Summary: We live in a world where people are finding themselves being put down, rejected and held back in so many ways. We must help them find Jesus so they can discover themselves.

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1 Thessalonians 5:11

Sunday, July 28, 2002

In the book "Growing Deep in the Christian life", there’s a great story explaining how we face opposition. It tells about a man getting ready to make an around-the-world voyage in his homemade boat.

Without exception everyone on the pier was vocally pessimistic. Everyone was telling him everything that could possibly go wrong.

The sun will burn you.

You won’t have enough food.

That boat of yours won’t withstand any storms.

You’ll never make it.

A man standing nearby heard all these discouraging words and decided instead to offer some words of encouragement. As the little boat began pulling away from shore, he went to the end of the pier and began waving both his arms wildly and shouted, bon voyage! Youre really something! Were with you! Were proud of you! Good luck, brother!

In a sense, all of us are in a little boat.

We are on a long journey, not knowing if we are going to make it or not. And as we push out to sea, there are very few people who stand there giving us encouragement. Most are only critical or negative.

That’s a pretty sad commentary on life, but often, it’s very true for most of us. There are many discouragers in life but few encouragers!

Life Application

We live in a world where people are finding themselves being put down, rejected and held back in so many ways.

It’s easy to laugh at men’s ideals;

It’s easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm;

It’s easy to discourage others.

One of the church’s ministries, is encouragement. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet.

The power of Encouragement.

1 Thess 5:11 NIV

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing".

Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Mark Twain said: "I can live for two months on a good compliment."

From a National Institute Mental Health Report

Many of our daily conversations are actually mutual counseling sessions whereby we exchange the reassurance and advice that help us deal with routine stresses.

For every critical comment we receive, it takes nine affirming comments to even out the negative effect in our life. Jim Burns

A great example how encouragement made a difference.

ILL.- On May 24, 1965, a 13 1/2 foot boat slipped quietly out of the marina at Falmouth, MASS. Its destination was England. It would be the smallest boat ever to make the trip. Its name was TINKERBELLE. And its pilot was Robert Manry. He had been a copyeditor for the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER for ten years and was bored, so he took a leave of absence to fulfill his secret dream.

Robert Manry was afraid, though not of the ocean. He was afraid of all those people who would try to talk him out of the trip. So he didn’t tell many people, just a few relatives and his wife, Virginia who was his greatest supporter and encourager.

The trip was anything but pleasant. He spent many sleepless nights trying to cross the shipping lanes without getting run down and sunk. Weeks at sea caused his food to become tasteless. Loneliness caused him to have hallucinations. His rudder broke three times.

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