Summary: How To Be An Encourager In Discouraging Situations

How To Be An Encourager In Discouraging Situations Acts 11:22-26

Illustration:Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.

William Arthur Ward.

1. Have you ever wondered how to encourage people during discouraging moments?

Barnabas was rightly called, the Son of Encouragement because he knew how to inspire people toward greatness. Barnabas is a fine example of a man who knew how to give courage, hope and embolden the hearts of those who really needed help. While others were suspicious of Paul, Barnabas staked his own reputation on the quality of the driven manâs commitment. Barnabas knew how to encourage the church leaders to accept Paul as one of their own. The encourager knew how to look beyond the surface to the depth of Paul’s love, determination and faith. Trust the Lord to help you to offer emotional, spiritual and social support for those who need encouraging.

Ask God to help you develop a ministry of encouragement to people struggling with discouragement.

Illustration:The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I’d give more praise," he said.

Bits & Pieces, March 31, 1994, p. 24.

2. Barnabas trusted God for personal encouragement so he could in turn inspire others. Do not think that you can make lasting change in the hearts of people unless your encouragement originates from the power of the Holy Spirit.

Phony encouragement quickly dissipates in the heat of adversity. Barnabas was a man who knew how to draw his courage from the Lord Jesus, His words and His promises. Unless we are consistently involved with drawing from the well of Christ’s living water we will be tempted to encourage ourselves without pure spiritual motivations.

Quote: From John Gill’s Commentary:

"for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content; (Phil. 4:12)

or "to be sufficient", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; or that that is sufficient for me which I have, as the Syriac version renders it; for the word here used signifies to be self-sufficient, or to have a sufficiency in one’s self, which in the strict sense of the phrase is only true of God, who is "El-shaddai", God all-sufficient; but, in a lower sense, is true of such who are contented with their present state and condition, with such things as they have, be they more or less, and think that they have enough, as old Jacob did, (Genesis 33:11) ; and such persons have a sort of an all-sufficiency in them; they are thankful for every thing they have, be it little or more, and in every state, whether of adversity or prosperity; and quietly and patiently submit to the will of God, and cheerfully take and bear whatever is assigned them as their portion; and such an one was the apostle: he was not only content with food and raiment, and such things as he had, but even when he had nothing at all; when he had neither bread to eat nor clothes to wear; when he was in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, as was sometimes his case; and therefore he does not say here, that he had learnt to be content with such things as he had, but (en oiv eimi) , "in what I am": and this he had not by nature, but by grace; it was not natural, but adventitious to him; it was not what he had acquired by his industry, but what he had "learned"; and that not in the school of nature and reason, while an unregenerate man; nor at the feet of Gamaliel, while he was training up under him in the law of Moses, and in the traditions of the elders; but he learned it of God, and was taught it by the revelation of Christ, and under the teachings of the Spirit of God, and that in the school of affliction, by a train of experiences, of many sorrows, afflictions, and distresses; for this lesson is learned quite contrary to all the rules and reasons among men, not by prosperity, but by adversity: many are the things that may excite and encourage to the exercise of this heavenly grace, where it is wrought; as the consideration of the unalterable will of God, according to which every man’s state and condition is settled, and therefore what God has made crooked can never be made straight; and of our case when we came into the world, and what that will be when we go out of it, naked and bare of this world’s things; and of our unworthiness of the least mercy at the hand of God: add to which, the consideration of God being our portion and exceeding great reward; of having an interest in Christ and all things in him; and of the profits and pleasures of a life of contentment; and of the promises which God has made to such; and of the future glory and happiness which will shortly be enjoyed: so that a believer may say, who has the smallest pittance of earthly enjoyments, this, with a covenant God, with an interest in Christ, with grace here and heaven hereafter, is enough."

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