Hance Dilbeck: The Importance of Encouragement for Pastors

Consider the power of an encouraging word.

As told in 2 Chronicles, the Spirit of God came on a prophet named Azariah who had been watching King Asa lead Judah in a season of renewal, calling the people to trust wholly in the Lord.

Azariah’s inspired word for Asa is one of the great lines of encouragement in the Old Testament: “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work” (2 Chronicles 15:7).

Oftentimes we feel like our work has no real impact. We wonder, “Am I even making a difference?” If those doubts linger, they sour into discouragement or even despair.

Azariah’s words, “Do not lose courage,” translate a Hebrew phrase that reads literally, “Don’t let your hands drop.” What a powerful picture of discouragement. When our hands drop, we are no longer getting the work done, and we open ourselves to the enemy’s knockout punch.

Azariah’s simple and powerful word of encouragement made all the difference to King Asa. I like the verbs that follow in the story — removed, restored and gathered. This encouraging word set Asa into another productive season of work. He removed idols, restored the place of worship and gathered the people of God for worship and covenant renewal.

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Source: Baptist Press