“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Matthew 14:27, NLT
In this moment of history there are more Christians discouraged than ever. We seem to doubt the very precious promises found in the Bible. Our very best now seems to be the worst we could ever wish for. Discouraged, we seriously consider packing it all in.
But their is another step. Something more advanced. That is diversion. A strange sort of deflection into complete disaster. Most of us would never dream of renouncing our faith in Jesus Christ, but if we are sufficiently discouraged we will end up there without much thought. We are being diverted into total loss.
Discouragement is not the final goal, but diversion could well be. Once we lose sight of our true calling and present nature we untrack and derail. We’ve rejected the rails, and don’t want to travel the tracks anymore. Our diversion leads to disaster.
A gift of encouragement helps another to stay on track. An encourager will stand and shout for you to stay in the faith. They are only a few to be found, for they are a rare species. But many exercise the gift without the distinct call. (More power to them). We need people who can truly encourage the saints to run well.
Dear saint, if you feel called to encourage others here are three things you must try to do:
- Separate and dedicate. Become someone who knows how to move our of your own past and to live now staring at the future. “Leave and cleave” is a good word for you.
- Master the promises of God. Read them, and master them. Put them on your heart so that the Spirit can put them on your tongue.
- “Pray like your house is on fire!” When prayer meets encouraging words it will turbocharge your ministry. It will also protect others from the foolish things we all say. Trite and simple things that will confuse them. Avoid doing this.
Please become an encouragement to those fighting a hard battle.
Prepare to be educated far beyond your present capabilities. An encourager will always have a “job.” The Kingdom has openings for all those who want to encourage God’s people.
The story of Elisha and his young man is saturated with the ministry of encouragement.
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.”
16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”
2 Kings 6:16, 17
“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”