Given at Feast of Tabernacles 2014
Zak, Age 18
Encouragement is about picking someone up when they are down. It’s about seeing someone in need and taking the time to help them. It can be as simple as giving someone a compliment or as complicated as spending some serious time with them when they are in times of desperate need.
One thing we know for sure is that we all need encouragement from others. Proverbs 12:25,
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.
So, anxiety is worrying—the fear of being on stage in front of a bunch of people...all that type of stuff. Right now, I have a lot of anxiety and I told myself before I came up here, “Do not lean, do not lean—you’re going to lean on the podium like you do all the time.” When you are anxious, you have a lot of stress and just a simple compliment, “Your hair looks nice,” or “You’re going to do a good job,” can relieve so much stress. I’m not going to expect all of you to compliment me when I’m done, but…. Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 5:11,
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Who would not want to read or hear encouraging stuff? Who would like to encourage OTHER people? It is our job to build the body of Messiah and we do that by helping others and being good people. There’s some really good words on that in Hebrews 10:24-25,
...and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
One of the ways we can encourage someone to do better is encouraging them in the faith. An example would be if someone sings well, “Hey, you sing well, Why don’t you offer a special?” Things like that can really help someone get through tough times with just a small compliment. We’re gathered at the Feast and we’re all helping one another.
Now, I’m going to do a little game because this went quicker than I thought. I’m going to have Tristen and Mattie come up. I need you guys to stand right there or there—left to right. So, Tristen, to help encourage, say three nice things to Mattie. “You look nice.” “I’m looking forward to getting your little joke in the announcements.” “Good job singing.” Mattie, three good things about Tristen,”Tristen, I like your shoes, they’re very nice.” “I’m looking forward to getting to know you better at the Feast.” “You’re doing a really good job up there in the back.” Just hearing them being encouraged, actually made me feel less nervous, so that’s good. All right, so that’s pretty much all I have but I’m going to close with this verse I really like. Romans 15:13,
Now may Elohim bless you and fill you with joy and peace in believing that you may abound hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.