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Sermon Notes

Practical Lessons for Understanding the Word of God

Our Great Encourager

KEY PASSAGE: Romans 15:4-5 | SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Joshua 1:9 | Psalms 32:8; 106:1 | Proverbs 3:5-6
Jeremiah 29:11 | Malachi 3:6 | Matthew 28:20 | John 3:16; 14:18 | Acts 2:21 | Romans 10:13; 11:33; 15:1-3
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 | Philippians 4:6 | Colossians 4:7-14 | 2 Timothy 2:13 | 2 Peter 3:9 | 1 John 1:9

how He operates. Once we identify His attributes and

recognize that they are manifested to us through His
Discouragement comes to all of us at times, but indwelling Spirit, well have a reason to be hopeful
we dont have to remain in that condition. even in trying situations.
n Merciful. The Lord knows our circumstances
Although it often feels like a trap from which there is
and feels compassion for our pain and struggles.
no escape, every believer has a choice to either stay
Therefore, He bends toward us to give comfort
in a pit of discouragement or to get out. It all depends
because He is the Father of mercies (2 Cor. 1:3).
upon our perspective. If we focus on our difficult
n Omnipresent. We are never out of Gods reach
circumstances and negative feelings, we can easily be
drawn into despair and depression. But when we fix because He is everywhere. Even in times of
our eyes on our great, encouraging God, He lifts us up loneliness and rejection, we are not alone since His
and sets us free. Spirit lives within us.
n Omnipotent. Our Lord has all power and governs
In Romans 15:4-5, Paul says that God gives both
perseverance and encouragement so that we can everything. We never have to wonder whether He is
able to handle our situation. Hes more than enough
have hope. Perseverance is the determination to
for whatever were facing.
keep going and not give up, whereas encouragement
inspires, motivates and energizes. When we let the n Omniscient. Since God possesses all knowledge, He

Lord encourage us, well have the energy, desire, and has the answers to all our problems and is able to
strength to endure whatever hardship were facing. give perfect guidance for every decision.
n Gracious. The Lords grace toward us doesnt mean

SERMON POINTS weve done something to deserve it. He knows we

cannot be perfect, but He has promised to forgive
To encourage means to call to ones side; to help, and cleanse us when we confess our sins (1 John
console, or strengthen; or to instill courage in 1:9). Even when we continue in disobedience, He
another person. graciously disciplines and corrects us so we wont
continue on a path that could ruin our lives.
The original Greek word is also translated as comfort
n Patient. God is willing to wait even when we
in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. No matter what challenges we
encounter, God is there to comfort and give us the procrastinate in obeying Him (2 Pet. 3:9). His goal is
fortitude to endure. But well miss His blessings if we to bring us along in our spiritual growth, not to cut
fail to recognize how much He desires to help us. us off when we fail.
n Wise. The Lords judgments are unsearchable, and
What attributes of God make Him our Great His ways are unfathomable (Rom. 11:33). He knows
Encourager? whats best for us at each point in our lives and can
A key element in overcoming discouragement is guide us wisely in every situation.
having a personal understanding of who God is and n Faithful. Even if we are faithless, He remains faithful


because that is His nature (2 Tim. 2:13). What He Colossians, he listed the friends who encouraged
promises, He will do. him as they worked together for the kingdom of
n Good. The Lord is not only the giver of good God (Col. 4:7-14). We all need genuine relationships
things; Hes also the one who determines what is like this with people who support and strengthen us
good. When we understand that He allows trials, spiritually.
heartaches, and difficulties because they are n Music. God often encourages us through favorite
beneficial for us, we wont become discouraged by hymns or choruses that remind us of His faithfulness
them. In time, we may even look back and thank and the promise of heaven.
Him for them. n Daily blessings. Discouragement keeps us from
n Unchanging. The God of the Old Testament is the seeing all the good things God provides each day.
same One we worship today (Mal. 3:6). He is still But if well consider all His daily blessings, our
faithful to us just as He was to Abraham, Jacob, attitudes will be transformed. When we actively look
Joseph, and David. He has never changed but has for Him daily, well be able to perceive His love,
simply given us deeper insight into His nature and mercy, and goodness even in the hard times.
ways through His Son. When Jesus came to earth n Surroundings. Sometimes we just need to lift
as the God-man and interacted with mankind, He our focus from the troubles of life to the awesome
revealed the Father in ways we could more easily creation around us. The wonder of seasons and the
understand. perfect order of the sun, moon, and stars remind us
that God has everything under control.
How does God encourage us?
n His presence. An awareness of the Lords constant
There is no reason to stay in a state of discouragement, presence with us is so encouraging. No matter where
because the Lords attributes clearly reveal His desire we are or what were doing, Hes with us, working
to encourage us. However, we must also be aware of everything out for our benefit.
the ways in which He reaches out to us.
n His Word. Our first response to any challenge, RESPONSE
difficulty, or pain should be to seek out Gods
Word. Thats where well find His promises to guide n What do you normally do when you feel
and help us. When we believe what He says and discouraged? Has this response lifted your spirits
trust that He is faithful, well be encouraged and or left you feeling disheartened?
strengthened. n Have you ever felt trapped in discouragement?
n Prayer. The Lord doesnt want us to be anxious, but How does it make you feel to know that you can
instead to come to Him with every concern (Phil. choose to step out of the trap?
4:6). One of the simplest and most effective prayers
n Which of Gods attributes would bring you
we can offer to the Lord in our times of need is,
the most hope in the face of disheartening
Jesus, help me! No problem is bigger than our
omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God who is
committed to encouraging us. n As you consider the ways the Lord wants to
n His plans. Jeremiah 29:11 says that the Lords plan is encourage you, which ones do you need to
for our welfare and is designed to give us a future remember and focus upon?
and a hope. When the circumstances of life become
discouraging, we need to focus on this awesome To purchase this message on CD or DVD,
promise and trust that God is working in our behalf. please visit store.intouch.org or call 800-789-1473.
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n Friendships. When Paul closed his letter to the


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