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Description: God's encouragement strengthens our heart so that we know He will keep His word to us. We receive his promises knowing that he is going to back them up.
GOD’S WAY OF ENCOURAGING US
Video clip transcript extracted from the talk: Gideon’s 300-Romans 15:5
By Rev. Ernest O’Neill
We ourselves, when we talk about God’s encouragement have a kind of watered down wishy-washy diluted
version of it. We think that it’s God kind of comforting us or it’s us kind of looking at the
industry averages and saying, “Well, it may come about anyway and then I’ll give the glory to God”,
it isn’t that. God’s encouragement is something coming so deeply into Gideon that he has a time over
a period of days to look very seriously at the mathematical facts of the size of his own army and
the size of the enemies. Too often we think of encouragement as a matter of laying out a quick
fleece, grabbing at some encouraging or discouraging sign, then hanging on to that finger hold of
hope by your fingertips and hoping for a quick miraculous deliverance that comes quickly before you
lose what you call your faith. Isn’t that right?
I mean so often that’s what we think of encouragement, “Okay, okay I grip onto it, I hold on to it.
Do something quick Lord before I lose my faith”, well that’s not it. It’s Gideon receiving God’s
promises, knowing that God will act to back them up and then looking over a period of days at the
size of his army, at the size of the opposite army and being absolutely sure that God himself will
come in and will deliver.
In other words loved ones, it’s really found in our word “encouragement” itself. Encouragement, for
those of you who know French, comes etymologically from the same stem as “le coeur” in French – “le
coeur” — heart and encouragement means that. It means a strengthening of your heart, a
strengthening of your heart convictions about God going to do something in this situation for you so
that you have it springing up from inside you; it’s not some power of positive thinking. It’s not
some little mental thought that you’ve got your hands on. It’s not some little intellectual theory
you have of what God will do in this situation. It’s the strengthening of your heart so that you
know this is going to happen. Indeed our English word “comfort” has etymologically the Latin word
“forte” in it and “forte” is the word for strong. So the whole meaning of paraclaesis and
encouragement and comfort, is a strengthening of our heart so that we are absolutely convinced that
of course, God is going to act in this situation.
Now, loved ones that’s what enables the God of encouragement to act in your life. It isn’t you
looking at Wall Street and totting up the industry averages and the likelihood of your pulling the
thing off any way, it isn’t. It isn’t you, looking at your abilities and examination and thinking,
“Well, maybe with a little help from my friends, I’ll manage it”; it isn’t that kind of
teeter-totter fiddler on the roof, “Hope everything will turn out for the best.” That isn’t it. The
God of encouragement is you having an absolutely sure and deep conviction “This is the God that
enabled Gideon to do it when one of them was fighting 437. Now my odds are much less than that. So I
know that God is going to come through for me,” and when you’re sure that God is going to come
through for you, God comes through for you.
But loved ones, it has to be in your heart, see? See, it can’t be you here saying, “I feel I feel a
feeling that I feel I felt before, I do, I do. I feel something uncomfortable about this, just as
you talk about it Pastor, I just, if I can just keep this from falling out of my heart before I get
to Monday morning”, — that’s not it. The fact is God looks for your faith in him being the God of
encouragement. He looks for it in your heart. He’s no fool. He looks deep down in your heart. He
sees whether there’s a tremor there, whether you’re just hoping for the best or whether you really
have faith and confidence that he who did this for Gideon will do the same for you. God looks into
Full Sermon: Gideon’s 300-Romans 15:5 by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
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