I know a story that happened during the black emancipation movement in America. In one African community, the pastor was an African, Frederick Douglas, a famous man who did a lot for the liberation of his people. At that time, it seemed to everyone that victory was close, that the government should make the final decision and …
People fasted, prayed, waiting for their shepherd. When Douglas entered, you could read the result on his face: the pastor was terribly depressed. He sat down at the table, bowed his head and sat in silence for a long time. Then he looked up and said, “The white man is against us,” and was silent.
Then he said: “The government is against us” and was silent again. And then there was a voice full of despair: “The spirit of this age is against us!” He was at a loss for words.
Then an old African woman stood up and asked, “Frederick, is God dead too?”
This question encouraged Frederick.
He answered: “The Lord lives!” –
“So there is hope?!” exclaimed the old woman, addressing everyone in the hall.
Each of us needs encouragement. I don’t think there are any worshipers who don’t need encouragement.
I want to remind you of the words of John McArthur:
“Remember that you are talking to people who are sick. You have to encourage people, lift people up. ”
Excerpt from pastor Frans Tiessen’s sermon “Encourage and act!”