What men need most in this world’s struggle and strife is not usually direct help, but cheer and exhortation. Many men have fainted and surrendered to great struggles when one word of cheer and exhortation would have made them strong to overcome. We as Christians should never lose an opportunity to say an inspiring word to someone you know who needs it. We do not know how much it is needed, nor how great and far-reaching it’s consequences may be to that particular person or group of persons. We need to be constantly reminded that no matter what the odds are that if God is with us he is the majority in any and all situations. I am reminded when Joshua was getting ready to take the children of Israel into the land of Canaan.
Before he took the people in, God sent Caleb with ten men to bring back the report concerning the land. When the ten spies brought back an evil report from the land of Canaan, what did Caleb say? Numbers 13: 30,”And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; we are well able to overcome it.” 31v.”But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.”
The Power of Exhortation and the Duty of Encouragement
Let us look at the effect this evil report had upon the people. Numbers 14:1-4, And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night and all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! and would God that we had died in the wilderness!
And they said one to another, let us make us a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Because of this evil report, the children of Israel lost faith and therefore were dismayed; insomuch that they wanted to return back into the captivity that God had just set them free of. With what words did Moses seek to encourage Joshua? Let us look at Deuteronomy the 31st chapter verses 7-8. “And Moses call unto Joshua, and said unto him in the site of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage…The Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not neither be dismayed.”
In his final charge, let’s see what Moses said who was speaking for God to Joshua. Verse 23 states, And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, “Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shall bring the children of Israel into a land which I swear unto them: and I will be with thee.”
After the death of Moses, let us look at how the Lord encouraged Joshua. In the book of Joshua chapter 1 verses 1-6 God says to Joshua, “The Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,… There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage.”
The Power of Exhortation and the Duty of Encouragement
Everything that God is doing for us and with us hinges greatly on our faith and our belief in his word. God wants us all to be united in faith in the church so that we may strengthen one another in good and righteous endeavors. The church, which is on the earth should be indeed symbolic of the church which is in heaven; because its members are of one mind and of one faith. That church which is in heaven is the heavenly host which consists of: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (all of the holy angels). Let us look at the relationship between the Father and the Son.
Let us take a look at St. John chapter 10 verse 30 it reads, Jesus says “I and my Father are one.” How does the oneness consist? St. John 5: verse 30 states, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father with hath sent me” We see then that their oneness consist in their having the same mind, will, and purpose. In his last prayer before he died, let us see what Christ prayed for those who would after follow him. It is truly a prayer for the unity of the church.
St. John 17:20-22, Jesus prays, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (this is us readers) 21v-That they all may be one as thou Father art in me and in thee, That they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Let us show how Paul showed his concern in the church concerning this matter. Let us look at 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 10, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; But that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
It is our duty to encourage and exhort one another in the same mind, because many are the afflictions of the righteous. Acts 14:21-22, “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and taught many, they returned again to Lystra and to Iconium, and Antioch, verse 22; “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
In conclusion we must also be reminded that we must have universal prayer and supplication to be made by us for everyone. 2 Timothy 2: 1-4,” I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; verse 2, “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty”; verse 3, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; verse 4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Let us look at the encouraging message that Christ our Lord has left us. St. John 16 verse 33 states, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Let us remember this … a discouraged or dispirited man or woman, is much like a discouraged horse or athlete, he is powerless to perform his task or achieve his goal. Let us exhort one another daily while it is called today.
Grace and Peace to all in the Mighty Name of Jesus Amen.
Please share this with someone if it encouraged you or encourages you to continue to exhort others in the name of Jesus.