Thursday, October 9, 2008


This past Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching for my friend Lou Wold.

The title of the message was, "Ya Gotta Have Heart."

1 Thessalonians 5:11

“…so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.”

Have you ever had a bad day?

A bad week?

A bad decade?

David was having a bad decade – Saul was out to kill him, and now he had lost everything.

And his men were ready to kill him.

Now these weren’t just any men. They were outcasts. When people encountered David's men, they crossed over to the other side of the street.

We face so many challenges, it’s important for us to have people in our lives that will get behind us to tell us they believe in us and that “we can do it”.

What do people need when they are struggling? ENCOURAGEMENT!!

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:11" encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing."

Now this is notable, because earlier, Paul “had it out” with the man we refer to as the “son of encouragement.” Who is that? Barnabas.

Acts 15:36-39

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,

Here’s the problem…very few people are encouragers.

It is not the natural bent of man.

It seems that the natural inclination is to CRITIQUE.

Just listen to the constant debate about the "debates."

Or how the Cubs lost to the Dodgers. What happened, it was supposed to be their year. Now they're gonna have another bad century!

All we've heard is critiques.

Problem is, we allow that attitude to get into our hearts, our families, our churches.

Very few are encouragers, yet everyone CRAVES encouragement.

To encourage means to “come along side of “.

That is exactly what the Holy Spirit does with us.

In fact, that is the definition of His name – “paraclete.”

Encouragement makes the perfect gift. It requires nothing out of your pocket. You can custom design it, so that it is the perfect fit.

Proverbs 25:11 says,

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (KJV)

Proverbs 15:23 (NLT)

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

Why is it that some feel that it is their job, responsibility, (dare I say it?) their God-give right to nail you with bricks and bats versus giving bouquets?

David had to face what we all will face.

What do you do when you have no one to encourage you?

1 Samuel 30:6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

David encouraged himself in the Lord

You have to know how to ENCOURAGE YOURSELF.

99% of people want someone else to encourage them.

A crisis does not make a man, it reveals what the man is made of!

It is so easy, in a crisis, to blame somebody else or to look for a scapegoat!

What did David do? He was feeling the same anger and sorrow.

BUT…, he stopped feeling sorry for himself and turned to the Lord for help!

How can you get the encouragement you need in the tough times of our lives?

Before David made any move, he first determined the will of God in the matter.

David’s prayer was specific.

Rick Warren said concerning specific prayer:

1. realize that God cares about the details of your life.

2. ask a specific question.

When you're looking for guidance from God ask a specific question. The more specifically you ask, the more God is able to answer it.

3. Believe God wants to answer.


Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;”
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

David just turned it all over to the Lord and trusted God to do the work!


Anonymous said...

Let me encourage you that this post was very uplifting and i have passed the link along to a number of friends.really enjoying your blog.see u at Harvest Time.
-maria in ny

ro.duh. said...

those last points are very encouraging for steve and i right now. i think we're at #2 and 3 right now... we're daily asking God for strength, and turning it all toward Him and trusting him to do the rest! thanks for sharing this! it is quite an uplifting word