Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)
TITLE: Encourage the Discouraged
By Edmond Ng
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- But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13 NAS)
Discouragement can come in many different ways. We may be discouraged because we have been looking for a job, but found none suitable, or we may have submitted a manuscript for publishing, but it was rejected. Whatever is the cause of our discouragement, it is understandable to feel disheartened if we have put our heart and soul to do our very best, and our effort is not appreciated or falls through.
The Bible teaches us we should encourage and build up one another day after day, so that none of us will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13). Whenever we serve the Lord, it is not unusual for the devil and his league to attempt to discourage us in whatever way they can. We may be praying for something or for someone, or making great effort to bring a loved one to the Lord, and yet nothing seems to change after many years. In such a circumstance, we may like King David ask God, "How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day?" (Psalm 13:1-2). Yet, at the end of it all, David said, "But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me" (Psalm 13:5-6).
King David received encouragement from God because he trusted in Godís lovingkindness. He rejoiced and sang to the LORD because he remembers God has always been good to him. Can we like David do the same? Undoubtedly, all of us deserve a pat on the back once in a while, but have we ever given thought to being that someone who encourages the discouraged? Are we able to give praise or a positive comment from our heart to the discouraged, at least for the effort they put in?
Even if we are all alone without anyone to encourage us for our service in the Lord, there is no need for us to be discouraged. Our God is not unjust to forget our work and the love we have shown toward His name (Hebrews 6:10). Whether we are ministering to the saints or the sinners, God sees our hearts and will reward us according to our deeds (Jeremiah 17:10).
Give thanks and praise the Lord, therefore, and do not be discouraged even if our effort does not seem to bear fruit. Unless we sow, we cannot reap, and harvest takes time. We need to continue to do what we know is right and according to the will of God. Never ever be discouraged to the point of turning back to our old ways, just because we sometimes fail to achieve our intended goals. Even if we have made a mistake, God can turn our mistake around to serve His purpose. He is able to make all things work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Dear Lord, thank You for always looking after us. We know we make mistakes at times, yet You have make all things right, according to Your purpose. You O Lord have dealt bountifully with us, and we will not be discouraged. Help us Lord be the one to encourage others, constantly looking out for those who needs encouraging. Do not allow us to be discouraged to the point of falling back to our old ways Lord, but remind us always of Your lovingkindness to put our complete trust in You.
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