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    by Dale Krebbs

The Power Of Encouragement
Date Posted: November 28, 2021

Some don't know how to encourage. Some have too much pride to encourage someone else.

Some are dying for lack of it. Emotionally, spiritually - and physically.

"Seldom is heard, a discouraging word!..." goes the words in the classic song "Home On The Range". Would to God this were true!

Everyone needs encouragement, for some more than others. If you are receiving encouragement, there are times when you should not be encouraged. Do not allow yourself to be encouraged to sin certainly. Also, do not let yourself be encouraged to violate you conscience. If your conscience is causing you to draw wrong conclusions or to do or not to do something, wait. Wait until your conscience is clear, until the Holy Spirit has affected a change in your convictions through additional knowledge and enlightenment. But if you are simply discouraged because of the troubles in your life that are bringing you down, first ask God for encouragement. If your conscience is not clear about something, He is greater than your conscience (1 John 3:20).

In the letters to the seven churches, Jesus spoke His greatest word of encouragement to the one with the greatest failings. He said He loved them. Perhaps they imagined that they were simply enduring. Instead, they had become stunted in their growth. In what seemed to be automatic spiritual progress, they were only coasting. They were content with the statue quo. Perhaps they thought they were fulfilling the command to be content. A simple twist of definitions caused a very severe rebuke from Jesus. With all this, their flaws, failures, sins, carelessness, Jesus told them that He loves them, and encouraged them to change. By knowing, and believing His love for them, they had the greatest motivation to repent and to overcome their failure.

Barnabas, whose name means literally "encouragement", must had such a propensity to encourage that it seemed inappropriate to the Apostle Paul when the question concerning Mark came up (Acts 4:36). Barnabas must have felt that they could encourage Mark by bringing him along with them on their next journey. Perhaps Paul considered doing that was carrying encouragement too far, and could only tempt Mark to abandon them again. To Paul, it was a misapplication of encouragement, and would only encourage Mark to abandon them again. The timing was wrong.

Of course, we do not know all the reasoning involved. This was a case of the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object. Separation of Paul and Barnabas was inescapable. It takes insight, empathy, compassion, and discernment to encourage someone at the right time. Some have so much pride they refuse to receive encouragement. It humiliates them to admit they need encouragement. If so, perhaps they do not need it. The timing is wrong. Care must be taken in order not to encourage continuing in a wrong, a sin, a wrong attitude that could result in a consequence needing severe correction rather than encouragement only. But when the motive is pure, and adjusted to the nature of the one being corrected, the correction becomes encouragement. Correcting is love, and therefore is encouragement, as our Lord illustrates with the Laodecians.(Revelation 3:14-19).

There is one important element in encouragement that can be discouraging to the one doing the encouraging. And that is expecting preconceived results - assuming that the encouragement, whether through correction or through emphasizing the positive. There is perhaps a sad ending for the church of the Laodicians, although it is not known for certain. History seems to indicate that in the main, the Laodecians failed to correct the conditions Jesus warned them about. Undoubtedly many did make changes personally. There are always those who take correction as encouragement, and change. Others, for whatever reason, do not.

If indeed there was a sad ending for many Laodicians, take warning from the church of Laodicia. Let us be encouraged to remain faithful and remain in the church of Philadelphia. They could receive encouragement - without stern correction.

To the degree that you encourage those who need encouragement, you will be encouraged in turn (Luke 6:38). This is a spiritual principle of reciprocity and the Golden Rule rolled into one spiritual law given by Jesus Himself.

Encouragement cannot fail - whether you are the encourager or the encouraged.

"And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Philadelphia write: These are the words of the Holy One, the True One, He Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shall shut, Who shuts and no one shall open: I know your [record of] works and what you are doing. See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and guarded My message and have not renounced or denied My name. Take note! I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and learn and acknowledge that I have loved you. Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the [lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown." - Revelation 3:7-11 (AMP)

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Biography Information:
Dale Krebbs served as an Elder, preaching, counseling, and conducting Bible studies for over 25 years in Texas, California, and Arizona. He is now retired, lives in Arizona, and continues the study and research of Gods Word.
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