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The power of encouragement Part 1

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Our biblical role models

Can you name anyone who has encouraged you in the past? What did they say or do to encourage you?

To speak encouragement is literally to speak courage into someone's life (speak courage into). We give them the courage to believe what God says, even when it seems so far removed from their experience.

Ken Boa says that humans can survive the loss of anything – but not without hope. Hope is how we live. Hope is what gets us from one day to the next. When hope goes, we start to die. One of the most profound proverbs of the Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

When we place our hope in the wrong things, one of two things is likely to happen. Either we will never make it to the level we had hoped for, in which case we end up envious or bitter. Or we make it to that level only to discover that it does not fill our heart. In that case, we end up unfulfilled and disappointed.

¨When things are bad Satan tells us –it will never end!

¨When things are good Satan tells us-it will never last!

God Himself is an encourager

2 Thessalonians 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,

17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word

Coming along side to help

In scripture both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are called the divine parakletos (an advocate- one who comes alongside to help, comfort and support. When disappointment or failure happen, a key role for the leader is that of keeping hope alive. When others lose their way and begin to despair, effective leaders will pour encouragement into the heart and soul of their team members. You will know when to come alongside someone. You will sense when a team member needs a quick correction or a shoulder to cry on.

¨Take affirmative action every day- affirm someone!

Barnabas – the son of encouragement

Barnabas was the disciple who believed in Saul of Tarsus when everyone else was frightened of Saul who became Paul. Barnabas was the nickname given to Joseph because he was so known for his encouragement. What a lovely accolade.

Paul’s ministry might never have gotten off the ground if Barnabas had not believed in him and supported him (gave him a chance). When we encourage each other, we strengthen the church and enable us to fulfil God’s call and will for our lives.

We all need somebody to believe in us

Acts 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him and believed not that he was a disciple.

27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

Barnabas Fact-file

  • Real name Joseph aka Barnabas

  • Barnabas means –the son of encouragement

  • He believed in Saul of Tarsus when everyone else feared and body-swerved him

  • His believed in Paul and spoke up for him

  • He believed in God’s call on Paul’s life.

  • He gave Saul a chance

  • Paul’s ministry might never have got started if not for an encourager!

The encouragement of a friend

1 Samuel 18:1-4 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt.

Jonathan encourages David

  • Jonathan verbally encouraged David in their frequent meetings,

  • Jonathan believed in David and that God had called to David to become King

  • Jonathan was willing to step aside for David

  • Jonathan demonstrated godly character by encouraging David in the times of hardship including death threats

Let us encourage someone today being careful what type of words we speak to them;

Harmful Words - You are a failure - You are worthless - You are guilty - There is a recession - You have no future - You are damaged goods - You are just ordinary

Words of life - You are chosen - You are precious - You are forgiven - Your God will supply - You abide in his shadow - You are a new creation - You are created specially in Christ Jesus


Personal Prayer

In Part 2 we look at the power of our words to encourage or discourage others.

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