Heb: 10: 19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Are you an encourager or a discourager? Think about it. Meditate on it. In what ways do you encourage others? Two words, that mean exactly the opposite. One that builds up, the other brings down. One that inspires, another that expires. One brings about courage … the other brings fear and worry. One leads to production and victory; the other, procrastination, worry and failure. Being an encourager doesn't come about naturally. For some bizarre reason, we are instinctively drawn to the negative things of life. Bad news sells … so naturally, that is the news of the day. Encouragement is therefore a Paradox Principle. Encouragers are the ones who get promoted at work … I know that is not always true, but that’s the way it should be. And for sure, it is the way that it is with the companies that are the winners of the future.
Have you ever noticed, people are drawn to encouragers … but are repelled by discouragers, like a skunk? Encouragers will make you laugh but if they really touch you, they can bring you to tears. Once on the golf course, I asked my non-Christian friend, “Have you ever heard Zig Ziglar?” He answered, “Yes, after two hours of Ziglar, I was crying like a baby.” Encouragers move people. Wouldn’t you like to be an encourager? Would you like to be the person people point to when asked; “Who is the most encouraging person in your life?” Unfortunately, I’m not always an encourager … are you? Sometimes things are just really, really discouraging and we need to be encouraged to balance things out. But we can pull on the power of the Holy Spirit to be encouraged at any moment ... it is our choice as believers.
When you meditate on God’s word sometimes he speaks to you from deep within and things become clear that are deep and pure and powerful. A friend of mine explains this experience as follows: “And then, for one glorious, supreme moment came "the flash". This moment came rarely -- went swiftly, leaving her breathless with the inexpressible delight of it. She could never recall it -- never summon it -- never pretend it; but the wonder of it stayed with her for days. It never came twice with the same thing.” As an artist I have experienced this flash when painting. As a writer, it is as if a light has come on. As a Christian, it comes when you least expect it. More than once, the power of it has brought me to tears. I am in the middle of a flash as we speak. You never know when these moments will begin or end and you certainly never want to limit the “flash” in any way.
There is a huge difference between biblical encouragement and worldly or false encouragement. Biblical encouragement comes with the power of God’s words. They are absolute. You can stand firm on them. They will never disappoint you. On the other hand, hope and change from a secular or political perspective can be just more rhetoric and more often than not, they turn out to be just more flowers in the wind. One thing we can be sure of is that if you or I try to be the object of encouragement … it will be short lived, at best. “Only the word of the Lord abides forever” If we want to be an encourager of substance we need to be a biblical encourager. Then our words will take on God’s power. Recently, I was listening to a very influential pastor make excuses as to why he did not often teach from God’s word in his sermons. He may have a powerful smile and words that move hearts, millions who listen, and a thirteen million dollar book advance ... but when Christ and his word are removed, the words lose their power. And the encouragement is therefore temporary and just so many more words. I don’t want to judge but if pastors are not going to preach the word, they should get a new job … such as a motivational or inspirational teacher. Enough on that … this could turn negative, if my focus drifts.
How can you be sure that you are the encourager that God wants you to be? Now I’m back on that “flash” moment. James 1:1-4 consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God has made it clear to me this morning, that I have not been applying the lessons he has been providing me and therefore, I have allowed my circumstances to silence the Holy Spirit who wants to use these circumstances to encourage myself and others. A key point is that first I must become encouraged before I can effectively encourage others. The encouragement here comes from the verse “consider it all joy” ... I know, I have read this verse a hundred times, but God wants me to really: consider it all JOY! In relation to the loss of my business, my income, and my home … my stroke, heart condition, diabetes … he has overcome them all. My temporary life here is all nothing, from God’s eternal perspective. I already knew this, but I didn’t truly “consider it all joy” When I really consider all of these things “JOY,” I can live beyond them and my encouraging words take on new power. Especially for those who have experienced similar problems.
What about you? Job loss, foreclosure, health issues, marriage problems, and damaged relationships, are you discouraged? Are you focusing on your problems or are you considering them all JOY? God wants you to be an Encourager to others. God promises, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Meditate on the word! Stay in Christ … until next time.
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
God bless you my friend, Bob
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