3Praise be to the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort,
4who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have
received from God. 2 COR. 1:3, 4,
God Encouraged Adam and Eve that the future would be better and revenge would be had for their terrible loss.
EVER since humankind fell into sin and imperfection, God has proved that he is a God who gives encouragement. Immediately after the rebellion in Eden, he gave Adam’s future descendants reason to take courage. All was not lost for the human family. Once understood, the prophetic promise written at Genesis 3:15 would give humankind hope that eventually “the original serpent,” Satan the Devil, and all his evil works would be destroyed.—Rev. 12:9; 1 John 3:8.
Gen: 3:15. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”
GOD ENCOURAGED HIS SERVANTS OF OLD
God encouraged Noah
As it was in the Days of Noah, so shall it be in the end times.
God’s servant Noah lived in an ungodly world where the only people who worshipped God were members of his family. With violence and sexual perversion rampant all around him, Noah could have become discouraged. (Gen. 6: 4, 5, 11;Jude 6) But God gave him information that infused him with the courage he needed to persevere in his efforts to ‘walk with God.’ (Gen. 6:9) God told Noah that He was going to put an end to that wicked world and instructed him about what he must do to ensure his family’s safety. (Gen. 6:13-18) God proved to be for Noah a God of encouragement. This was an example of what happened later in history and soon will come again to those who make every day an “insult God” day! But for those who Love God, there will be protection, just as there was for Noah and his family.
What encouragement did Joshua receive?
Later, Joshua had the daunting task of settling God’s people in the Promised Land. This involved conquering powerful armies of the nations that occupied the territory. Joshua had every reason to be apprehensive. Knowing this, God instructed Moses to reassure Joshua. God said: “Commission Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, because he is the one who will cross over before this people and he is the one who will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” (Deut. 3:28)
Before Joshua went into action, God encouraged him, saying: “Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for God your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:1, 9). If you KNOW God, this is encouraging. If you think God is a myth, you’ll know you’re in serious trouble.
What encouragement did God give to his ancient people? (b) How did God encourage his Son?
4 Not only did God encourage individuals but he also gave words of encouragement to his people as a group. In prophetic terms that would prove to be of comfort to the Jews held captive in Babylon, God stated: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10) The early Christians had the same assurance, and so do God’s people today.—Read 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.
Jesus himself received encouragement from his Father. At his baptism, Jesus heard a voice from heaven say: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.” (Matt. 3:17) Those words remembered, must have strengthened Jesus throughout his earthly ministry!
JESUS GAVE ENCOURAGEMENT
The parable of the talents provides encouragement
Jesus imitated his Father’s example. The parable of the talents, given in Jesus’ prophecy about the conclusion of the system of things, encourages faithfulness. The master honored each of the faithful servants with the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matt. 25:21, 23) This is strong encouragement to continue serving God faithfully!
Jesus encourage his apostles and to Peter in particular?
Jesus’ apostles often quarreled over who was the greatest among them, but Jesus patiently encouraged them to humble themselves and to become servants, not bosses. (Luke 22:24-26) Peter in particular disappointed Jesus several times. (Matt. 16:21-23; 26:31-35, 75) Rather than reject Peter, Jesus encouraged him and even commissioned him to strengthen his brothers.—John 21:16. As difficult a student as Peter was, Jesus said, upon this little stone I shall build my church! Peter never forgot. He felt guilty when he made several major mistakes, but he sacrifice himself for a teaching of the Gospel all through his life it’s end.
Encouragement is a wonderful gift. I have a dear elderly friend who was a major executive with one of America’s most prominent corporations. He always encourages me. I never forget. We’ll discuss Encouragement a bit more in Lesson 2-B