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Real Success Is Always Attainable

Success Discouragement Submission

Source: Stories To Touch The Heart by Russ Lawson, p. 65

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2021-10-01

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:8

Author: Mother Teresa / Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

"No, I do not become discouraged.  You see, God has not called me to a ministry of success. He has called me to a ministry of mercy."

- Mother Teresa

APPLICATION

Mother Teresa possessed a clear understanding of God's priority versus the world's priorities.  She understood that real success is doing God's will. As a result, she was protected from two tragic errors: First, she avoided the temptation to waste her life on things that don't really matter. Second, she avoided the discouragement that comes from failing to experience the world's idea of success.

One of the wonderful things about living for God is that when we seek His will, we seek something that is always completely attainable.

Mother Teresa might have had cause to become discouraged if she had allowed the world to define success for her.  But, since she left that to God, success was always within her reach.  

"The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:8-9).

Illustration Exchange

Criticism

Criticism Perseverance Discouragement

Source: Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope By Charles R. Swindoll

Contributed By: Paul Sana | Date Posted: 2014-08-28

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:192 ; Nehemiah 2:4

Author: Theodore Roosevelt
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ILLUSTRATION

I appreciate the remarks made by the fiery president of a past generation, Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

To those words I add a resounding amen.

APPLICATION

Looking for a role model on how to handle criticism? It would be worth your while to check out the book of Nehemiah. On several occasions this great-hearted statesman was openly criticized, falsely accused, and grossly misunderstood. Each time he kept his cool . . . he rolled with the punch . . . he considered the source . . . he refused to get discouraged . . . he went to God in prayer . . . he kept building the wall.

One of the occupational hazards of being a leader is receiving criticism (not all of it constructive, by the way). In the face of that kind of heat, there’s a strong temptation to “go under,” “throw in the towel,” “bail out.” Many have faded out of leadership because of intense criticism. I firmly believe that the leader who does anything that is different or worthwhile or visionary can count on criticism.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

Step Out From the Shadows

Discouragement Sin Repentance

Source: Dictionary

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-07

Scripture: Isaiah 59:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The dictionary defines a shadow as "a dark area or shape produced by a body or object coming between rays of light and a surface."

Is there some "dark area" in your life--a shadow of discouragement or despair? Ask yourself what thing it is that's coming between you and the rays of light that emanate from the throne of God. Is it addiction? Infidelity? Dishonesty? Anger?

APPLICATION

So often we find ourselves under the shadow of discouragement and despair, not because God's light no longer shines in our lives, but because we've allowed things, people, our own sins to block it.

Step out from behind whatever casts the shadow in your life and feel the light of His love and grace.

"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

The Gardener

Perseverance Glorify God Discouragement

Contributed By: Jay Manimtim | Date Posted: 2014-03-26

Scripture: Revelation 4:9

Author: Jay Manimtim/Illustration Exchange
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Wellington Defeated

Redemption Victory Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-02

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:14 ; Romans 8:37

Author: Dr. Rich Dorst
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Henry Ford Had All That He Needed

God's Provision Calling Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-19

Scripture: Ephesians 2:10

Author: unknown
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Six Phases of a Project

Discouragement Motivation Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-30

Scripture: Colossians 3:17 ; Colossians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Don't Run Roughshod Over A Fallen Brother

Judging Rejection Discouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 2:6 ; Ephesians 4:32

Author: Webb Garrison
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Playing Chopsticks With the Master

Discouragement Experiencing God Fact or Fiction?

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-03-05

Scripture: Galatians 6:9

Author: Chuck Swindoll
1

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Life On Two Levels

Discouragement Affliction Hope

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-10-23

Scripture: Romans 8:35 ; 2 Corinthians 4:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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