Summary: There is a great need for encouragement these days as we see so many disturbances, trials and tribulations in the lives of God's people all over the world. Everybody needs encouragement. Here are 7 ways you can find encouragement from 2 Corinthians 7.
Cultivate Biblical Convictions-84
The Need for Encouragement
2 Cor.7:4 I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles. 5 When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. 6 But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
There is a great need for encouragement these days as we see so many disturbances, trials and tribulations in the lives of God's people all over the world. Some are going through unspeakable tragedies in their personal, family and professional lives. The spiritual condition of many churches are disappointing to many believers and they are losing heart and interest to attend the church or meet with other believers for fellowship. Many ministries are money-based which is creating problems in missions and relationships among missionaries and within organizations. Everybody needs encouragement but where can we find it?
In the Passage of 2 Corinthians 7:4-13, we notice the word 'encouragement or encourage' repeated 6 times. This is a passage full of encouragement. We can list the encouragement in 7 ways:
1. From God:
First and foremost we can find encouragement from God. It is God who comforts us in all our tribulations and is comes in time to encourage us and lift us up from our discouragement and depressions. Paul testifies to this in v6: "But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus."
Also in 2 Cor 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
So pray and receive God's comfort and encouragement at all times.
2. From His Word:
God's Word is full of encouraging words. As we read, meditate and study His Word, we get encouraged. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. So sharing God's Word can be encouragement to one another. The words of the Lord Jesus bring joy to the hearts that are discouraged: John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
3.From God's People:
Paul was much encouraged by Corinthians (v4) and Titus too. God has given us His people in the church to encourage one another. That is why in the letter to Hebrews we are exhorted to gather together so that we can encourage one another unto love and good works. See Herbews 10:24-25. Gathering is not just to meet our social needs or maintain membership in the church! We gather together so that we are available to encourage others as we also need the same.
4. From the Situations:
Sometimes, God arranges or puts us in such situations where we get encoruaged when we are badly in need of it. At other times, through particular circumstances that encourage us much. e.g. Paul was much encoruaged on the arrival of Titus. At the right time, Titus came and brought encouraging news from Corinth to Paul. Let us trust the Lord to make all things work together for our good so that we are encouraged when we feel down and discouraged. Amen.
5. From the Positive Response of Others:
We all expect positive response from others to our actions towards them. Sometimes, people don't respond as we desire and it makes us disappointed and frustrated. Relationships are broken due to lack of proper response from one another. Paul was encouraged to see how the believers at Corinth responded to his letter with true repentance. See V13. The church at Corinth showed much love and care for Paul and this encouraged and uplifted the spirit of the Apostle.
6. From the Good You have done:
Paul wrote that 'painful' letter for which he regretted first but later was encouraged that it produced some thing good in the readers (Corinthians). Paul felt that he did the right things in writing that letter though it was painful to him and them. Yes, we do get encouaged when we see our good work bearing fruit and resulting in transforming others. So keep doing good works so that they will encourage you one day.
7. From Self:
You need to encourage yourself at times since you are given all the resources in your relationship with Christ. God has enriched u in everything so that we can encourage ourselves when we are discouraged. V13, Paul says that, in addition to our own encouragement! That means, Paul was able to encourage himself in the Lord. David had to encourage himself in the Lord when all rose up against him, including his own family and countrymen. See 1 Samuel 30:1-6. At times, all things may be against you and you feel so down and find no one to encourage you and forget all the above too. Then, you have yourself to encourage in the Lord your God. Yes, the Lord will be with you. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 2:17 (God Himself will) Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.