By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Encouragement is needful in a world that is in turmoil with the devil's advocate hard at work to ensure dissension, mistrust, and disunity. There is an explosion of unrest that has saturated a society that is failing to support peaceful means to end bitter conflict.
There is an erosion that has taken place that outweighs the voices of peacemakers; the shouts of angry mobs, who violate the laws of the land with destructive policies. Voices of dissension far outweigh reasonable means of persuasion. There is an inroad being laid that seeks to destroy the structural and democratic foundations of yesteryear.
Encouragement is needful in that it inspires with confidence; gives hope and courage to face challenges in life. Similar words are: Comfort, exhort, reassure, and vitalize. One man said: Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after correction is as the sun after a shower (Johann Goethe).
Scripture reveals: Let us consider (encourage) one another to provoke to love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24). A Bible commentary noted: It is easy to create hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to create love and good works.
Scripture reveals: Charity (love) suffers long, and is kind; envies not; vaunts not itself (does not brag), is not puffed up (arrogant). Does not behave itself unseemly (rudely); seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity (lawlessness) but rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
Encouragement is needful in that it entails the Golden Rule as to how one treats their fellowman. Scripture reveals: All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).
Jeremiah Denton, Jr. said: Unfortunately the Commandments, and the Golden Rule, are being forgotten by our society; to achieve our rebirth, we must recall them. Only then can we expect to survive. Shall we survive? I do not know but I think it is possible, so we must try.
A society (or nation) founded on God's Word enables peace and harmony to be a part of mankind. Whenever God's Word is ignored; and one pursues their own agenda, it allows ungodliness to reign without reproof, enacting its own laws and rules.
It is as little David facing the giant Goliath; who without God's help, would have had no success in being victorious, neither can a society (or nation) survive in a godly manner without God. Many once godly nations have allowed the Goliath's of this world to enhance the order of the day, with opposition no longer a factor after having succumbed to the tactics of the ungodly.
The Psalmist David wrote: They encourage themselves in an evil manner; they commune (talk) of laying snares privily (secretly); they say, Who shall see them (Psalm 64:5)? A Bible commentary noted: This psalm was a prayer that the vicious plots of wicked men against the righteous might fail.
Our Lord warned: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but they are as ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15). False prophets were prevalent in the Old Testament times, whereas God's true prophets were often in the minority. Encouragement is needful to point one towards the things of God; with His assistance being implored, in opposition to the upheaval of our day.
A Sunday school commentary noted: Jesus described the characteristics of the time leading to the end of the world. He said there would be religious deception, political unrest, natural disasters, wars, and the persecution of believers. In the face of these happenings, Jesus encouraged His followers to persevere in faithfulness.
Those words give warning of events that would (and are) unfolding before the eyes of those who have not been blinded by deception of the ungodly; who have hidden their true motive to seek, dominate, and control the masses. Encouragement is needful as these events occur before one's eyes; however, it will not be found in the daily news that highlights such activities but through the Word of God!
Encouragement is needful as revealed in the life of David. Scripture reveals: David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people were grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6).
David's distress was in the captivity of his own wives; but also because of the mutiny and murmuring of his men, who had suffered loss in the attack of the Amalekites. David had left the city defenseless; was accused of his ongoing relationship with the Amalekites.
David was desirous to recover all; if possible. A Bible commentary noted: David did not attempt to do so through his own strength but rather exercised his faith in God, encouraged himself in the power and providence of God, in the promises of God, and his faithfulness in keeping them, in remembrance of the grace, mercy, and goodness of God, and his former experiences of it, hoping and believing that God would appear for him in some way or another, and work a salvation for him, and his men, for all that was lost.
Scripture reveals: David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I overtake them? And he (God) answered him, Pursue: for you shall surely overtake them, and without fail recover all (1 Samuel 30:8). And David recovered all that the Amalekites has carried away: and rescued his two wives (1 Samuel 30:18).
Encouragement is needful and often comes in the form of godly leadership; which is needful in the hour in which we live, as many have allowed the evilness of man to cultivate their way of life, rather than God.
Scripture reveals: Moses said to the people, Fear you not, standstill, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace (allowing Him to do so) (Exodus 14:13-14).
We are seeing turmoil in many lands; with little crying out to God for deliverance! Man is seeking to solve his own problems without divine help from on High! Moses had the Word of God to calm the fears of the people; which is still available today, through godly leadership of any nation.
Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Many do not possess such a peace; having withdrawn from its very source. In a poem entitled: This Too Will Pass Away, by an unknown author, encouragement is given towards looking to God:
If I can endure for this minute whatever is happening to me, no matter how heavy my heart is or how dark the moment may be. If I can remain calm and quiet with my whole world crashing about me secure in the knowledge God loves me. If I can but keep on believing what I know in my heart to be true that darkness will fade with the morning and that this will pass away too; then nothing in life can defeat me.
For as long as this knowledge remains I can suffer whatever is happening, for I know God will break all the chains that are binding me tight in the darkness trying to fill me with fear. For there is no night, without dawning and I know that my morning is near.
Encouragement is needful which God opens the door for one to receive. Scripture reveals: Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with understanding let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
A Bible commentary noted: The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in everything, in every facet of life. The peace of God is a tranquility of mind that frees the believer from fear and worry. Peace which passes all understanding means peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds all expectations!
The Apostle Paul wrote: I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
A Bible commentary noted: God will meet one's need according to his riches, that is, in proportion to His unlimited resources, gloriously and in a splendid manner. The Psalmist David wrote: I have been young and now am old: Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread (Psalm 37:25).
The 23rd Psalm reveals: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He makes me to lie down in green pastures (tender green grass); he leads me beside the still waters (waters of rest). He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me.
A Bible commentary noted: Believers are never presented in Scripture as mighty lions, independent and self-sufficient; rather as sheep who are dependent on their Shepherd (God) for His provision and protection.
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