Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. – 1 Cor. 16:13
Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel…”…the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the Lord has said…The Lord will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every commandment which I have commanded you. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Deut. 31:1-6
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses…No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-7
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1 Sam. 30:6 KJV
Need encouragement? Please read the scriptures above. What do you see?
- The apostle PAUL ENCOURAGES Christ’s followers to be steadfast in FAITH IN GOD and to be strong and brave.
- MOSES ENCOURAGES the Israelites to be brave and strong and not to be afraid because THE LORD IS WITH THEM.
- THE LORD ENCOURAGES Joshua who is charged with leading the Israelites into the Promised Land to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS and to stick with HIS WORD and declares He is with him and them.
- David ENCOURAGES himself IN THE LORD.
What do you see? Consider this. There are THREE types of ENCOURAGEMENT here:
- God’s followers ENCOURAGE others.
- God encourages His people.
- God’s follower encourages himself IN GOD.
Merriam-Webster online includes in its definition of DISCOURAGE “to deprive of courage or confidence” and “dishearten”. It includes in its definition of courage “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”. And it includes in the definition of ENCOURAGE “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope” and to “hearten” and to “urge” and “to attempt to persuade”.
When we are DISCOURAGED, we need COURAGE and need to be ENCOURAGED.
There is a wonderful truth in the THREE types of ENCOURAGEMENT shown in the scriptures above we most assuredly must get a hold of: ALL the ENCOURAGEMENT we need centers on GOD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S SPIRIT, and GOD’S WORD. We can get the ENCOURAGEMENT we need from:
- GOD HIMSELF WHEN HE INITIATES IT BY HIS SPIRIT SPEAKING TO OUR HEARTS
- CHRIST’S FOLLOWERS
- OUR SEEKING GOD AND HIS WORD AND ENCOURAGING OURSELVES IN HIM.
If you need encouragement, SEEK THE LORD. SEEK HIS SPIRIT. SEEK HIS WORD. SEEK HIS BODY of Christ followers. And rejoice that ALL THE ENCOURAGEMENT we need to follow Jesus Christ and live for Him is provided by THE LORD.