people to be our help. When you are strong in an area and see someone weak in that same area, they need your support. We are a STRONG FORCE of God when we are inside family!
Remember and Refocus
Rick Warren continues to encourage us believers with the goal to NEVER give up on our dreams! He says, “See the natural temptation is to give up on the dream. No, no, no, no, no.” He continues to say, “If you have a problem right now, just don’t give up. Just change the way you are doing it. Reorganize whatever’s not working. Clean out the clutter.” We have a responsibility as believers to take both practical and spiritual steps to overcome discouragement. The practical step of changing the way you think and do something is just as important as praying!
Nehemiah 4:14 says, “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. And fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.'” Rick Warren shares about David and how he encouraged himself in the Lord and how we are to do the same. We simply have to remember who our God is and what He has done. And remember what we know He will do!
Rick Warren: Seek the Lord in Discouragement
Rick tells us to remember “God’s goodness to me in the past, God’s closeness to me in the present, God’s power for me in the future.” We hope this message encourages you to get up and fight for what is yours as a child of God! Your dreams are worth pursuing with God and His plans for you are good. Don’t be afraid to try something new and strengthen yourself in the Lord by placing yourself back into family. You can find Rick Warren’s full message of “When You Feel Like Giving Up” right here.