The Power of Godly Encouragement
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first Samuel 23 beginning in verse 15 david saw that saul had come out to seek
his life david was in the wilderness of Ziff at Horace and Jonathan Saul’s son
rose and went to David at whorish and strengthened his hand in God and he said
to him do not fear for the hand of saw my father shall not find you you shall
be king over Israel and I shall be next to you saw my father also knows this and
the two of them made a covenant before the Lord David remained at Horesh and
Jonathan went home as we continue this theme in second chronicles 15 7 of
taking courage and not letting your hands be weak I want us to see here that
there is something to explore concerning the believer and another threat that can
come to their hands and another source of strength that they can draw from now
this theme we’ve been unpacking it in the past two messages concerning
specific type of leaven and even the supremacy of Christ that can be our
source of strength we have three messages left and I really want to
dedicate tonight and tomorrow morning to really digging into certain texts
essential texts I believe that will be of great value to us not saying that
this text is not of great value but I want to treat this morning’s message
more as a devotional how so I want us to really just focus in on this main point
and I want us to leave with one central application in one main text and one
central application so here we see David a snapshot of his life and this is of
great value to us he was not a perfect man but it is absolutely amazing how
much attention the Bible gives this one individual and there are many things
that describe his life but there is really
one title one title that describes his profile as a character in the scripture
and we know him as what the man after God’s heart according to acts 13:22 now
that is not a title that David gave himself nor was that something that
other people pinned on him that was the testimony that God spoke over David’s
life from himself and you would think would you not that if there was a man
after God’s heart in which God Himself testified that of somebody that the
description of his life will perhaps read problem-free right
oh no no no trials no testing maybe a little bit bumpy roads but generally a
smooth ride from glory to glory no problems in between or you would think
surely surely a man after God’s own heart surely a woman after God’s own
heart would not have enemies no no no no no would not have people to attack them
would not have people slander their reputation surely if there was a
passionate and pure vessel such as David the only people that would surround him
are supportive people encouragers not necessarily so in this short text that
we just read this morning proves something about the reality of a person
who set their heart to seek God’s own heart and it is this that just because
you have determined with your life that for the rest of your days you will
live to know him and make him known does not mean that you are exempt from paying
problems of persecution that is not true at all in fact if that’s the case you
are a magnet for those things more than ever before because here we see a man
David whose heart has been posture to seek after God’s own heart yet at the
same time here is a another man pursuing this man’s life so here’s David chasing
after God and obedience and here’s Saul chasing after day
to try to take him out of the face of the earth and so you and I immediately
have to dismiss this concept this fantasy idea that if I’m gonna set
myself on God that all these things are gonna come and there’s gonna be no
issues oh no you’re dead wrong I’m dead wrong to believe that what we see here
in David’s life in this snapshot is beyond just general trial this is deeply
personal deeply personal what do we see here we see a man’s father-in-law who
recruited them in the Army in the first place who showed some kind of affection
towards him now switch and is hunting for him like a hunter and a deer and
here we see this man family family running away from his life away from the
comfort of his home away from familiarity going from place to place
the place living with anxiety because he doesn’t know if I stay in this village
if the people will give me up to saw he doesn’t know who’s former who’s against
him and he’s living like this and we see here that David all he did was obey God
to get to this point all he did was walk for God and did everything that got to
call them to do and unfortunately there was a man in his life that had the
unfortunate blend of the wrong ingredients jealousy and authority so
this young man David is left to one option I got to run
I got to go and this is what we understand if you
want to be a person after God’s own heart you need to realize that you may
expect it will be very likely that you will run into circumstances that are
outside of yourself and that are outside of your control I mean David could not
do anything to change this situation that’s what we’re talking about here see
that’s the problem with jealousy David was just walking what God had called in
the walk-in and here’s a man that wants to take him out for it and so what was
David supposed to do not obey God so that this person’s jealousy would
subside and there are situations in your life and mine in which they are totally
out of your control you can’t do anything about it
and so all you’re left is to be just this dartboard and which you receive
pain and you receive all this affliction and you’re like I’m just trying to live
for him and David here shows us in this moment and letter the text that we just
read that even a man after God’s heart even that kind of a person as spiritual
as he is as mature in God as he is even a person like that his hands can get
weak at times he can sense depression he can sense discouragement even this
person in which heaven declares she’s after my own heart God says can sense
this desire to give up and the package of pain looks different for every single
individual the package of pain looks different for every individual for David
