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We need God’s encouragement in times of discouragement

Hebrews 10, 23.35 - All God’s people need encouragement!

1. Isaac needed encouragement: ‘I will bless you in the country of famine!


The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. (Genesis 26, 2-3).

(Genesis 26, 12-13).

When Isaac faced a food crisis in the country where he was living, God told him not to go to Egypt but to remain where he was. God promised Isaac that He would bless him in this country. And God prospered Isaac so that when he sowed in that country, he received a hundred fold harvest. Isaac continued to grow greater and prosper until he became very wealthy.

In the same way God can bless us in those areas where we face struggles, shortages and hurt. We may be tempted to run away from situations where we face pain and threats.

God promises to demonstrate His mighty power on our behalf, and prosper us in the very place where we face our shortages and threats.

2. Rachel: ‘…and God remembered Rachel!’

And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. (Genesis 30, 22).

Rachel was barren for a long time and it looked as though God had forgotten her. All the others were having children one after another. It looked as if Rachel was the only one left out of God’s blessing. Now, when it looked as though God had forgotten her, the Scriptures say that the ’Lord remembered Rachel!’ Rachel was not forgotten! God remembered her and listened to her cry. He took away her reproach and gave her a son. She named him Joseph. Rachel’s child Joseph was lifted high above all the other children. Joseph had the brightest future and went on to become the Prime Minister of Egypt. Although Rachel had to wait a long time for her blessing, when it came it was a very unusual one, outshining all the others .

In our lives sometimes it looks as though God has forgotten us and that everyone else is getting blessing after blessing. God who remembered Rachel will surely remember us and grant us a blessing, which would be very special and well worth the wait and long delay.

We should not get discouraged but look forward with hope and confidence to the special blessing that God has prepared for us.


3. Jacob: ‘I have seen all that Laban has done to you.’

...For I have seen all that Laban has done to you. (Genesis 31, 12).

Genesis 31, 12.6.7.41

When Jacob had suffered mistreatment under Laban for twenty years, God told him to leave Laban and go back to his father’s house . He told Jacob ’I have seen all that Laban had done to you ‘. The Lord delivered Jacob from Laban. Even though Jacob had been mistreated and deceived by Laban for a long time, it was not unknown to the Lord. God was watching all the injustice and oppression that was inflicted on Jacob and the time came when the Lord intervened and delivered him.

In our lives God knows all that we go through and every pain and agony that we experience. We should not get discouraged thinking that God does not know all the sufferings that we go through.

God knows every injustice and mistreatment that we face and He will intervene and deliver us from the hand of the oppressor and from evil doers.

4. Elijah: ‘You still have a long way to go!’

Then he went on alone into the desert, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. "Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors...
Then the angel of the LORD came again and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat some more, for there is a long journey ahead of you.’ (1 Kings 19, 4.7).

1 Kings 19, 1-7, 15-16;  2 Kings 2,1.11.

When Elijah’s life was in danger from Jezebel, he got discouraged and prayed that he might die. He told God ’it is enough, let me die’. He felt that it was better to die than to live. He could not see any purpose for his life. He did not realise that God still had work for him to do. God sent His angel and strengthened him. He told him that he still had a long way to go. There were still many important tasks that God had for him to fulfill. He had to anoint kings for two nations and also to anoint his successor Elisha. Moreover it was God’s plan for Elijah that he should not see death and that he should be taken up alive up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Elijah in his state of discouragement did not realise the wonderful plan that God had for his life. Instead he prayed that he should die. But God encouraged him and helped him to fulfill his life’s purpose and vocation.

In our lives from time to time we get discouraged due to heavy burdens and pray that God should take us away as we have enough of this world. We do not realise that we still have a long way to go and that God still has much work for us to do.

God wants to encourage us to go on and complete all the tasks that He has assigned for us to fulfill in His Kingdom.

James N. Spurgeon wrote:

'A job is at your choice; a ministry is at Christ's call. In a job you expect to receive; in a ministry you expect to give. In a job you give something to get something; in a ministry you return something that has already been given to you. A job depends on your abilities; a ministry depends on your availability to God. A job done well brings you praise; a ministry done well brings honour to Christ.'

This ministry is to bring honour to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

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