Spiritual Warfare: Cure for Christian Weariness

Sunday Morning, August 14, 2016
 
Key Verses: Hebrews 12:1, 2, 12–17
 
Hebrews 12:1, 2 ~ “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
 
Hebrews 12:12-17 ~ “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
 
The Christian Life Is a Struggle
A. Although it is described as a race in Hebrews 12:1, it is not a competitive one. This misunderstanding comes from the word agoṜ’n, translated “race.” It actually means struggle. The metaphor of the race, however, does depict that this struggle has a beginning and an end. The idea of surpassing other Christians, however, is not implied in the word.
 
B. Rather, this is an individual race in which God has set a goal for each one of us. It is His desire that we each reach our goal.
 
In the Struggle, We Become Weary
A. One important cause is physical exhaustion (Isa. 40:31; 2 Cor. 4:16; Heb. 12:12). Due to sin, our physical body is in a state of decay and on a downhill course (Rom. 8:23).
 
Isaiah 40:31 ~ “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
 
2 Corinthians 4:16 ~ “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
 
Hebrews 12:12 ~ “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;”
 
Romans 8:23 ~ “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
 
B. Secondly, we become wearied by external persecutions (Heb. 10:32–34). These, however, are to be considered a natural part of the Christian’s experience on earth (John 15:18–21; 2 Tim. 3:10–12; 1 Pet. 4:12–16).
 
Hebrews 10:32-34 ~ “But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”
 
John 15:18-21 ~ “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
 
2 Timothy 3:10-12 ~ “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
 
1 Peter 4:12-16 ~ “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
 
C. Thirdly, we suffer from spiritual fatigue as we battle sin within as well as without (Heb. 12:1, 15). Paul describes the intensity of this struggle in Romans 7 and encourages us not “to lose heart in doing good” (Gal. 6:9). “Hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Heb. 12:12) convey such weariness.
 
Hebrews 12:1 ~ “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
 
Hebrews 12:15 ~ “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
 
Galatians 6:9 ~ “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}