it was his father-in-law wanting to kill him anybody else in here I have that no
didn’t think so but I’m sure that if we here were to
turn this session into something in which we had every person share a past
experience that caused them great grief or that you are something maybe even now
experiencing something that’s causing you great pain there would be a hundred
different circumstances from a hundred different people yet all of those things
have the same consequence and resolved they make you feel weak I’m
talking about believers I’m talking about believers that want to live for
God and are sensing some kind of weight that’s making it feel like it’s better
maybe if I just slow down and press the eject button and just go on cruise
control and just float in my faith and wherever things go let them go and so we
see here that there is a source of encouragement oftentimes we use these
conferences to do what what do we pray for these conferences oh god save those
people that don’t know you that are coming to this conference right oh god
those who are not walking wholeheartedly with you all the back slit and bring the
backs of it but even coming through this conference there is something that come
to my heart those are great things to pray for and God can do those things but
what about the faithful who just need a little bit more strength I’m talking I’m
not talking about those that you know they wait for conference so that they
can rededicate their life again and rededicate their life again I’m talking
about those who have been faithful throughout the entire year those who
have been walking and living for him every other weekend except this weekend
and come to this weekend you have to realize that even the spiritual need
encouragement you not have to realize that even the faithful those that seem
like everything’s going right those that seem the most consistent those that seem
like the lamp of their devotion does not burn out even those people need a
whisper of encouragement what happens here in David’s life what what do we see
here in this text we see something that the source of his strength came from a
man named Jonathan Saul’s son and David’s strength came from a man who
knew how to encourage and the rest of the rest of this message can really be
what we are familiar with surround yourself with the right people in life
get the godly people around you that’s that’s totally true listen if you hang
around with people that don’t care about the things of God do not expect to be
strengthened in God when things go wrong in your life
just plain and simple and that’s why you and I if you know any spiritual person
in your life that loves Jesus with all their heart I would encourage you and I
do this myself the moment you smell somebody with the fragrance of Jesus
upon them cling to them cling to them they are rare these days they are so
rare these days and so when you see someone that you know has received a
touch from the Lord and you know that spends time with the Lord
yoke yourself to such a person we know this bad company corrupts good
behavior and some of you we’ve had this time together where we talked about how
the wrong people can destroy you and we talked about a certain man in 2nd Samuel
13 actually David’s relative and then remember I am in second Samuel 13 this
man was burning with less and burning with temptation for his sister his
half-sister and everything turned around for a man’s life because of one foolish
decision he had the wrong buddy in a circle let me just read this to you for
the sake of refreshment in 2nd Samuel 13 the turning point in a man’s life and
perhaps somebody needs to hear this this morning the literal turning point the
thing that made this temptation internal and to a manifest action was 5 words
here in verse 3 but M then had a friend that was the pivot moment but M then had
a friend and that is the sad commentary of so many young people in this life
never mind young people even old the wrong person in their life has literally
dragged him down at the places that they never thought they would even go and so
here’s maybe an application that wasn’t planned for this morning but maybe
somebody needs to know here’s one application the best thing that you can
probably do this conference is go through your contacts list swipe left
and press that red button that’s probably the best thing that you can do
leaving this conference never mind the altar call and crying go
through your phone and get rid of those people but Jonah Dobbs that do not help
you fight your temptation in fact fuel it besides the point we see
here that Jonathan Jonathan comes in and instead of making this short message
this morning about how we need to find Jonathan’s and we need to ask God for
Jonathan’s and we can do that and we should do that instead let’s flip the
table and let’s make this about you and I asking God to make us like a Jonathan
to make us like a Jonathan not looking for a Jonathan God will bring those
people but listen if we all here choose this morning to be people who know how
to water other people’s gardens your garden also will be watered if everybody
in here decides to imitate what’s being taught here surely you will find
somebody else pouring into you eventually and so let’s just just focus
in on this Lord yes I need that Jonathan in my life I need those kind of people
and if I find them help me cling to them but lord help me be that person help me
be that source of encouragement help me be that Barnabas so what does he do he
comes here and if there’s a ministry that we need today because I know in
here there are some people that really want to be used by the Lord
it’s your hearts cry I want God to use me I want I want to be able to be a
blessing to the people of God and I can say this and let other scriptures that
if there is something that you should really consider let it be this to be an
intentional encourage err it was something in need of David’s life it was
something that was of great need in the early church I mean there was a there’s
a man in the book of Acts whose name was Barnabas and we know what that name
means son of encouragement but that’s not his name if you read the acts that
