Thursday, January 20, 2011

Encouragement Resurrects Life

We all have dreams but sweet words of encouragement can bring them to life.   Who doesn’t need a dose of encouragement these days?  Our nation’s current state of affairs has so many people with downcast spirits.  Many people have lost their homes, currently unemployed, and fearful of our future.  If you look deep within their eyes, hope is almost gone.   Although it was recommended in college to watch the news once a day, I honestly can’t do it.  I completely understood his reasoning behind it, so you were aware of the events in the community.  But it’s just too sad to watch, my spirit gets so depressed.  How do people daily read the newspapers or watch hours of news without it poisoning your spirit?  It’s no wonder so many people are so sad, depressed, and fearful.  It’s hard to see a glimmer of light if your eyes are staring at your ground; it’s time to look up.  Way UP to the Heavens!  God is still on the throne.
     Although for the Christian our faith is what keeps our life in perspective but what if you don’t know Christ?  Sadly, it’s a different story for the unsaved, they don’t have the knowledge or relationship we cherish.  So, what are we going to do?  Right now, we need to rise up with the light of hope-Jesus Christ.  No one is exempt of facing difficult times in life.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust.  So, if everyone is facing difficult times, we could all use some encouragement.   What an opportunity or blessing we can be to someone with just a simple word of encouragement. 
     As I was preparing this blog tonight, I starting meditating on who was impacted with words of encouragement in scripture.  The Lord sweetly reminded me of Joshua who was greatly encouraged by God himself.  What a stressful situation to be in?  Moses has just died and the children of Israel still haven’t entered the Promised Land.  Can I be honest with you?  Who wouldn’t be intimated to lead these people after such a great leader dies?  By the hand of God, Moses led the children of Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh.  All of the miraculous signs were powerful, confirmed Moses’s calling, and to displayed the wonders of God.  What’s so beautiful about this story Moses invested in Joshua’s life about the things of God.
      In Joshua 1:-9, scripture records three times God’s encouragement to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” So, if we want to learn how to encourage others, we must follow God’s example.  First, we must make people aware of God’s omniscient power, He is all knowing.  God KNEW of Joshua’s situation first-hand because He told him. (Joshua 1:1)  So, we must comfort others by advising them, God is completely aware of their situation.  Second, God has a plan for the situation; He may use us to solve it.  (Joshua 1:2)  God completely shares His vision for Joshua’s life, He wants Joshua to take the people to the Promise Land, and so he must be prepared.  Although, we may not see what the future holds for someone, we can advise God has a plan. (Joshua 1:2-4) Third, God shares His blessings with Joshua and the children of Israel.  God was fulfilling the promise He gave to His people. (Joshua 1:3-4)  So, we can share the promise of God’s Word with someone, it will hold them.  Next, God encourages Joshua by advising He was with him, just like Moses.  We are never alone in our circumstances; this will bring peace to a troubled heart.  Lastly, God advised Joshua to obey His Word and keep it close to his heart.  Only through His word would Joshua have knowledge, be encouraged, and successful.  If anyone lacks wisdom, God will supply in great measure but without doubt.
     Life isn’t always a pleasant journey but it’s peaceful with a friend who walks with you.  As Christians, we are to light the way so others can inherit our faith.  It’s the best life insurance policy with no money to buy.  My friends, someone needs to hear the words, God cares.  Maybe this person is you.  God cares for you deeply.  He is completely aware of the situation.  He isn’t surprised or unaware but ready to act.  Tonight, I want you to rest in God’s promise, “AS I WAS WITH MOSES, I WILL BE WITH YOU.”