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 Weary’s Strength Amidst Adversity

There’re always times when life seems overwhelming. You might be sedulously climbing the corporate ladder in your workplace or someone who’s just become a parent, which are all good things, but, these things can be tiring or exhaustive, nonetheless. However, I hold good news for you, Jesus is the weary’s strength amidst adversity. If you can’t help but feel overwhelmed from life’s challenges, just let this post minister life-giving truth unto you.

Strength Amidst Success

As I briefly mentioned earlier, it is possible to feel stressed from the things which success brings. It is also plausible to be stressed out because of things like studying or working.

Galatians 6:9 World English Bible (WEB)
Let’s not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don’t give up.

These tasks and acts of discipline may requires a ton of effort, but, God encourages you through His Word to keep on going. Paul writes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to not get tired of doing what is good because good things are headed your way if you continue on this path.

This scripture can also be applied in the sense of worshiping God, reading the Bible, or praying as they are all advantageous to your relationship with Holy Spirit, but very hard to follow through with consistency. Consistency is vital to all forms of discipline. If you cannot be consistent, it is very hard to reap benefits.

And if you’ve repeatedly failed while in pursuit of achieving a goal or sticking to a routine, I beseech you to ask God for the grace to do it.

Isaiah 40:29 World English Bible (WEB)
29 He gives power to the weak.
    He increases the strength of him who has no might.

He promises that He is the God who strengthen you. If you see your goal to be impossible, let God handle it; you just need to cast your cares upon the Lord.

Strength Amidst Calamity

As I mentioned earlier, adversity can come even when you’re enjoying the promised land. But, it can be all the more real when you’re in tough situations. An example of such a situation could be the challenge of paying your bills or dealing with health issues.

Adversity does not always come from God. Sickness, poverty, death, and whatever other thing which Jesus paid a price to destroy does not enter your life because God willed it, but, because this world is a fallen world.

However, there is a solution to the tough situations which adversity brings as God has prepared one solution for every mess.

Proverbs 25:25 World English Bible (WEB)
25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
    so is good news from a far country.

The above proverb is so powerful. But, let’s take a step back to truly imagine what the Holy Spirit wants us to see.

What does water do to someone who is literally dying of thirst? Well, one thing is that it satisfies them and quenches their thirst. Another thing it does is that it saves them from dying.

In the same way, if you are dying inside from all the bad news that has entered your ears, good news is here to revive you. Furthermore, the word, “gospel,” means good news. Since Jesus is good news and His redemption work is the gospel, you just need to believe His good news for Him to empower you.

Romans 1:16 King James Version (KJV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

When you believe the gospel of Christ, which is Jesus’ atonement work for you, there is no crisis that can stand in the way of God’s furious love. If you’re struggling with health issues, Jesus is your healing. If you’re struggling with paying the bills on time, Jesus is your prosperity.

You must believe through faith in what Jesus did for you on the cross. And if you’re too tired to stand upon the promises of God, let God strengthen you by just receiving His lovely grace.

He’s The Weary’s Strength Amidst Adversity

Isaiah 40:30-31 World English Bible (WEB)
30 Even the youths faint and get weary,
    and the young men utterly fall;
31     but those who wait for Yahweh will renew their strength.
    They will mount up with wings like eagles.
    They will run, and not be weary.
    They will walk, and not faint.

The bottom line of what I’m saying in this post is that Jesus is the weary’s strength amidst adversity. If you feel that you are weary, thank Jesus for renewing your strength. Just say it aloud if you have to get that principle into your head. Believe what God says.

When you follow this divine precept, you will start noticing God’s undying strength empowering you to live in victory. As I have said earlier, even when you’re tired of holding onto the promises of God through faith, you must lean upon His strength.

Therefore, if you have not yet accepted Christ into you heart, confess and believe that Jesus Christ is your Redeemer, your Savior, your Lord and your God. He will give you strength to do things beyond your wildest imagination for His glory. Finally, I leave you with these wonderful words from the mouth of Jesus.