the book of Acts have chapter 4 at the end his name was Joseph but this guy was
so encouraging that they thought to themselves if encouragement had a son it
has to be Barnabas son of encouragement this guy Justices out building people up
and listen this is a calling and this is a ministry I want to encourage you at
the no pun intended there I want to
encourage you with this that if there’s a ministry that you are looking for let
it be the ministry of encouragement and here’s the cool part you don’t have to
pray and ask God if you need to walk in that you don’t need a confirmation from
the Lord to know Lord do you want me to be in the Ministry of encouragement one
verse already gives it to you 1st Thessalonians 5:11 therefore
encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing there’s
your confirmation there is the voice from heaven the value of godly
encouragement it is unbelievable how a few simple words if they are right and
they are timely can almost give this effect of like a jumpstart to somebody’s
devotion to the Lord and somebody’s persistence in somebody’s service for
the kingdom of God it is absolutely amazing how just a few words can almost
jolt a person back into reality when encouragement is given from a sincere
heart of love like Jonathan to David the lies that we hear in our head the
discouragement that seems to be like wave after wave in our soul the voices
around us that are falsely accusing and slandering and discouraging us the
temptations that seem to be threatening our devotion to the Lord and even the
doubts that seem to cloud our judgment seem to in a moment all disappear when
the right words come from the right source some of you even know exactly
what I’m talking about encouragement is fuel for perseverance what wind does to
a sail is what encouragement does to the soul and we cannot afford to withhold
this from people because there are some that just need
jolt and you could be the very source of it I’ve seen someone’s day I’ve seen
somebody’s day experience a turning point simply from an encouraging text
message and I’ve seen countless times people unburdening themselves and
pouring out their hearts of all the things that they’re experiencing in life
and in that same conversation leave that lunch meeting beaming with hope simply
because from another person they were hearing about the goodness and
faithfulness of God in their context I’ve seen people who were so cold so
discouraged almost blind in their perspective and things melt back into
reality simply because of just the presence of a godly person and you may
not be like this David fellow in the sense of you have this grand calling
that is so public this leadership role you may not have that but you can be a
Jonathan to a David you can be that voice listen this is something so
amazing here the Bible wants to show us that the fact that David could go on was
because there was a Jonathan whispering in his ear and so let’s look what the
Bible says about encouragement and what it looks like in light of this text when
we see here in verse 15 that Jonathan comes and now we see here that he does
specific things to strengthen his hand Jonathan Saul’s son in verse 16 rose and
went to David a whorish and strengthen his hand and God we’re not talking about
just some psychological philosophical thing he strengthened his hand in God
and so true encouragement always points to God it’s always saturated with godly
truths it’s not about just whipping up somebody’s self-esteem or
self-confidence no it’s pointing them to the true source and Jonathan saw son
comes and what does he do verse 17 and he said to him do not fear for the
hand of saw my father shall not find you you shall be king over Israel now should
be next to you the first thing we have to understand that encouragement is
intentional encouragement is intentional do you see here that it’s Jonathan who
rose up and Jonathan who went to David in the wilderness oftentimes our
encouragement seems to be more spontaneous than anything oftentimes
it’s in moments in which we are being blessed by somebody do we in return
encourage them and that’s not wrong that’s great that’s a wonderful thing
well you know what the Scriptures tell us here that encouragement needs to be
just as much calculated and a thought-out action in advance you saw
that that doesn’t feel natural that does it feel real oh it’s very real we’re not
talking about flattery here we’re not talking about this fake thing no we’re
talking about something true and deep but something that also needs to be
thoughtful and calculated a person who wants to be a source of encouragement
needs to be a person that knows how to be aware of other people’s circumstances
they are observant their eyes are off of themselves they know how to pick up on
things they don’t how to see things and others they are aware that perhaps
somebody needs a boost and they haven’t received it and so think about it this
way think about it this way you perhaps know somebody that tirelessly gives
themselves to serving in your local church has it ever dawned on you that
perhaps this person needs a word of encouragement has it ever and we don’t
we just assume that people don’t need encouragement anymore we just assume
that people they look fine and you have no idea I guarantee you some of you in
here came in with a smile some of you and came in here and you even sang with
your voices but you’re going through something you’re going back to a reality
that you probably don’t even want to face brothers and sisters this is true
on a weekly basis and so perhaps there’s this person that’s giving themselves and
you see them week by week has it ever has it ever dawned on you you know what
maybe I should just tell them how much I appreciate them and what they do for
this church do you have the ears to hear in
conversation when somebody is expressing even just giving just giving subtle
hints of something that they’re experiencing that’s causing them pain or
grief but they’re not giving is their the discernment to be able to say you
know what I’m gonna make a mental note that sometime this week I’m going to
