TIME FOR ENCOURAGEMENT

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By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)

INTRODUCTION

Time for encouragement is necessary with 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 no longer supports peaceful means.

There is an erosion that has taken place that outweighs the voices of peacemakers; with shouts of angry mobs and violation of law and order.  Voices of dissension are outweighing any reasonable means of persuasion.  There is an inroad being laid that does not include peaceable solutions; but seeks to destroy the structural and democratic foundation of a nation.

Time for Encouragement
(Gives Hope and Inspires)

Time for encouragement gives hope and inspires; with similar words being: Comfort, exhort, reassure, and revitalize.  One man stated: Correction does much, but encouragement does more.  Encouragement after correction is as the sun after a shower (Johann Goethe).

A Bible commentary noted: It is easy to create hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to create love and good works.

Love Never Fails

Scripture reveals: Charity (or love) suffers long, and is kind; envies not; vaunts not itself (or does not brag on self), is not puffed up (or arrogant).  Does not behave itself unseemly (or rudely); seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).

The Biblical definition of charity (or love) ends with:  Love never fails!  The Golden Rule needs to come to the frontfront: 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).

One man noted: 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 (Jeremiah Denton, Jr.).

Facing Goliath 
(Without God's Help)

A society founded on God's Unadulterated Word brings peace and harmony to mankind.  Whenever God's Word is ignored; one purses his own heart's desire, allows the ungodliness of man to reign without reproof, enacts his own set of laws and rules for society, outweighing any time for encouragement, but rather gives a deaf ear to any such proposal not in line with a specific goal.

It is as little David facing the giant Goliath; who without God's help, would not have had success in being victorious!  Many once godly nations have allowed the Goliath's of this world to enhance the order of the day; rather than take a stand as David, to oppose injustices in the land.  

Encouraged in an Evil Manner

Scripture reveals: They encourage themselves in an evil manner; they commune (or talk) of laying snares privily (or 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.  One would hope that such a plea for heavenly assistance would not become a necessity; but in many lands it has become so!  

Scripture reveals: Beware of false prophets, which comes to you in sheep's clothing, but they are as ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15).  A Bible commentary noted: False prophets were very much prevalent; whereas God's true prophets, were in the minority.  Time for encouragement towards the things of God; and His assistance implored, may seem in the minority but has is not gone unnoticed by God!

Prophecy Given

A prophecy given in a Camp Meeting reflected both a time for encoruagement and a warning:  

When I visit My people in mighty revival power it is to prepare them for the darkness ahead.  With the glory shall come great darkness, for the glory is to prepare My people for the darkness, I will enable My people to go through becaue of the visitation of My Spirit.

In the last days shall come seducing spirits that shall turn many of My anointed ones away.  Many shall fall through divers lusts and because of sin abounding.  But if you will seek Me diligently, I will put My spirit within you.  When one shall turn to the right hand or the left you shall not turn with them, but keep your eyes wholly on the Lord.

Events of the Last Days

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 Him.  In the face of all these happenings, Jesus encouraged His disciples to persevere in faithfulness.

Scripture reveals: You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things much come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For kingdom shall rise against kingdom: and there shall be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers (or various) places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:6-8).

Because iniquity (or lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax (or grow) cold.  But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).  God's Word spells out a time for encouragement in the midst of turmoil and disruption of daily lives; to those who remain faithful and look for deliverance!

Exercising Faith in God

A time for encouragement was needed 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 was grieved (or bitter), every man for his sons and 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 by the Amalekites; also because of the mutiny and murmuring of his own men, who had suffered loss as well.  David had left the city defenseless; accused of an ongoing relationship with the Amalekites, and 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, in remembrance of the grace, mercy, and goodness of God, and his former experiences of such.

A time for encouragement was needed by David, which was provided by God!  Scripture reveals: David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? Shall I over take them? And God answered in saying: Pursue for you shall surely overtaken them and without fail recover all (1 Samuel 30:8).  And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives (1 Samuel 30:18).

Godly Leadership

A time for encouragement oftentimes comes in the form of godly leadership.  Scripture reveals: Moses said to the people, Fear you not, standstill, and see the salvation (or deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever. 

The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace (or be quiet) (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, that same Word is available today, but ignored by many.

Peace of God

Our Lord 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 have such peace but have allowed trying times to overtake them.  In a poem titled "This Too Will Pass Away" (by an unknown author) relates a time for encouragement in reaching out 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 entire 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 from God

Time for encouragement comes from God; His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and that of His Spirit!  One such illustration is given concerning Isaac of the Old Testament: The Lord appeared unto him, and said, I am the God of Abraham your father: Fear not, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed (or descendants) for my servant Abraham's sake (Genesis 26:24).

Isaac had many struggles in life but God worked on his behalf in the midst of turmoil.  Time for encouragement is in taking a "time-out" to seek the Lord, to praise Him for past, present, and even future interventions, bringing a peace that passes all understanding.

Be Anxious for Nothing

Scripture reveals: Be careful (or 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 one's life.  The peace of God is a tranquility of mind that frees the believer from fear and worry.  Peace which passes understanding means peace divinely bestowed on times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one's ability to understand it.

Ask - Seek - Knock

Scripture reveals: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).

Earlier in this message, it was noted that in an unusual stressful time David sought the Lord; with his prayer being honored by God, giving David a great victory over the enemy!  David unknowingly followed the path of asking, seeking, and knocking; with the end result being, the door was opened towards a victorious recovery of all that was lost, and then some!  Time for encouragement was not in David's own ability; but in seeing God performing on his behalf!

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