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Sermon Illustrations: Discouragement

In December 1940, Major General Richard O'Connor attacked the Italian army stationed in Egypt. What made this so extraordinary was that the British had comparatively few troops whereas the Italians had 250,000 men there. O'Connor attacked anyway and had fewer than 2,000 casualties. In the process they destroyed 10 Italian divisions, took 170,000 prisoners and captured 400 tanks and 850 guns - one of the most remarkable feats of arms in history. The decisive factor in the Italian loss was their low morale - because they weren't happy with the alliance with Germany, and they certainly weren't prepared to die for Mussolini. So they broke and retreated at a crucial moment. Discouragement was the key.


1 Sam 16:1-5,11-13 God rejected Saul from being king, and told Samuel to go to Bethlehem. When he arrived, the elders were so afraid of him they were trembling. He got with Jesse and his sons, and they passed before him one by one - all seven of them. When he saw the first one he thought, "This must be the one". But God said not to look at outside appearances, because God was looking at the heart. "Are you sure these are all your sons?" "Oh yeah", says Jesse, "there's another one with the sheep." Can you imagine how David felt? He didn't have any idea what was happening. Next thing the prophet anoints him king. He was only about 17 or 18 years old.