The Raw Power of Godly Encouragement

Oftentimes, people do not appreciate or value the gift of encouragement. It is such a wonderful tool that can open up a door for hope. All throughout the Bible, there are cases where encouragement acted as the deciding factor for success. If you learn the incredible power of godly encouragement, it will change your life for the good!

Encouragement in the Old Testament

First, let’s define godly encouragement. Godly encouragement is when someone (which can include yourself or God) motivates you and points out that there is hope regardless of the situation because God is with you.

Now, the first instance in which God introduces encouragement into His wonderful Word is in the story of Joshua. When Moses prepares Israel with a lengthy speech, he talks about how he is not to enter the promised land and so, God appointed Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. It is in these moments that God instructs Moses to encourage Joshua for the mission which Joshua has ahead of him.

Deuteronomy 1:38 World English Bible (WEB)
38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

Joshua became responsible for leading a nation. I know you may have some pretty serious stuff going on in your life; but, leading an entire nation is quite the challenge! So, God wanted Moses and everyone to encourage Joshua which goes to show the importance of encouragement from God’s perspective. Now, keep in mind the Hebrew word for, “Encourage,” in this passage is, “Chazaq,” (I’ll be referencing this word later on).

This situation relates to you in that if you are expected to do something that seems nearly impossible, you need godly encouragement.

But, what if there’s no one to encourage you?

When There’s No One to Encourage You

God is so fair and so careful that He makes sure that His Word is sufficient for you. And so, God has provided us with an example of a person who did not need anyone to encourage him.

1 Samuel 30:6 King James Version (KJV)
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

The snippet of scripture above reflects on the time when the Amalekites robbed all of David’s possessions and wives; God knows what they were planning to do with all they had stolen! David’s men turned against him as they became upset that the Amalekites stole all they owned.

So, what do you do when it seems as if the whole world’s against you! You do what David did; you encourage yourself in the Lord your God!

Sometimes, you cannot rely on other people to encourage you. It is a sad but true fact and God knows that. You must learn to encourage yourself. That’s what it takes to be a king. And David was in such a horrible situation.

I mean think about it; his own people were going to kill him and bad guys took all he had. David was in a very, very tough situation during the time of this scripture. But, he still trusted in God and encouraged himself. If you’re in a situation where the stakes are high and you don’t seem to have any hope, encourage yourself in the Lord your God just as David did.

So, in the course of the passage, we read that David sought God’s guidance and God strengthened David along with his army to take back what was stolen from them.

1 Samuel 30:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.

When you’re at wits’ end, you cannot encourage yourself in pride or selfish ambition, no, you must encourage yourself to trust the Lord your God just as David did. You must trust in Jesus who is the Lord your God. He is the God of David.

Also, as a side note, the fact that David married more than one person was never God’s ideal picture of marriage. But, God makes it clear in the New Testament that marriage is to be a holy covenant between two people.

Godly Encouragement and the Cross

Psalm 27:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

The above scripture written by David through the inspiration of Holy Spirit says to wait on the Lord and to be of good courage.

Now, when it says to be of good courage, the Hebrew word within the scripture is, “Chazaq,” which is the same word that was used when God told Moses to encourage Joshua.

Thus, this psalm is telling us to simply wait upon the Lord; encourage yourself in what He’s done for you and He will strengthen your heart with the courage to face your situation. That is the key to godly encouragement. It unlocks the courage within yourself to face the Goliath in your life.

If you cannot encourage yourself, ask God to encourage you; ask God to strengthen you. God will answer you; he will not let the situation eat you up. If hell’s against you, then remind it that Jesus already bore hell for you.

Romans 15:5 World English Bible (WEB)
Now the God of perseverance and of encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

When you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you so that He could bear your sins, your shame, your loss, your suffering, and every hell centered thing in the planet belonging to you, He transferred His strength, peace, grace, and Holy Spirit to your spiritual account. If you have His loving Holy Spirit living within you, there ask Him as the God of encouragement to encourage you.

Even if you can’t encourage yourself, God will encourage you for Holy Spirit is also called the Comforter. He will strengthen your heart as David wrote in the Psalm.

John 14:26 King James Version (KJV)
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

In your time of distress, He’s there to comfort you because He loves you very dearly. And remember you have even better privileges than those in the Old Testament so enjoy your relationship with God.

Therefore, do not ever lose hope. Remember to ask God to strengthen your heart and so, encourage yourself in Him. Remind yourself that your God is big, that your God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords; remind yourself that He loves you and that He is always with you.

Joshua 1:9 World English Bible (WEB)
Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be dismayed, for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.”

The God Who Lovingly Comforts His Own

The God Who Lovingly Comforts His Own

We’ve all had heartbreaks in various forms. These emotionally devastating situations such as the loss of a loved one or scenes of betrayal are capable of crippling people and making them feel helpless. Excessive sorrow kills motivation and crushes the heart. But, that is why you need someone to comfort you. And this is why I’m going to talk about the God who lovingly comforts His own.

