God wants us to be an encouragement to others. Even Jesus had fear and temptations because he had a body of flesh.

Hebrews 2:16-18 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

All of us will have fears, doubts or difference issues that come to us. Jesus prayed with strong crying and tears.

Hebrews 5:7-9 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Jesus needed strengthened and encouraged, so God sent an angel to help him go through to his death on the cross.

Luke 22:39-43 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Jesus was in agony with sweat falling like great drops of blood. God strengthened him. His disciples fell asleep so they failed to help him carry the burden and to encourage him. There are times when no one will encourage us but we have to get our strength, courage, and encouragement from God. We just have to ask him. Jesus had complete submission of his will to God. We have to completely submit our will to God in our trials so we can have grace and help.

Luke 22:44-45 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

If we don’t submit our way, we’ll be fighting for our way. We won’t be an encourager but we’ll find fault, complain, and falsely accuse others in their hard trials. When we’re encouraging, we’ll encourage others to seek God and that they can do whatever God has for them. We can be encouraged because God is with us in our hard trials and he won’t forsake us. Paul was put in a miserable dungeon and chained, but he didn’t complain. He was exceeding joyful in all his tribulation. He learned to be content in every situation. He had courage because he knew God was holding his hand.

II Corinthians 7:4-7 Great is my boldness of speech…I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

It takes crucifying the flesh so God can get the glory. Paul had fears, was cast down, there were troubles on every side, and he needed encouragement so God gave him comfort by sending a saint – Titus. Paul was encouraged in his fear, weakness, and much trembling by the saints earnest desire for his welfare.

I Corinthians 2:3-4 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

We’re immortal so the devil can’t kill us and it’s only the Lord that says when our days are over. God has control of the circumstances and the means of your end. God had a plan for Job in his suffering and was going to bless him with twice and much as he had. Job felt like he couldn’t find God, but he knew God was with him (Job 23:8-11). Faith is not feelings but is confidence in God’s word and what he says. Our feelings will be all over but God is holding our hand, no matter how we feel. Paul was rescued from a crowd that the chief captain was afraid would tear him in pieces. God said to be of good cheer because he had a plan for Paul’s life – to use him as a witness in Rome.

Acts 23:10-11…there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers…to take him…and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Paul appealed so he was to be sent to Caesar.

Acts 26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

When the ship was headed to Rome, it ran into a hurricane so everyone was afraid the ship would sink. Paul was in the bottom of the ship praying. An angel told Paul to not fear because God’s plan was for him to stand before Caesar.

Acts 27:18-25 And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling…And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth… said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life…but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God…Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Everyone had fasted for two weeks because they thought they were going to drown, but Paul encouraged them so they all ate. Paul believed what God said. We need to read our Bible every day so we can resist the devil by what God says.

Acts 27:33-37…Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye…fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat…for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and… began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and…took some meat. And we were…two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

God wants us to control our mind. Our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God. Our own thinking is a stronghold that has to be pulled down. We have to cast down imaginations in this warfare, bringing into captivity every thought that would war against our soul. We have to believe that the devil is a liar or we won’t believe what God says in his word. If we listen to the devil and his discouragement, we’ll be cast down and upset all the time.

II Corinthians 10:3-4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

When we have fear, we have to believe that God loves us and is with us to hold our hand.

I John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.

After Moses died, the Lord spoke to Joshua and told him to be strong, of good courage, and courageous. Courage is the ability to face difficult situations without being overcome by fear. God wants us to take these words personally. He wants us to believe that he’ll be with us wherever we go; to believe we can be strong, courageous, and not afraid.

Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua…

Joshua 1:6-7 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

God will give us comfort for all our tribulations so we can comfort others by that same comfort.

II Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

 

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)