Our God of Encouragement

In Romans 15:4 we read that the Old Testament helps us to have hope through the encouragement of the Scriptures. Let’s examine the situations of two men that can us help to be encouraged ourselves.

In a reading of I Kings 19, we read Elijah was a discouraged individual and needed God’s help. His life was threatened and he felt bitterly alone. He was ready to die. But God told him he had more work to do in His service. Elijah told the Lord there was no hope left and that he was ready to die and be with Him. God’s first response to this is, “Go back. I have more work for you.” In response to Elijah’s thoughts that he was the only one faithful to God, he informs him of 7,000 other faithful individuals. There was a great time of despair in Elijah’s life, and he was given a great source of strength. Have we had a time of great despair? The God who spoke to Elijah is the same God who will help us today.

God selected Moses to be the leader of the Israelites in their liberation and to fulfill God’s plans for their future. Moses’ response to God’s instructions were to tell Him that he was not the one for the job. To Moses’ excuses, God came back with a response of encouragement. In Exodus Chapter 3 we see the following discourse:
“Who am I to do this job?” God responds he will be with him.
“What do I say?” God tells him what he should say.
“What if they don’t believe me?” God says he will give him signs he can use.
“I am not a good speaker.” God says he will help him with that.
You and I, do excuses arise in our mind and on our lips of our shunning the Lord’s work? May we remember Moses, and take heart from the strength God gives us!