Summary: In this sermon you will see the damage of discouragement and ways of becoming an encourager.
Are you working at becoming an encouraging person? This is vitally important! We find a good example of this lesson in II Sam. 19. King David’s troops had pursued Absalom in hopes of correcting the problem with the estranged son. Absalom was killed in the conflict. Instead of thanking his men for their effort, David focused his emotion on crying over Absalom. This negligence caused David’s men to be discouraged. Joab encourages David to be an encourager. He said: "Now get up! Go out and encourage your soldiers, for I swear by the LORD that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!” (II Sam. 19:7 HCSB)
In this text there are five fruits of a discouraged people.
1. Discouraged people are a defeated people. The Bible says "the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people." (vs. 2)
2. Discouraged people are a demoralized people. The Bible says "the people stole back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle." (vs. 3)
Illustration: After the Vietnam War many Vietnam veterans were demoralized because they were unable to finish a war and the American people did not appreciate them.
3. Discouraged people are a dis-illusioned people. "Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well." (vs. 5-6)
4. Discouraged people are a devalued people. "For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well." (vs. 6)
5. Discouraged people are often a divided people. "All the people were in a dispute throughout all the tribes of Israel." (vs. 9)
What do you need to do to become an encourager? Joab gave David some sound advice.
1. An encourager speaks encouraging words. "Arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants." (vs. 7)
2. An encourager shows appreciation to others. Joab told David "Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life." (vs. 5)
3. An encourager shares hope. "Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, “There is the king, sitting in the gate.” (vs. 8)
May we seek to become encouragers of God’s people.