Summary: The Lord God is always calling us to endure. Sometimes we need consolation in the struggle and encouragement to continue. Once again this is something the Lord gives to us but we are to share it with others. Let us all be sons and daughters of encouragement!
Getting To Know God - Part 4 - The God of Encouragement
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy –
“To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Please open your Bibles to Romans 15:1-13
Three weeks ago we started taking a look into WHO God is.
It is difficult to love someone you know nothing about.
So, what do we know about God so far?
- His name is YHWY – Yahweh or Jehovah
- YHWH describes Himself as “ I AM WHO I AM”
o He is immutable, unchanging
- YHWH-Rapha – the God Who Heals
o He can, but not always, heals physically
o He always wants to heal spiritually and emotionally
- He is Jehovah-Jireh or YHWH-Yireh … The God Who Provides
o He provided for our salvation
o He provides for our needs
o He provides for the needs of others through the abundance He provides for us
So, let’s take a look at our Scripture reading and see how our God is described in this passage …
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read … Romans 15:1-13
(Prayer for help …)
So, what aspect of the Lord do you think we see in this Scripture?
What two words are found in both verses 4 and 5?
Endurance and encouragement …
Encouragement is what you often need when you are facing something that requires endurance.
The Greek word that is used here for encouragement (consolation) is parakleseos (para – klee – see – os)
This word is used in the New Testament 12 times.
The English equivalent is often determined by the context and it can appear as encouragement, exhortation, comfort or urging.
Some older translations may also use the term of consolation.
But what is it that you need when you are faced with a task that requires great endurance?
What do you need if you are downhearted or spiritually exhausted? You may well need some comfort or consolation. But, often what will help you more is someone to urge you on; someone to exhort you to continue; someone to give you encouragement.
This Greek word, parakleseos has the same route world as Parakletos which means Helper or Comforter. This is Someone who comes along side you to encourage you, to urge you on; Someone who lets you know that you are not in this battle alone! This Someone is the Holy Spirit Himself!
Do you think Paul ever needed encouragement?
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move.
“I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. “I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
Do you think Paul need encouragement so that he would be able to endure?
What if you woke up one morning as a totally healthy individual with the rest of your life ahead as you had always envisioned it but by the evening time you found out that you might very well be a paraplegic the rest of your life?
What would your attitude be?
We all know a person just like that. Let’s hear what he has to say:
Video of Ed (8:31 in duration)
(If you have someone in your congregation with such a story and if they have come through it as a victorious encourager by the power of the Holy Spirit try to see if you can interview them before the congregation but be sure that their testimony matches their life.)
(An alternative would be to tell the story of Joni Eareckson Tada.)