The Devastating Fall

1 Peter 5:8 World English Bible (WEB)
Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Whatever devastation you’ve experienced, whatever grief seized your heart, do not let it be a foothold for the devil. The Bible clearly talks about a wicked spiritual being known as the devil who walks about, seeking someone to deceive.

He comes about like a lion, but he can only be like a lion, he’s a liar; he can only devour because people believe he’s the real deal. The lie he may be telling you is that there is no one but you facing this horrendous situation and that you’ve nothing to do but to be depressed and doomed.

The worst imaginable fall from glory is displayed in the case of Adam and Eve. God made them for His glory and He literally gave them Heaven on Earth. But, they listened to the voice of the devil in the form of a snake and gave the devil all their privileges.

Genesis 3:13 World English Bible (WEB)
13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The devil’s deceit seized Adam and Eve of all their privileges so that things would never be the same for them.

Even If We’re Unfaithful, He’s faithful

There has never been such a devastation as terrible as Adam’s fall because that fall allowed sin, death, and suffering to enter the world. And yet, God could not help but manifest His goodness.

God is such a good Father that even if we don’t always stay true to Him, He will always stay faithful to us. So, let His faithfulness be your strength, let His goodness and tender love comfort you.

He had to sacrifice an animal so He could clothe Adam and Eve. He comforted them even after their biggest mistake and this is why I know He is the God who comforts His own.

Genesis 3:21 World English Bible (WEB)
21 Yahweh God made garments of animal skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.

Moreover, God did not just stop there. Once Adam and Eve failed, He did not just comfort them and leave them to be. He gave Adam and Eve a hint of His future plan for the human race. He assured them that He is going to make things right even though He doesn’t have to.

When God sacrificed that animal so He could clothe His own, He hinted at how one day, He would sacrifice the Lamb of God to comfort and restore His children. That Lamb of God is none other than Jesus Christ who died on the cross and took your failures upon Himself so He could put hope in you.

2 Timothy 2:13 World English Bible (WEB)
13 If we are faithless,
    he remains faithful;
    for he can’t deny himself.”

The Spirit of God Who Comforts His Children

If you feel discouraged or devastated, there is one thing you must absolutely remember! It is that the spirit of Jesus is within you and He promises to comfort you.

John 14:16-17 King James Version (KJV)
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Jesus was talking to His disciples as He knew that He was going to be betrayed and handed over to be crucified, soon. He was preparing them so they would know why He’s doing what He’s doing.

He said that through His relationship with the Father, He will give us the Comforter. Jesus also calls the Comforter as the Spirit of truth. The Comforter is the spirit of Jesus and we know this because Jesus is the truth and he tells the disciples that He is with them and soon, He will be in them.

When you accept Jesus, His finished work on the cross, and His glorious resurrection, you allow His wonderful Spirit to reside in you. He is the God who comforts His own. If there’s no one to comfort you, remember, He is at your side and shall always be with you.

John 16:7 King James Version (KJV)
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Even if you are grieved over something which is your fault, God wants to comfort you and make all things work out for your good. From the very beginning till now, God has been comforting and guiding His children; if you want to experience His divine love and comforting grace, put your trust in Jesus.

Isaiah 51:3 World English Bible (WEB)
For Yahweh has comforted Zion.
    He has comforted all her waste places,
    and has made her wilderness like Eden
    and her desert like the garden of Yahweh.
Joy and gladness will be found in them,
    thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

He will turn your disaster into a testimony, just trust Him.

The Purpose of Christmas

Luke 2:8-10 World English Bible (WEB)
There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.

The Appearance of Angels

This post will examine the birth of Jesus Christ which is why we celebrate Christmas. Now, the first people outside the family of Mary to hear about the birth of Jesus, were some shepherds. These shepherds were taking care of their sheep during the night, and the Bible says an angel appeared to them.

The Bible does not say that an angel flew to them or anything like that. It says, the angel stood in front of them. This means that even though you may not see it, there are angels around you.

In your life, there are angels who act as God’s bodyguards for you; however, you cannot see them at the moment. Nevertheless, the angel appeared to them and the shepherd boys became terrified. This may be why God does not show everything that happens behind the scenes, otherwise, we’d be scared like anything!

Now when the angel appeared to them, the Word of God says that he told them to fear not. God is always concerned about you. He does not want you to be scared of anything at all! In fact, I wrote an entire post where God’s heart is not for you to be anxious about anything.

Furthermore, as the angel began telling them of Jesus’ birth, he introduced Jesus as good news of great joy to all people.

Good News For Everyone

Did you know that Jesus is nothing but good news? And it is this very good news which is the purpose of Christmas! But God is so good that He includes a few extra words which are key to this passage. He says this good news is of great joy to all the people.

He is good news not only to Christians or Jews but to all people where Jesus can bless anyone with His saving power. If you believe in any other religion. Just ask God to save you from the situation or challenge you are facing and Jesus will show you His saving grace. Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life; when you give your life to Jesus, He will give you eternal life

Whether you are sick, or depressed, or in any sort of state which is bad, call upon the name of Jesus and He will answer you. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, your life will be transformed by His goodness, you will have the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Psalm 34:8 King James Version (KJV)
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Saviour of the World

When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate how our Saviour was born. The angel introduced Jesus as the saviour of the world.

