The Lord was also angry with me [Moses] for your sakes, saying, "Even you shall not go in there; but Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it."
The Value of Encouragement
Francois Arago, a 19th-century French astronomer, attributed his success to words he found written on the paper cover of his book at a time when he was greatly discouraged. These words, written by French mathematician and philosopher Jean d'Alembert, were, "Go on, sir; go on! The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn and shine with increased clearness on your path." Following these simple words made Arago the first astronomical mathematician of his age.
God knew that Joshua would need encouraging words as well. Moses had become so discouraged with the grumbling people that he himself sinned against the Lord and lost his opportunity to enter the Promised Land (Num. 20:8-20). Therefore, God instructed Moses to challenge all the people to encourage his young understudy. If Joshua were to fulfill his mission, the monumental task of leading Israel into the land of Canaan, the people needed to support him with their encouragement.
You and I are much the same. We need encouragement, too, whether we're a leader or a follower. George M. Adams observed that "encouragement is oxygen to the soul." If we plan to go on living, we need oxygen; if we plan to go on serving the Lord, we need encouragement.
Do you have the gift of encouragement? Whom can you comfort today? What simple word can you say that will go a long way in motivating your friends or family? Make it your ministry to lift the spirits of those around you so that they can serve the Lord more effectively.
If you want to be encouraged, encourage someone else.