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A Word on Encouragement

Sometimes the sermon notes at church are so strong and good you post them to keep and find easily later. Be ENCOURAGED with these words on Encouragement!

From Crawford Loritt’s sermon at Fellowship Bible in Roswell today…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

What is encouragement?

Discouraged = wind knocked out of sails

Depression = loss of hope

People need encouragement like a plant needs water. “If you are breathing you need encouragement.”—Truett Cathy

Encouragement- means to inspire with courage – to stimulate and spur on.

Anyone who tries to just sit with you in your discouragement and explain it—without lifting you up is feeding it. We are to inspire others and point them to God’s Words and champion them to RISE.

Why we need encouragement…

1. Life is unpredictable.

2. We lose perspective. (When you stop responding and start REACTING—perspective has been lost.)

3. We were made for relationship, and we are out of relationship with others. COMMUNITY. We were born for community. When you are hurting you do NOT need to be by yourself. Community helps you with perspective. The WORST thing you can ever do when you are hurting is pull back from community.

4. There are seasons in your life when things are difficult, and it must be weathered. If you are following Jesus you will be in the midst of spiritual warfare. Out of your struggle will come your strength.

5. The environment in which we live is polarized filled with reaction, criticism and negativity. (Devices and social media has made everyone’s negativity available around the clock. Do not post criticism and negativity if you were called to be a blessing. If you want to be a prophet you better be 💯 right before you attach Jesus to your public opinions.)

Ann Murray “A Little Good News Today” lyrics We need a good word.

The reason so many of us struggle with depression is we have been bombarded with the darkness.

There are 4 great Biblical reasons why we need encouragement…

1.Because we need endurance and hope (Romans 15:4) WHERE does our Hope really come from? Our rock solid confidence is from endurance and confidence in the scriptures.

Hebrews 12:1-4 run with ENDURANCE / Endurance is a source not just a process. Remember what He has taken you through already and get up and rise again. 🙌🏾 The source of your courage is not more ideas. It’s not EMPTY words from some friend who has similar experiences. It is from THE BOOK THE PROMISES OF GOD WASHING YOUR SOUL. Amen.🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

2.Because we need to be strengthened in our faith. God isn’t going to shield us from pain bc He wants to strengthen our faith. Encourage. Build. Encourage. Build.

We need ongoing encouragement to be built up in our faith. Stay away from Christians who denounce pain. God never will tell us to deny the reality of a situation. Faith doesn’t deny the opposition but defies the opposition. Faith sees God as greater than and greater still. 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

You will never have a strong faith until you have been extremely and devastatingly disappointed. Faith affirms God’s ability and power to stand on the promises of His Word. God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. He wants our faith to be real. It doesn’t end well when you take your eye off the ball.

Talk to Elijah in King’s about that. In ch19 Elijah is worn out. He is discouraged—and he refuses to let God encourage him. You can get so used to self pity that it becomes normal.

3.We need to have pure, hopeful and responsive ❤️ hearts.

Life is not about you. Pray for your children to have responsive hearts—not to be cold and callous. No one ever sins privately. Our private sin has public repercussions. You can’t live in sin and not respond to God and ask Him to bless you. God is gonna let things take place until you cry uncle🙌🏾👊🏾

Repentance removes the darkness and it’s why Paul says we need to have pure ❤️ hearts.

3.We are called to reflect the honor and glory of God. The reason we are here is not for God to come alongside us and do what we want Him to do but bc every moment and circumstance in our life is to bring glory to God. Our plans need to be written in pencil. The END GAME is the glory of God 🙌🏾👊🏾

Ask yourself this—in the midst of this difficult and dark time—WHO and WHAT are you focusing on?

Find people who lift you up and who rise up–as run together🙌🏾

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”