[Hezekiah Said,] "Don't be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his might army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight out battles for us!" 2 CHRONICLES 32:7-8
Once I went to India with a group whose self-proclaimed ministry was to cast out demons from Christian leaders. Now, India has many Christian leaders who have sacrificed to the point of poverty, persecution, and even death for the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I was shocked to hear one American speaker say to the audience, "I see demons around you right now."
I thought, How cruel to shame these godly men with such a large dose of false teaching. Even more shocking was the response from the audience, which was grinning, clapping, and in some cases, even laughing. Later I learned that the translator was not only translating the message but was also correcting the faulty theology. Instead of saying exactly what the speaker had said, the translator was saying, "Right now the angels of the Lord are surrounding you." Encouragement is one of the strongest tools in the Christian's tool bag.
King Hezekiah was a great encourager. During his reign, he restored the temple and proper worship. He also destroyed the idols and high places of idol worship. When Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack Jerusalem, King Hezekiah prayed and spoke to the prophet Isaiah about it. Together the prophet and king prayed and asked for God's protection.
Encouragement is the grease in the gears of relationships. Each of us has overheard Christians tear down other people, and it is discouraging. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said, "The measure of a man isn't how many servants he has but how many men he serves." How are you using encouragement to serve others? Remember that, although a pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, it is miles ahead in results.
In His strong love,