COURAGE & ENCOURAGEMENT
Pastor Jim Sanderbeck
July 5, 2022
Recently, I’ve been considering what I see naturally and what I prophetically sense in the Spirit for my personal study and sharing. I’ve thought of several of the prophetic words I’ve been hearing and their impact on me and this season. Words of endurance and direction to Believers in Christ who have remained strong and faithful in the midst of calamity. Words of pending exposure, accountability and judgement to those who have instigated and conducted evil in the sight of our God or have complacently ignored Biblical truths and publicly criticized true Christian leaders. Obviously, this is a season of turbulence, violence and lawlessness. It is a season of mistrust and absurd political governance that has led to cultural decline, shortages, inflation, and social disunity. No time in my lifetime has equaled what I have experienced and, in my opinion, these conditions have not been equaled since 1861 when such strongly held positions pitted “brother against brother” in a violent four-year civil struggle.
This consideration has released in me an astounding assurance and rejuvenation to carry the baton, wear the mantle, blow the trumpet. Therefore, I decree in Jesus name that today we will be of good courage, and that we will encourage ourselves and ALL around us that our covenant with God will not be broken, that by His grace we will endure to the end, and that we and our seed will see the salvation of God.
Courage does not mean that there is a total absence of fear. However, courage does mean that in spite of being fearful one moves forward or stands his ground anyhow. It implies faithfulness. It implies obedience over sacrifice. It implies getting up one more time than the times knocked down. Encourage means imparting to self and others the inspiration to endure and overcome in the midst of adversity. It means looking beyond what appears naturally to what one knows to be true spiritually. It implies that faithfulness secures a reward that is honored by God. (Matt. 25:14-30)
Some of my greatest Biblical heroes are David and his Mighty Men. (2 Samuel 23:8-39) I like to think of those 37 faithful followers of the King as David’s SEALS. And the Bible goes on to say that none of those 37 could rival the courage and faithfulness of the top three—Adino, Eleazar, and Shammah. With their great battlefield exploits, these 37 brought encouragement to all of Israel, but out of their love for David, the 3 were willing to risk their lives for the King—to bring him a drink of water. I say we can and should be willing to do the same for our King—Jesus. On the way to Calvary, would you have been the one who had the courage to carry the cross or bring Him a drink of water?
Ronald Reagan speaking encouragement to an America in crisis said: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.” John F. Kennedy brought encouragement to all of America when in his inauguration speech and addressing a new generation of Americans facing trying times ahead said “And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” He had just declared that the torch had been passed to a new generation of Americans – “born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage” – and they are pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” This is the difference between Presidents who encourage a nation and Presidents who blame others for their own failures.
Friends, this is a season to “faint not.” At no time are your prayers, your visibility, your faithfulness and your courage more encouraging to a nation and a world that has lost its way. We must endure. Like Eleazar, our hands must swing until they cleave to our swords. We must be encouraged by the truth we know and not what we see. Jesus spoke these words in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” The Apostle John wrote from Patmos: Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. :12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. :13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. :14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. :15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. :16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” This is the destiny for those who follow Christ and give their all. More importantly this is our covenant promise, formed in the belly of the Mayflower that God saw and accepted—and He never breaks covenant. Be a person of courage. Be encouraged. Be an encourager.
In HIM, WE WIN (or) WE WIN!