The Power of Encouragement
by Pastor George Lehman
Let me be the one to *make the effort, that others can be encouraged to follow my example as I follow Jesus Christ.
(We all have this responsibility)
*make the effort – That means I will need to make serious changes to my personal life.
The power of encouragement is for those who give it and those who receive it. It’s like when you spray perfume on someone else – you definitely get some on yourself.
“I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval (encouragement) than under a spirit of criticism.”
– Charles Schwab
Our world is so full of negativity & criticism.
Now that you are saved, it is expected of God’s children to be encouragers (it’s not an optional extra). Our lives were not designed to revolve around ourselves.
God’s love ‘FOR US’ gives us the reason to encourage others. We just want too.
God’s love ‘IN US’ gives us the ability to encourage others. It’s part of Christlike character.
God’s love ‘THROUGH US’ gives us the WAY to encourage others. Letting God love through us.
Romans 5:5 – The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.
Faith makes all things possible.
Love makes all things worthwhile.
The engine room of encouragement is LOVE. It’s impossible to encourage yourself or others if it’s not driven by love.
Who needs encouragement? Everyone needs encouragement. When I give it, I get it.
‘One compliment can keep me going for a whole month.’
– Mark Twain
(Imagine 10 compliments in a month – oh how we rob ourselves and others by not being encouragers.)
People go further than they thought they could when they are encouraged by someone who thinks they can.
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you and in the end, you are sure to succeed.” – Abraham Lincoln
When we’re on the brink of failure and wanting to give up!
The right words at the right time can keep us focused on our source of strength – Jesus.
The way you see people is the way you treat them. And the way you treat them is the way they often become.
The people who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage – more than criticize.
WHAT DO YOU DO MOST? What are you best known for?
Years ago, an experiment was conducted to measure people’s capacity to endure pain. How long could a bare-footed person stand in a bucket of ice water? It was discovered that when there was someone else present offering encouragement and support, the person standing in the ice water could tolerate pain twice as long as when no one else was present.
Story of the teacher and the students:
Several years ago, an experiment was performed in a school in the San Francisco Bay area. A principal called in three teachers and said, “because you three teachers are the finest in the system and you have the greatest expertise, we’re going to give you 90 selected high-IQ students. We’re going to let you move these students through this next year at their pace and see how much they can learn.”
The three faculty members, the students, and the students’ parents thought this was a great idea. And it seemed they especially enjoyed the school year. By the time school was through, the students had achieved from 20 to 30 percent more than the other students in the entire San Francisco Bay area.
At the end of the year, the principal called the three teachers in and told them,
“I have a confession to make. You did not have 90 of the most intellectually prominent students. They were run-of-the-mill students. We simply took 90 students at random from the system and assigned them to you”.
The teachers naturally concluded that their exceptional teaching skills must have been responsible for the students’ progress. “I have another confession to make”, said the principal. “You’re not the brightest of the teachers. Your names were the first 3 drawn out of a hat.”
QUESTION: Why, then, did those students and teachers perform at such an exceptional level for an entire year? They were encouraged to believe they could!
A study was done by psychologist, Henry H. Goddard on energy levels in children. He hooked children up to a device called an ergograph to see how they would respond to the words of others.
He found that when tired children were given a word of praise or commendation, the ergograph showed they experienced an immediate surge in energy.
But when the children were criticized or discouraged, the device showed their energy took a sudden nosedive.
The question is: How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? HOW??? That person is breathing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Notice it is in the continuous action.
The word ‘encouragement’ comes from “EN” meaning “IN” with the word ‘courage’. Thus, to encourage someone is to put courage into them – to help them to be and do their very best.
You may not be able to solve people’s problems, but you can encourage them.
Encourage = uplifting; inspiration; motivation; making someone more determined.
You can’t give it if you don’t live it.
Proverbs 12:25 (Amp) – Anxiety in a mans heart weighs it down but an encouraging word makes it glad.
A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.
Paul sends Tychicus to the Ephesians and Colossians. His main function was to encourage them.
God sends you into the world everyday to be an encouragement.
Ephesians 6:22 (Amp) – I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts.
Hebrews 3:13-14 (NIV) – But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence, we had at first.
We must live encouraged lives so that …
Titus 1:9 (NIV) – He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Gathering at church times is the place we are encouraged to encourage.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Church is a major puzzle piece, of building a life of encouragement.
“We live by encouragement, and we die without it, slowly, sadly and angrily.” – Celeste Holme
When your Spiritual temperature drops, you become, if you’re mostly unhappy, miserable, ungrateful, pessimistic, negative criticising. You will discourage. God and His word are our source of encouragement.
Romans 15:4-5 (Amp) – For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope. Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Acts 9:31 (NIV) – Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 10:17 (NLT) – You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.
Encouragement really does change everything. You cannot sit here and be neutral when you hear a word like this!
This is an awesome opportunity to decide right now to be an encourager for the rest of your life.
1 Corinthians 11:24-28(NIV) – 24And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.