Luke 2:11 World English Bible (WEB)
11 For there is born to you today, in David’s city, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Remember that Christ means “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” Moreover, when you look at the entirety of these wonderful words spoken by the angel, the Bible declares Jesus as the Lord who is anointed to save.

If you need saving in any sort of way, there is a saviour who loves you and is deeply concerned of your well-being. His name is Jesus and He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Ask Him, and you will definitely hear a response from Jesus, the God who took all your troubles on Himself when He was crucified, and then after three days, arose from the dead so that He is alive forevermore.

What does the Bible say about depression?

Many people suffer from clinical depression. It is a mental disorder that latches onto one’s mood and tries to put one down for a consistently long time. It is not like any other sense of emotional sadness or sorrow.

Unlike other emotions of sorrow, depression lingers, it makes one sad for a long time, and tries to get one to be consistently sad so that they neglect all of the joys of life.

So, now that we know what depression is, does the Bible say anything about it?

First, what is associated with depression? Depression is often associated with constant thoughts of self worthlessness. A person struggling with depression usually believes or battles thoughts that their life is purposeless.

Romans 5:8 Good News Translation (GNT)
But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!

However, the Bible says while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. That means whether you have accepted Jesus Christ or not, God loves you very much. Furthermore, you are worth the price He paid.

And because He loves us so much, He wants us to accept Him so He can hold a relationship with us!

To God, you hold a worth, and if that meant He paid a price where Jesus Christ died to save your soul, you must be worth very much to Him!

So, if you are suffering from depression and battling thoughts that tell you that you’re worthless, speak audibly to yourself so that your whole being understands that you are priceless! Just say to yourself…

“I am worth the price Jesus paid for me; He loves me very much!”

Now, depression is characterized by a constant gloomy mood.

 But, according to the Bible, if we know how much God loves us, we can be glad no matter what. Challenges and issues may come our way, but He will give us the peace of mind and the strength to overcome challenges.

John 14:27 New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

And God showed mercy to us. What was God’s mercy? His mercy was when Jesus came to take away our sin so that He would endure the hell experience we deserved by living contrary to Him. So, when we know His mercy, His kindness, His tender love, we will by nature, rejoice and be glad all of our days!

Psalm 90:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!

When we know that God loves us and His promise to us that we should have the mind of Christ, it is impossible for depression to linger, depression must leave.

So, in conclusion, if you struggle with depression, remind yourself that He loves you, remind yourself that He paid the price where His blood was shed and His body was broken so your mind can be healed.

If you realize how high He values you, then depression better stay away from you because the truth is that you are loved by God, you were chosen by Him, and you are healed by His endless grace.

Where did mental illnesses come from according to the Bible? How is God justified from allowing such miseries to exist?

Now, where did depression even come from? Does the Bible mention anything about it? The Bible says that when God first made humans, they were perfectly healthy, both mentally and physically because they were created in God’s very own image and likeness.

Genesis 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

In God’s image, humanity was assured mental peace and emotional satisfaction! There wasn’t a tint of suffering that could haunt a soul! But, when God warned the first humans not to eat of a certain tree that offered both the knowledge of good and evil lest they invite death; Adam and Eve, the first humans disobeyed His instruction.

They obeyed a talking serpent’s temptation. Now, this serpent did not represent a literal snake which just so happened to have a magical ability to talk, but this strange figure represented an external evil that sought to harm God’s beloved children.

And the serpent made God to be a liar in front of Adam and Eve, he called God’s warning a lie. This being was not just a snake, he was primarily a liar.

Genesis 3:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

So, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they no longer reflected God, but reflected the image of this lying serpent. They became like the one they obeyed. God could no longer recognize them! And when God first asked Adam what had happened, Adam’s response gave evidence to a corrupt nature.

Genesis 3:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

When God asked Adam if he disobeyed Him, instead of humbly saying sorry to God, Adam blamed Him for making Eve as she was the one who encouraged Adam to eat of the forbidden tree.

This means that through that act of disobedience, Adam invited imperfection to the human nature. His mistake corrupted the human nature and thus, it became now possible for even mental illnesses to latch onto Adam’s descendants.

Yet, at the end of it all, God covered their nakedness with the skins of an animal. Blood had to be shed for God to cover them. This pointed to how one day God will provide, by shedding the blood of an innocent being who would bring restoration to what we lost, that innocent being is Jesus Christ, the God who sacrificed Himself for you.

Genesis 3:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Isn’t Jesus just like any other religious historical figure? What does he have to do with mental health?

Jesus is unique from any other historical figure and here’s why.

His claims were totally different. He claimed to offer life, to offer healing, to bless people, to show what love looks like, and He fulfilled His words at the cost of His life. His actions pointed to His divinity and His words testified of truth.

Luke 4:18-19 Good News Translation (GNT)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed
19     and announce that the time has come
    when the Lord will save his people.”

Jesus never denied that people can suffer, mentally. But He always offered healing. He offered healing for people who were hurt, physically, and He offered healing for people who were hurt, emotionally.