Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Alfred Adler was a famous psychiatrist. His unique method of “Adlerian Therapy” holds that encouragement is the most powerful method to change a person’s belief.
Encouragement? That isn’t new. The writer of Hebrews wrote centuries before, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
The readers of this epistle suffered persecution for their faith, and that brought fear and discouragement. Maybe you are not persecuted for your faith, but all of us at times have a heart that weakens with fear. Some obstacles make us tremble and turn away.
To “encourage” is to put back “courage” in the place that fear lives. Courage is to forge ahead when fear bullies us to quit. Courage gives confidence that says, “Yes, I can do this or that.”
We are to come along side those who are discouraged, and inspire them by telling them the truth of the situation. In this particular case, the writer taught that people have a powerful impact on others. I bet you have notices this: when you are around confident people, you catch a bit of their confidence and courage.
The second motive the writer gives is the promise of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They expected His quick appearing and deliverance. Through Christ, you too can be victorious.
Christ is real, He does care for you, He does desire a personal relationship, and He has invited you to cast all your care upon Him. You can have the necessary confidence and courage to confront and overcome the challenges that clobber you in life.
Keep telling yourself that truth, and believe it to be true, because it is. Then, go encourage someone else.
I recall one time in my life when I was about $5,000 away from being homeless. I was morosely discouraged. I was jobless. If I did happen to get an interview, they all told me I was over qualified. I had two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and I couldn’t even get a job driving bus! I wanted to find the cheapest place in the world to live, and move there – but I didn’t even have social security to live on.
However, Esmie refused to let me nurture discouragement. She doggedly insisted that I would eventually find a good job. “No, we are not moving to Davao City,” she exclaimed, “We needed to pray and work harder!” I soon stumbled into one of my greatest jobs ever.
God doesn’t abandon us. Alfred Adler was right on target. So was the writer of Hebrews. So was Esmie. Encouragement is a great motivator.
Dr. Newman teaches at Faith Evangelical College & Seminary, Tacoma. He and Esmie have the website, www.Bible-teaching-about.com that includes an online Bible academy, free Bible studies, answers to questions, ebooks and paperbacks. Scripture from the New American Standard Bible, © the Lockman Foundation, 1960-73, used by permission.
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