The Lord Wants To Encourage You!
Pastor Jerry Ghirardo
May 17th, 2020

Verses
Joshua 1:2-9, Acts 4:35-37, Acts 9:26-27, Acts 11:22-24
Verse of the Week
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as in fact you are doing.”
~ I Thessalonians 5:11

1) Encouragement defined.

  • Webster’s Definition – “To fill with courage or strength of purpose especially in preparation for a hard task.”
  • Throughout the Bible, the Lord imparts courage and strength to those facing daunting tasks.
  • In Scripture encouragement involves building each other up in accordance with God’s purposes.
  • I Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up just as in fact you are doing.”
  • God’s encouragement is rooted in God’s plan for us and calling on our lives, in God’s promises to us, in His Scripture, and in His very Presence.  We see all 4 of these examples in the first verses in the Book of Joshua. 

2) God encourages us – Lessons from Joshua’s life.

  • Joshua 1:2 – “Moses my servant is dead.  Now then, you and all these people get read to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them.” 
  • (God encourages Joshua by outlining His plan for the Israelites.) 
  • Joshua 1:6 – “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” 
  • (God encourages Joshua by reminding him of his promises to the Israelites.)
  • Joshua 1:7-9 – “Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Keep the Book of the Law always on your lips, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do anything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
  • (God encourages Joshua by reminding him of the power of His Holy Word.) 
  • Romans 15:4 – “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.”
  • Joshua 1:5 – “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
  • (God encourages Joshua by telling him that His very Presence will be with him.)

3) God brings others to encourage us – Lessons from Barnabas’ life. 

  • Acts 4:36-37 – “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”) sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
  • (God encourages the early Church by using Barnabas’ generosity to provide financial support.)
  • Acts 9:26-27 – “When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”
  • (God uses Barnabas to vouch for Paul and encourage the Apostles and other believers to accept Paul.)
  • Acts 11:22-24 – “News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.  When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.  He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” 
  • (God uses Barnabas to encourage other believers to stay faithful to the Lord.)

4) God wants us to encourage each other.

  • When someone tells you that they don’t know how they can make it through a huge challenge, wouldn’t it be powerful to remind them:
  • That they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • That Christ will never leave them nor forsake them. (Joshua 1:5)
  • That God will be with them even when they walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  (Psalm 23:4)
  • That God will work in all things for their benefit.  (Romans 8:28)
  • That God’s plans are to prosper them and to give them hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

5) God encourages us from Scripture.

  • The Bible is the most encouraging book ever written.  It’s the story of God’s unconditional love for mankind.  If you need encouragement read Scripture. 
  • You will find that Jesus came to set us free and give us eternal life.  (John 3:16)
  • You will read about the story of Abraham, a man without children, who became the father of many nations. (Genesis Ch. 12-25)
  • You will learn about the story of Joseph, where God intervened to save an innocent man from slavery and prison, and made him one of the rulers of Egypt.  (Genesis Ch. 37-50)
  • You will find Moses, an outcast living on the backside of the desert, who God used to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt through mighty miracles. (Exodus Ch. 2-14)
  • You will find the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Obednego, who God protected in the fiery furnace when they were unjustly persecuted.  (Daniel Ch. 3)
  • You will find the story of Daniel, another one who was unjustly persecuted and God protected him when he was thrown into the lion’s den.  (Daniel Ch. 6)
  • You will find the story of David where God took a young shepherd and gave him the supernatural ability to slay Goliath, the giant, and the anointing to become King of Israel. (I Samuel Ch. 17)
  • You will find many more stories that will encourage you and you will learn more about the loving faithful God we worship and serve.  

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