Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Encourager

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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  1. Wonderful post, Bob. Isn't the flash breathtaking? :)


  2. Oh! I LOVE the flash--it's SO breathtaking--feels me with the spirit of God.


  3. Thanks Bob, for revealing a little more about who Bob West is and some of the trials of life you have been through.

    Since we hacked around in high school together
    the word , the flesh and the devil has done a pretty good job of trying to kill both of us, but PRAISE BE TO GOD we are still alive to give Glory and Praise to HIM!!! in JESUS NAME AMEN!!!

    Your Brother, Ron White

  4. Thank you for coming to my blog, Bob!

  5. I recognize the quote from Emily of New Moon, by L. M. Montgomery. I've lately started thinking about the moments of joy in my own life in Emily's words, and it was nice to see you link the phrase to Scripture!

  6. this is really nice bob. love the last verse you quoted.

  7. thanks for visiting our blog (a corgi in Southern California) and your kind words

    I truly believe one of my spiritual gifts is encouragement; I love writing in my blog but I enjoy more writing encouraging comments to others (and that's why I follow way too many blogs)

    take care of yourself and enjoy the day


  8. thanks for dropping by bob! have a great day. :D

  9. Great post, Bob. Thanks for commenting on mine (Jesus STILL Makes Waves).
    I've been thinking about being more of an encourager alot lately. As I leave the military and re-enter the ministry, it is moving to the forefront.

  10. Great post, Bob, and words I really needed this morning. Happiness is fleeting but the JOY of the Lord endures for all time. I will be visiting your blog again. May God continue to bless you as you bless others!

  11. Thankyou for visiting my blog and leaving your words of encouragment. I like your "The Encourager ... Part 1" blog, and I know I will be back for more! God Bless You! :)

  12. Thanks for visiting my blog. You're right, God has given me a wonderful gift. In addition to being able to rescue animals I can be a witness to His word.

  13. Thank you for visiting my blog. This was a great post!

  14. Hi Bob:
    Thanks for stopping by at my blog, it prompted me to come over here and visit and it was a good visit! You have some great insights and it was a blessing!

    I want to be an encourager, and I love your words here.

    I'll be back...


    PS... I grew up in southern California!

  15. Thank you for visiting my little known blog :), but most of all thanks for the encouragement!

  16. Thanks for the encouragement here in your post, and for leaving your kind comment on my blog. God bless you.

  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving your kind comments. I was in the process of posting a new entry when I saw your comment. I thought, "Wow, that was fast!" But your comment was on a different post. Anyway, it looks like you have some jewels of truth here that need to be absorbed. In terms of spiritual gifts, the gift of encouragement is one of mine. Having it doesn't mean it automatically flourishes. Gifts can lie stagnant if not used. I'm learning how to use mine to serve the Lord as he would have me to. Blessings to you.

  18. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I really enjoyed this post and try my very best to be an encourager, no matter how I'm personally feeling. Feelings are fleeting, but as you said, God's Word stands forever!

    Many blessings,

  19. Hey Bob! Thanks for popping by and encouraging me! Wow, can definitely learn from you to be more of an active encourager! :)

  20. Hi Bob, thank you for words of encouragement, we all need it and it is so helpful. All my best to youl.

  21. Thanks for visiting my blog. So nice to "meet" you! A good word here today. Hallelujah, greater is He who is in me. Blessings to you!

  22. This was a wonderful post with so much wisdom expressed in it! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting so that I was able to come over HERE and read this encouraging post! I praise God for people like you that follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and pass on God's wisdom. Linda from a Country Grammy's Walk With God

  23. powerful post..
    that verse you used to end your post is coming at me for the second time today..
    God bless you.
    thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog

  24. Thanks for stopping by "Doodles & Co.," Bob! I really appreciate your kind comments. I am absolutely enjoying your blog. It is truly a blessing to many, as I can see, and the glory is truly being given to God. Can't wait to read more! Loved this post; it was a refreshing reminder.

    God's richest blessings to you,

    Chelsie :oD

  25. Hello Bob,
    First of all, I appreciate your kind comment on my blog.
    As for your post today, it reminded me of one of my favorites scriptures that I quote nearly every morning...This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it...I sang this song for many years in church, but that's all it became was a rote song without any meaning in my life. Then one day as I was meditating this scripture, I got the 'flash' (if I'm understanding you correctly) and the Lord showed me how it's my choice to be joyful 'rejoice and be glad in it' what? In this day. My choice. I was so excited and this scripture from that day took on a brand new meaning to me. Hope this made sense!
    God bless!

  26. These are some wonderful scriptures. Thank-you for stopping by our blog.
    God Bless,

  27. thank you for visiting my blog and your nice comment. its all about the old adage of honey vs. vinegar right?

  28. Thank you kindly for the encouraging words you left on my blog.

    How true that discouragers bring fear - I had never really thought about that but it just rings true to my spirit today. I read one of Zig Ziglar's books a couple years ago (See You at the Top) and asked my family to read it too - very encouraging!

    I am so thankful that He "has overcome the world!"

  29. Hi Bob!

    What a great blog you have. I am looking forward to keeping in touch :)

    Many Blessings,


  30. Hi there! Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog! Really enjoyed your post here- amen!