[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]Simply put, discouraged leaders won’t lead, and discouraged followers won’t follow. [/x_custom_headline]
How you decide to walk with the Lord effects the lives of many, many other people. Your encouragement affects others and your discouragement affects others, too.
[x_blockquote cite=”Deuteronomy 3:28 KJV” type=”left”]“But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”[/x_blockquote]
Because of Moses’ disobedience to the Lord, he had disqualified himself from leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. So Joshua was chosen by God to do it.
When you study verse twenty-eight above you gain great insight into the affect encouragement has on both leadership and those who follow those leaders. The Lord Himself instructed Moses to encourage Joshua, because Joshua would cause Israel to inherit the land.
Just as discouragement has a way of spreading, encouragement will do the same.
Encouraged people will step up to the plate and swing for the bleachers, while the discouraged will just stand there with the bat on their shoulders.
The Lord knew that if Joshua was encouraged he would be strong and bold and willing to advance. This encouragement would be contagious and the remainder of God’s people would then become courageous and take the land.
This is what was happening in the Apostle Paul’s situation. He was encouraged in the Lord even in the midst of great hardship. This encouragement spread to the other ministers and believers, and that encouragement produced boldness within them to spread the gospel.
[x_blockquote cite=”Philippians 1:13-14 KJV” type=”left”]“13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”[/x_blockquote]
The “brethren” mentioned here would include pastors and other members of the five-fold ministry, but also the other members of the Body of Christ from all of the cities where Paul had been. The brethren had stepped up their evangelism and ministry of the Word, because they found encouragement from the fact that even in Paul’s hard place the gospel was still advancing.
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV” type=”left”]“3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”[/x_blockquote]
God doesn’t bring us through tribulation just so we can say, “Thank God it’s over.” We should take every bit of encouragement God has given us in the things He has brought us through to be a comfort to other people. He expects that of us.
We are also to use it as an example to other people. If we refuse to quit under pressure, but instead choose to use our faith for the deliverance and victory promised by the Lord, we become a lighthouse to others facing the storms of life.
[x_custom_headline type=”center” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]AN ADDITIONAL WORD ABOUT ENCOURAGEMENT[/x_custom_headline]
Before we return to our main text in Philippians, let me give you a bit more insight about the power of encouragement, and specifically, how to encourage your own pastor. Look at these verses below and you will see how you can personally be involved in bringing encouragement to your pastor.
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Chronicles 31:4-6 KJV” type=”left”]“4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD. 5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the fields; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. 6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.”[/x_blockquote]
There is really no mystery to this. One of the ways that the Lord has designed for you to bring encouragement to your pastor is through your faithfulness in tithes and offerings. When every member of a local congregation is consistent with their tithes and offerings, then their pastor becomes courageous, strong and bold. Each of these is good for you!
If your pastor needs to spend most of the week on his face before God praying in the money to keep the church afloat, it is not a good thing. Lack of money in the church has a way of weakening the preachers, not making them stronger.
You want your pastor praying for you and the other people in the church, not praying for the money to continue to minister to the people.
Do not forget what we have learned about encouragement. An encouraged leader will cause others to advance and inherit the promises of God in their life. Don’t you want your pastor to lead you into receiving absolutely everything God has promised you? If you do then be consistent with your tithes and offerings. By doing this you will be encouraging your pastor, which not only aids you and your walk with the Lord, but also the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.