Matthew 11:28-30 World English Bible (WEB)
28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Death’s Defeater is Your Defender

Jesus is death's defeater

The most feared of humanity’s enemies is and always has been death. All people can relate to how death has robbed them of loved ones and how it can really traumatize. But, today, I am introducing someone who made death tremble 2000 years ago. His name is Jesus Christ; He’s your defender and death’s defeater. No human could have conquered death so God decided to do the job, Himself. And this post will remind you that you have nothing to fear, including death.

Death’s First Cameo Appearance

First, let’s start off with where death first makes its unwanted appearance in the narrative of man. Adam and Eve (first humans on Earth) now inhabited a fallen world, a consequence they brought upon themselves through mutinous disobedience despite God’s warning. They bore two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain was a man who grew vegetables and fruits whereas Abel cared for the animals.

Now, Cain grew jealous of Abel since Abel pleased God with his animal sacrifice while Cain’s vegetable offering did not please God. So, God warned Cain to not listen to sin, otherwise, it would get the better of him.

Genesis 4:6-7 World English Bible (WEB)
Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”

But, instead of heeding to God’s voice and offering an animal sacrifice, Cain murdered his innocent brother, Abel. He let sin obtain its desire.

Genesis 4:8 World English Bible (WEB)
Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.

Now, why am I talking about this? It is because you ought to know the mother of death. Death’s mother is Sin. Death entered this world when sin entered this world, and God is fully aware of this troubling fact.

James 1:15 King James Version (KJV)
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

So, lust or ungodly desire brings forth sin, then, sin brings forth death. You may ask why do people die of sickness or natural disaster if all death is a result of sin? But, even that traces its lineage back to the lust, the evil desire within Eve when she saw that the forbidden fruit was good to the eye. Once she committed the sin or great act of disobedience by eating that fruit with her husband, sin brought forth death into the world and that is why any person from their lineage can die from sickness or natural disasters.

But, where is the solution?

Death’s Defeater is Life, Himself

John 14:6 King James Version (KJV)
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Let me explain to you why He can free you from the fear which death brings. It is because of the cross, when the same story of Cain and Abel manifested itself once again in human history.

Cain hated the righteous Abel just as the people hated the righteous Jesus and so, they murdered Him. This time, when their lust was achieved by crucifying God in the flesh, Jesus bore the full brunt of sin. However, unlike Abel, He did not stay dead.

Matthew 28:5-6 World English Bible (WEB)
The angel answered the women, “Don’t be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, who has been crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying.

When Jesus died on the cross, it was the people’s sin that brought forth His death. It was the sin of Adam (who represents man hence why his name literally means man), which Jesus suffered the punishment for by dying. Since Jesus was the second Adam (according to 1 Cor 15:26), and he obeyed Father God unlike the first Adam, He brought forth something more powerful than death. This power is life, this power is the resurrecting, life-giving power of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 World English Bible (WEB)
21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

This is why death does not hold the last laugh, rather, the last laugh belongs solely to Jesus as He is death’s defeater.

1 Corinthians 15:55 World English Bible (WEB)
55 “Death, where is your sting?
    Hades, where is your victory?”See Hosea 13:14

What This Means for You?

This means that death is already defeated. Since we believe Jesus defeated sin, we ought to be consistent and believe that He defeated death, too. You do not need to fear death, anymore.

Psalm 91:16 World English Bible (WEB)
16 I will satisfy him with long life,
    and show him my salvation.”

God made this promise to those who love Him. When you place your trust in Jesus, God will see you as if you love Him, even if your heart is not in that direction at the moment. And He says that He will satisfy you with long life.

Now, how long does that mean? Well, it means as long as it takes to satisfy you. Just use that life to seek Him and to know Him more intimately. Let Him show you His salvation, His work on the cross, and resurrection; then, you can enjoy the full benefits of His salvation.

In conclusion, do not fear death. Do not be anxious over death. Death should be anxious about you because Jesus conquered death and you’re His offspring. Remember the story of how Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. If Jesus brought people back from the dead, His power in you should not be restricted. I’ll leave you with what Jesus said to Martha when she reminded Jesus that there’s a stench in Lazarus’ grave.

John 11:40 King James Version (KJV)
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

I wonder what resurrection miracles we’d see if we only believed that Jesus truly is death’s defeater.

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.