1. Persecution – Matthew 24:9-10 It is hard to keep getting up just to be knocked down again. Jesus told the church at Smyrna, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer,” and then he said, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). I suspect that Paul would say that the persecution which really saps our strength is not that which comes from without, but from that which comes from our own brethren.
2. Temptation – Luke 8:13; Hebrews 3:13. In interpreting the meaning of the seed which fell on the rocky ground, Jesus said, “these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
3. Worldliness – 2 Timothy 4:10. As Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world, so will our zeal for the Lord be diminished if we love this world.
4. A moral lapse – 2 Samuel 12; Psalm 32. When we feel unclean or when our conscience is bothering us, it is hard to get excited about serving the Lord.
5. Forsaking worship and spiritual living – Hebrews 10:25-31. When we miss worship, we must be careful that a slow, progressive callousness is not setting in. Many who would not defiantly blaspheme and repudiate their faith find themselves slowly doing just that.
6. Not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – Job.
7. Thinking you are the only one – 1 Corinthian 2:3.