message this brother I’m gonna call this sister later on this week and I’m just
gonna pray for them sometimes we even assume that the most spiritual people as
I said earlier don’t need encouragement oh you have no idea what you can do for
those that are leading over your life if you can just be encouraging some of you
in here and I can say this this is not a local church setting so you guys
represent different churches and different ministries so I can say this
you have no idea if you have a faithful minister over your life you have no clue
what they’re facing and you know what they’re doing because they’re faithful
they’re putting a smile on their face every week as they come in because they
know that they’re there to pour into you and to serve you listen there’s enough
garbage and complaining and murmuring in the world let it not be found in the
local church please oh please if there’s a well of encouragement a well of life
that we can find could it be in the local church please you have no idea
what you can do to a person’s leadership if you just know how to lift them up it’s intentional encouragement is
intentional it’s not accidental it’s not always spontaneous but now let’s explore
the ingredients of encouragement here in verse 17 he strengthened his hand in God
and so he does three things here I believe he says do not fear for the hand
of saw my father shall not find you number one he reminds David of God’s
present protection he reminds David of the reality of God in the now see what discouragement does one of the
reasons why we feel discouraged is because we often feel like whatever
we’re experiencing we’re experiencing it apart from God’s knowledge and presence
many people feel discouraged the believer feels discouraged because he
does not sense God in the moment does he not does she not and what a true
encourage it does comes alongside this person lift their head to see that God
is in it that God is here that God sees what you’re experiencing that God here
is the pain from your heart that’s what a true encourage or does he’s able to
lift that person set and bring those eyes back to him John says I don’t want
you to fear why because God will protect you God is here for you God is on your
side those seems like everybody else is against you find it within yourself to
know how to remind people of the faithfulness of God I wonder I don’t
want to read too much into this text I really don’t want to do that but it’s
just a thought maybe something that you can talk over lunch it doesn’t say here
so I can’t say anything but I wonder what Jonathan might be experiencing this
is his dad trying to kill his best friend that’s messed up you know what’s
amazing about encouragement you don’t have to feel encouraged to encourage you
you don’t have to get in the right place and all giddy now that’s the beauty of
this that you see it beyond yourself it’s not about you it’s about it’s about
that person and even if you’re going through hell you still find it necessary
within yourself to lift up other people that’s powerful he reminds him of God in
the now but he also reminds him of God’s past promises you shall be king over
Israel so oftentimes people feel discouraged why not only because they
don’t see God in the but they forget what God has done in the
past that they are so overwhelmed with what’s going on right now that they fail
and they forget what God has promised them and spoken to them and did in and
through them even sometimes one week ago it’s amazing what this flesh can do it’s
amazing how in one moment we can feel so charged for the Lord and all it takes is
a morning where you don’t feel the God and that’s it my God my God why have you
forsaken me it’s been 24 hours and you’re just having a bad day but an
encourage or an acreage or knows how to remind his brother and sister what God
has done in and through them in the past yes through the unchangeable truth of
the scripture the faithfulness and the character of God that is immutable yes
but also in that person’s life this is so personal in David’s life David do you
remember what God has spoken over your life do you not remember when he sent
Samuel to tell you what you would do for the rest of your days don’t give up now
don’t let up now you and I have to be able to do that and and I’m sure they
shared these things together I’m sure there was conversation about these
things in the past and the true encourage you can take those things and
bring them back to the present and say remember when we saw this remember when
we saw this in service together when God spoke this remember that time of Prayer
where God was more real than you and I in that room do you remember brother I’m
here to tell you that though you’re not seeing fruit in your life I know that
God is something for you I’ve seen God speak three I’ve seen God do something
through you don’t give up don’t let up and we see here that he does something
else he assures him not only of God’s faithfulness in the present not only of
God’s faithfulness in the prat past but he says here I shall be next to you and
I shall be next to you I find this fascinating because Jonathan knew the
value of affirming somebody else of their faithfulness to them and what’s
amazing is that they already had made a covenant together at first Samuel 18
they already declared that they would knit their souls to one another but you
know what Jonathan knew I’m amazing David needs to be reminded that I love
him yeah we made a vow together we had those emotional moments together but
again discouragement often makes a person feel lonely even though they’re
surrounded by so many people I hate this flesh I hate those feelings but it’s
just true so we got to deal with them and the Bible gives us prescription and
Jonathan comes and says listen I know we’ve made a covenant before but look
what he does in verse 18 the two of them made a covenant before the Lord let me
come and just reaffirm to you that I am with you I’m praying for you and that
whatever God has called you to do in this life however I can contribute to
that I want to contribute to that do you know what Jonathan names means here
