Look at this quote from a blog I frequently read. “I believe we have two problems in our time when it comes to preaching. Both are equally real. Both are equally serious. Both relate to who we are apart from and in Jesus.
First, when preaching to those who are far from God, we vastly underestimate how hopeless the human condition is apart from Christ. We jump to their potential in Christ when they’re not even in Christ yet. We tell people, “You can do it, you can make it,” when in fact the point of the gospel is, you can’t do it. You can’t make it. Sin is real. Hell is real. You need a Savior. So give your life to Jesus. Not just to 613 ways to have a better life.
But then once they’ve given their lives to God, we have another problem. When it comes to building up Christians, we vastly underestimate the potential of people in Christ. A lot of dumb preachers have done nothing but tell us how awful we are. We’re dirty, rotten, filthy sinners. Make no mistake, that’s what we were, but Jesus died so that what we were could become what He is.
So both are true. Without Jesus, I’m wretched. But with Him, I’m whole. Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. In Him, I can do anything. Pastors, don’t ever be afraid to offend people with the truth of what they are apart from Jesus. But also don’t ever be afraid to encourage people with the truth of what they can be now that they’ve been reconciled with Him.”
This guy is exactly right. As a preacher, it is easy to exclusively focus on what we were before we came to Christ. This is true and it is necessary teaching. However, we are vastly different after Christ has saved us. Look at what Scripture says. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I’m sure we are all very familiar with this verse. However, have you ever really taken the time to think about what it says? Do we really believe that we can do all the things that Christ wants us to do because He will give us all the strength we need to do it? That’s pretty awesome to think about. This isn’t some sort of positive speaking pep talk. This is an absolutely true statement that God’s Word makes about every believer.
Look at another. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV) This is another familiar verse. However, there is a part of this verse I think we often overlook. We know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. What we often miss is that Paul says that this power is at work in us. The God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think is at work in us and through us He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. God can work through the life of the believer to accomplish exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. That’s amazing.
Discouragement often flows out of feelings of powerlessness, being overwhelmed or feeling ineffective. When we encourage believers about what God can do through them, we are reminding them about the greatness and the power of God who can do all things. Our great God can work through any of His people to do anything He wants done. We encourage other believers to focus on the greatness and power of God instead of focusing on themselves and their limitations. We must encourage discouraged believers in the greatness and power of God.
Believer, are you discouraged today because you feel ineffective, inadequate or powerless? If you are, then I want to encourage you in the greatness and power of God. You aren’t the first person to follow God to feel this way. Take some time today and read about God calling Moses to serve Him in Exodus 3:1-4:17. Moses felt very inadequate to do the job that God was calling to do. As he expressed his doubts over his abilities, God reminded Moses that it wasn’t about what he could do, it was about what God could do. Your ability to do the things that God wants done isn’t based on you at all. It is based on the greatness and the power of God.
Do you know a believer that is discouraged because they feel ineffective, inadequate or powerless? If you do, then take some time today to encourage them in the greatness and power of God. Remind them that God can do anything He wants to do. Remind them that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. Remind them that God can work through their lives to do far more than they can possibly imagine. Encourage them in the greatness and power of God.