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Summary: The good encouragement can do

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THE FRUIT OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Joshua 1-3

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

When the Israelites finally completed 40 years of wanderings in the desert and came once again to the Promised Land only Joshua and Caleb were left.

Joshua is given the same command Moses was—go take the land. And Joshua did. Why?

What changed? The challenges to the Israelites were still the same. It was the same command, the same river crossing, the same people living in the land, the same fortified cities, they both sent out spies…but this time they were encouraged.

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.”

And encouragement for the nation of Israel meant:

• They were energized and not demoralized (Joshua 1:11 & 18)

• Their perspective was enlarged not destroyed (Joshua 2:8-11, 24)

• They felt empowered not deserted (Joshua 3:7)

• They were enlisted not divided (Joshua 1:16)

• God’s blessing was enjoyed not diverted

Perhaps you’re the one that needs encouragement now. There are some practical things you can do.

David Seamands, an author, psychologist and my former professor lists six weapons of encouragement:

1. Avoid being alone

2. Seek help from others

o Exodus 17:8-12

o When Moses arms were raised the Israelites won and when they were lowered the battle turned

o Aaron and Hur supported Moses arms so the battle could be won

o Who can you support with words, supplies, time, effort, understanding?

o We cannot and should not try to do everything ourselves.

o God made us to be a part of the body of Christ. We are better in community and less likely to get down.

3. Sing! Make music

4. Praise and give thanks

o Deuteronomy 1:38

o Moses was instructed to encourage Joshua since Moses would not go into the promised land

o Acts 16:16-40

o Paul and Silas were beaten and bruised, spent the night in jail and then miraculously delivered by God.

o They met the other believers and encouraged them.

o Encouragers rejoice when others rejoice

o Celebrate for others even if you’re struggling

o This quenches the effort of the devil

o What can the devil do with a person who will rejoice in the face of their own trial or sorrow?

5. Lean heavily on the power of God’s Word

6. Rest confidently in the presence of God’s Spirit

(Healing for Damaged Emotions, pages 128-129)

If you’re encouraged, you can encourage others. This week I had an opportunity to share with my waitress at a restaurant.

God will place you in the path of those who need to be built up. Be open and available. Be encouraged yourself and be used by God.


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