I’ve been sharing with you the past few days about the importance of encouraging other people. Let’s take a look now at the greatest example of encouragement.
Jesus Christ is the most encouraging Person Who ever spoke a kind word. He was always saying things to other people for the purpose of making their lives better. Even when Jesus was blasting the religious leaders of Israel, He did it to encourage His followers by pointing to the Truth. Christ is the Master of Encouragement.
Jesus was able to take any situation and use it for encouragement. He always found the best in any situation. An example is when Christ told His disciples about His impending death. That wouldn’t seem to be a time for encouragement, but Jesus knew why it would be a blessing to His disciples. Look at how the Lord encouraged His followers as they heard the news of His death.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.”
John 14 (NKJV)
Amazing! All that encouragement in just a couple of minutes of dialog between Christ and His disciples.
Jesus was always honest. That’s part of a ministry of encouragement. We can’t help anyone by keeping the truth from them. Look at what Christ told His disciples.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you … If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you … I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment … When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth … But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”
John 15 & 16
Jesus ALWAYS told the Truth. He never lied. He never hedged about the Truth. He just told it.
One of the most encouraging things Jesus ever said is at the end of John 16. He summarized everything He’d been saying to them.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
The NIV reads: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Isn’t that wonderful? God wants us to have peace! We can all relate to having trouble in this world. I don’t know what specific trouble you’re going through at this minute, but the fact remains that Christ has overcome the world. That means we also are “overcomers;” not because of our strength or genius or cleverness, but because of Christ’s Strength, Genius and Cleverness. We overcome through Christ! We have victory through Christ! This world is full of trouble and much of it spills over on Christians, but Christians have something no one else has and that’s Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit living in them. No matter what the world throws at us, we will overcome it through Christ. No matter how mean the world is to us, we will have victory through Christ. No matter how hard the battle against evil may be, we will overcome!
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
What great thing do we have to do to overcome the troubles of this world? What mighty act must we perform? What words of power must speak? What sacrificial gift must we give?
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4-5
Faith. Believing God. Taking Christ at His Word. Trusting that the Lord will do the Mighty Acts and speak the Words of Power. Jesus already gave the one Sacrificial Gift acceptable to God. We believe Him knowing He has already overcome the world.
Whatever your trouble, whatever you’re facing right now, believe God, believe what He says in His Word. Don’t let the evil of this world overcome you. Don’t let the problems and stress and pressure of life in this world defeat you. Believe in the One Who has Overcome this world. Trust Him. Rely on Him. You trusted Him with your eternal soul. Now give Him your body and your mind. Give Him all of you. Let Christ live His Victorious Life in you!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,