Jonathan’s name means Yahweh has given or in other words God’s a gift and that
he was to David God’s gift listen to what they
in Psalms 142 verse 7 the righteous will surround me for you he’s speaking to
Lord for you will deal bountifully with me David knew that the extension of
God’s love to him was when God brought the right people to surround him you can
be the extension of God’s gift to somebody’s life simply by being
intentional in your encouragement simply by being aware and sensitive enough to
say I’m gonna pour into somebody if there is one application let it be this
what would it look like if every single person here for the rest of their
Christian walk would Daly wake up and ask the Lord Lord who can I encourage
today Lord is there somebody that you want me to message today Lord is there
someone that I’ve been aware unaware of that is going through something Lord
speak to my heart and give me the words to say you saying everyday really I
didn’t say the Bible says in Hebrews 3:13 but exhort one another every day as
long as it’s called today you know why every day because every single day the
deceitfulness of sin comes to tempt us and I heard one teacher said it this way
do you know how long it takes for your heart to get hardened by the
deceitfulness of sin one day 24 hours he says exhort one another every single day
as long as it’s called today that your hearts may not be hardened by the
deceitfulness of sin so that tells me all it takes is 24 hours for somebody to
be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin which requires daily encouragement now
please don’t do this in a superficial way Oh it’s a timely word that is a benefit but
they developed that relationship with the Lord saying Lord let me be a gift
and extension of your mercy and grace to someone else who is it that you want me
to pour into and Lord let me see beyond what I see here even let me see beyond
the facade in the face let me see beyond all that and Lord speak to me so that I
can pour into somebody else the Ministry of encouragement concerning
our hands being strengthened is of upmost importance and no matter what you
do in this life whether it’s full-time ministry or not can I tell you something
we need encouragers today we are so good at criticizing we’re really good at that
a lot of people have that gift but where are those who are able in the spirit be
able to touch a heart with the right words because they have been walking
with the Lord even throughout the day I pray that you would leave this place and
that you would give your energy to such a ministry and that you would be a
Jonathan to somebody else you would be a Barnabas to a Paul so this morning in
the short devotional message why don’t we put into practice why start now
remember it’s not always spontaneous is intentional is it not this is how I want
us to end as we as we leave find somebody to pray with even now and watch
what will happen to your heart as you leave this place and go to lunch you can
tell them what you’re going through you can not but just take the time to pray
with one person and just watch what will happen to your soul watch will happen to
your energy what will happen to the cloudiness in your mind let’s pray
father in this moment we ask that we would be reminded of the blessing of
encouragement help us realize that we can strengthen one another by simple
phrase by simple message by simple whisper let
it come from a sincere and pure heart there is nothing like a word that comes
from a heart that does not truly love there is nothing like a word that comes
from a person that’s inwardly jealous and envious it’s polluted so Lord before
we even give a word of encouragement whether now for the future bring us to a
place where we actually love others let us be like Jonathan that celebrates the
call of other people and so treasures your glory that when they see a person
that’s living for God wounded they will do anything they need to do to bring
them up again we pray these things in Jesus name you
know what I so love about this text that we read this morning because when you
read for a Samuel especially in this latter portion all you see is David FLE
David flat David this David that he escaped he escaped than all for a son
just like this breath of fresh air with Jonathan coming into these few for a few
verses I think to myself he’s in the background Jonathan’s in the background
you just see David and then you just get this little peek into the back of the
curtain you see Jonathan there and says he just gives encouragement he goes home
and David moves on I think to myself listen you may never preach a sermon in
your life nobody may ever know your name you may never do a missions trip you may
never be invited to a conference you may never do this or do that where people
see you like how people saw David but I really wonder even these mighty
men that we read up in church history the Spurgeon’s and the Wesley’s and the
toes errs and the raven hills and all these men and i wonder who is that
person in the background in their lives who was the person they knew had a rut
write to them and call them and they themselves felt like you know I don’t
know if I should keep going I don’t know if I should I don’t know if I’m an
adequate for this I don’t know all these different things that are going through
their mind you may never do those things but you can be that voice you can’t be
there and if you love the glory of God if you care for his kingdom enough you
would take that ministry with so much joy and delight not just for leaders and
I just in all senses but I just want to make that case and Dave his life
all if you remember one thing in light of this whole theme of our hands being
strengthened in God that he needs you to do it to some degree that he wants to
use you to strengthen his son his daughter I pray that you would say old
God help me be an encouraging show me what that looks like show me what that
looks like well I want to do it I want to be what David wrote about God you’ve
dealt righteously and rightly with me because you surrounded the righteous
around me and we just stand with me

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