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Built on a Rock
Pastor Bob Junak, Rock River Community Church, Luverne

My father was killed in an accident when I was 11 years old.
My mother was never a happy person prior to his death, so you can imagine what she was like after. As I grew older, she never gave me a single compliment or any encouragement.
It wasn’t until one of my high school teachers encouraged me and helped me plan my future. That was the first time I could remember anybody helping me.
I didn’t know how to react to an emotion I had never experienced before — to be encouraged to do something, amazing!
Encouragement can bring brightness to your day. But being discouraged can make you feel dark and empty.
In scripture, Job was hearing this from his friends.
Job’s buddies ganged up on him believing he had challenged the justice of God.
Job is getting even more discouraged when Eliphaz started raising doubts about his wisdom.
Soon, this became a war of words between Job and his friends. This war of words goes back and forth between Job and his buddies taking even more from Jobs spirit.
Just prior to this, God had allowed Satan to take his wealth and family away from him. Job is hearing: “This is your fault”, “You deserve this.”
Eliphaz thought they were bringing comfort to Job. However, they were discouraging him, not giving a single word of encouragement.
Job 16:1-4:
1. Then Job spoke again: 2. “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! 3. Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? 4. I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
Job told these guys, “I’ve heard what you’re saying a thousand times. So why don’t you just shut up!”
It’s so easy to pile up a fake narrative against others just as these guys did to Job, knowing that he was already discouraged. Job is letting them know his position, if you were in my situation, and I in yours, I could criticize you for hours in what you have just said.
We now live in a day where discouragement is all around us. We can’t go a single day without running into someone who is complaining, being negative or is discouraged.
Often I find myself being that person too.
I think Job, in his wisdom, knew this and he chose to encourage because we are so easily discouraged. And who likes to be discouraged?
But when we are encouraged, we start to live the way God has designed us to live, we live with hope.
Job, being a man of integrity says in verse 5, “But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.”
What an amazing gift we can offer to others, bringing life to them through encouragement!
Encouragement can help to strengthen someone so they can move forward to their next goal.
Let’s fill others with encouragement instead of emptying them with discouragement!

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