Sunday, April 30, 2017 - Overcoming Feelings for Futility
Pastor Roger Marcos
April 30, 2017
Do You Ever Wonder if you’re making a Difference - if your life is having a positive, lasting impact on those people around you?
To give life meaning, one must have a purpose larger than one’s self. - Will Durant
There will be a time in life saying that life is meaningless- useless the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 1 talked about the main point regarding Futility observed in the cycles of life, Futility of human wisdom 12-18. The preacher says the theme: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity"
After today, reveals how you can overcome those feelings of futility and begin experiencing the life God intended for you. BE INSPIRED TO INSPIRE!
Can you imagine, King Solomon spoke many people in his generation which I believe applies in our time as he wrote Ecclesiastes 1:1-12
"Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "utterly meaningless!" What do people get for all their hard work? Generations come and go, but nothing really changes. The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere. The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea. Everything is so weary and tiresome! No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. Ecclesiastes 1:2-8
This book talked about life without God.
The purpose of Ecclesiastes is to spare future generations the suffering and misery of seeking after foolish, meaningless, materialistic emptiness, and to offer wisdom by discovering truth in seeking after God.
In the search for this answer, the Preacher searched the depths of human experience, including despair. He thoroughly examined the emptiness and futility of life lived without eternity before coming to the conclusion of the necessity of eternity.
Defines Futility in this Way:
- The quality of having no useful result; uselessness.
- Lack of importance or purpose.
- The quality of producing no valuable effect, or of coming to nothing; uselessness.
Webster defines futility as that which easily pours out, hence untrustworthy. It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? That which fails completely of desired end or incapable of producing any result; as something trifling or unimportant. Futility simply means that you give yourself to it, but then it comes up empty.
The fact of the matter is that most of us have felt this way at one time or another, but we usually get over it - but there are those people that find themselves living with feelings of futility day in and day out, and it is something that needs to be overcome if they will ever live the fullness in Christ that they were designed for.
WHAT CAUSES FEELINGS OF FUTILITY?"2Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "utterly meaningless!"
Solomon, was totally frustrated and he understood a life without God.
Time to change: don’t afraid to change you may lose something good but, you may gain something better.
The Most Common Causes:
- Unfulfilled Dreams.
- Personal/Spiritual Failure.
- Lack of a Support. A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. - Pro 17:17
STEPS TO OVERCOME
Four steps that will help, but I’m not promising an automatic cure - it’s taken you some time to get this way and it’s also going to take some time to change things back to normal.
1. RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT.
If you are a Christ follower, at some point in your life you made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord.
And whether you feel like it right now or not, you’ve got to renew that commitment and let God know that you are willing to not only make the effort to overcome, but with His help you will overcome.
- Once King David had a horrible personal failure when he committed adultery, yet he prayed to God in this way:
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. - Psalms 51:12 (NIV)
Did David claim to be filled with joy when he prayed this prayer? No, he was absolutely miserable, so he asked God to restore the joy he had once known.
Did he think he could do this on his own? No, he knew that he was weak so he asked God to sustain him on his journey back to wholeness.
- Part of the reason some of us are suffering from futility is because when we’ve been knocked down we’ve relied completely on ourselves to bring us back up.
- And every time we try that we will fail - we need to call on God to restore us, and to give us the strength we need to make it.
(God) renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. - Psalms 23:3
Whether you are able to accept this as true or not at the present moment, God wants nothing more than to restore your joy and renew your strength, and give you the power and ability to overcome.
Please let down your guard, renew your commitment and allow Him to do a new work in your life.
2. RESIST NEGATIVE INFLUENCES. What do people get for all their hard work? Generations come and go, but nothing really changes.
You know that old saying, “Misery loves company” - well it’s true.
- There are people out there who are in a similar or worse circumstance than you are, and whether they are trying to or not, they will do everything they can to keep you down.
- In addition to that, Satan wants nothing more than to keep you in your present state because it keeps you from effectively living your life for God.
Paul was writing to the Corinthian church and expressed this fear.
I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. 2 Cor. 11:3
And that is exactly what happens when we allow others to pull us into, or keep us in, a state of futility - we lose that pure and simple devotion we had once known.
Putting confidence in an unreliable person is like chewing with a toothache or walking on a broken foot. - Proverbs 25:19
When someone joins you in your misery, you’ve got to begin viewing that as a spiritual attack, and in the name of Christ rebuke those negative thoughts and images from your mind.
- Refuse to be a part of those negative influences by restating, remembering, and reenacting the fact that you are a child of God, that you are destined for heaven, that the Spirit of God indwells you, and that nothing or no one can change that fact.
3. REDISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE.
If you are suffering from futility, it is a learned behavior that has taken place over time and is as limiting to your spiritual progress.
If you are suffering from futility, you need to realize that your spiritual house is on fire, and you better do something about it before everything crashes in.
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. - 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
- Now how does the runner win the prize? By focusing on the end of the race, by seeing clearly the goal set before him, by knowing that his purpose is not just to run the race, but to win the race.
- Your purpose in life, as a follower of Christ, is to win the race, not just sit by the sidelines and worry about what might have been.
- It is time to remind yourself day after day, moment by moment, that you are not here on this earth just for yourself, but you have been called to a higher purpose - one that brings glory to Almighty God.
- And even if life has handed you some bad times, and even if you haven’t accomplished everything you would have liked to, and even if you have failed in life, the one thing that never changes is your purpose to live like a God loving, Christ following, Kingdom growing, child of God.
4. REST IN GOD’S PEACE.
You want to know something? While God might want you to be the best in business, or the greatest spouse, or parent, what He wants more than anything is for you to put away these feelings of futility and realize that He loves you no matter what.
- Isn’t it time to just relax and let God do His work in you?
- Isn’t it time to quit trying to please yourself and everyone around you and rest in the fact that God loves you just as you are.
Let me read to you a couple promises from Jesus and let them be the promises that you claim today.
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." - Matthew 11:28-30
"I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” - John 14:27
The story is told of a Sunday class that had been asked the question, "In your time of discouragement, what is your favorite Scripture?" A young man said, "the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want Psalm 23:1."
A middle age woman said, "God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1."
Another woman said, "In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world. John 16:33-35."
Then old Mr. John who was 80 years old, with head of white hair and dark black skin, stood up and said with as much strength as he could muster, "and it came to pass 85 times in the Bible."
The class started to laugh a little thinking that old Mr. John's lack of memory was getting the best of him. When the snickering stopped, he said.
"At 30 I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didn't know how I would make it. At 40 my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down.
At 50 my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60 my wife of 40 years got cancer. It slowly ate away at her. We cried together many a night on our knees in prayer.
At 65 she died. I still miss her today. The agony I went through in each of these situations was unbelievable. I wondered where God was. But each time I looked in the Bible I saw one of those 85 verses that said, 'and it came to pass.'
I felt that God was telling me, my pain and my circumstances were also going to pass and that God would get me through it."
Let me ask you this...
Are you also in a worst situation in life and you're feeling helpless?
The good news is, if you will fill your mind and heart with God's Word, you'll always be reminded that you have a God that will rescue you. No matter how big your problem is.
Take a moment right now and choose a "memory verse" that you can meditate whenever you're in a time of discouragement.
You'll be surprised how this one or two memory verses can give you peace, joy, and assurance of victory