Christian Churches of God

No. 130z



Encouragement and Discouragement

(Edition 1.1 19950812-19980613)

Everyone at some time needs encouragement. We should express praise and appreciation to others frequently. The Bible admonishes that we comfort and encourage one another, as indeed God does for those who believe and obey Him.





Christian Churches of God



(Copyright ã 1995, 1998 Wade Cox)

(Summary ed. Wade Cox)

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Encouragement and Discouragement

Encouragement helps motivate a person to work through a difficult situation. It can help to relieve another’s burden or maybe even change the course of his or her life. Praise and encouragement will help a person work harder and achieve more

God tests us in order to confirm our faith or prove our commitment (Rom. 5:4).

Building character means obedience even in times of suffering (Gen. 22:12). God tests us on our faith by letting us be tried. Some examples are Abraham (Gen. 22:12), Job (Job 2:11-13). The greatest men in the history of Israel faced trials and thought themselves inadequate for the task (Ex. 4:10; Num. 11:11). Elijah when he fled from Jezebel to the wilderness, sat under a juniper (broom) tree and wished to die (1Kgs. 19:4). The Lord encouraged him. He fed him by a raven and angels. He also gave Elijah a vision of the power of God (1Kgs. 19:7-12). God works in a still small voice.

Another example is Jonah. He tried to run away from his task, like many of us do (Jonah 4:3-8). All of these trials served the work of God. Regardless of the severity or cause of our trial we should keep obeying God. God will not leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). He will not give us more than we can bear (1Cor. 10:13). God knows all about our weaknesses, strengths, worries, hopes and despairs. He will help us. If God is for us who can be against us (Rom. 8:31).

Feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy or depression can easily beset anyone. David had to deal with unfeeling people (Ps. 69:20). These are Satan’s tools. We should care for others and it should be obvious that we care. We should at all times avoid self-righteous attititudes (Rom. 12:3-5).

The little things are most appreciated. Sending a card, a smile, a kind word or a hug or making a phone call, all show encouragement. Sometimes just being there is enough. The study of God’s word is encouraging because it is God speaking to us (Rom. 15:4-5). We need the power of the Holy Spirit (2Cor. 4:16; Heb. 10:2; Phil. 4:13).

We need to be capable of sharing the good times and the bad. If a person is sick, it is not because God is judging him or her. This self-righteous teaching is the most discouraging aspect seen among God’s people. We should offer help without judgment according to sin (Rom. 12:15; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 4:25). No person should face difficult times alone (Job 6:14).

God deals with us in a warm, encouraging and merciful way in spite of our shortcomings. So our efforts to support others should be positive and uplifting (Rom. 15:1-2; Phil. 2:1-5). Encouragement is the tool of love (Jn. 17: 26; 1Jn. 4:7-8,12). This love gives, shares, support and lays down its life (1Jn. 3:16-18). We should encourage each other daily and continually; it can have a healing effect.

Discouraged people do not need criticism. It is easy to crush someone’s spirit by the words we speak. We need to make the right choice (Pro. 12:25).

David found refuge in the Lord (Ps. 31: 22).

God gives us what we need to overcome, but we have to do our part (1Jn. 2:15-17). We are all dependent on God (Phil. 4: 11-12). Through our relationship with Christ we can face the setbacks (Heb. 13:5-6).

The correction of God is in loving-kindness and mercy (Jer. 10:24). God does not want us to fail. It is not His purpose that we should stumble through failure (Heb.12:2). God promises we can be sure to pass every trial. We should come out a better person (1Cor.10: 13).

Our Great God is a God of comfort and if we do our part He will do His (2Cor. 1:3-4). Trials do not last forever; they are also for a reason (1Pet.1:6-7). Each of us is important to God (Ps. 139:13-16). We should seek God in good and bad times. Satan desperately wants us to fail. We need to fill our minds with God’s Spirit so we do not fall victim to the doubts Satan tries to instil in our minds. Words of appreciation, encouragement and praise are important to our feelings of self-worth. Positive, loving words can promote good heath and emotional healing (Pro. 12:18; 16:24).

Our success comes from our faith in God and the help of each other under the direction of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.