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Lift - How to Lift Up Those Who Are Down, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 25, 2023 6:00 am

Lift - How to Lift Up Those Who Are Down, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 25, 2023 6:00 am

Once bitten, twice shy - as the saying goes. That’s never truer than when you’ve been attacked for your faith. Chip explains a simple method for rebuilding that confidence after you’ve taken a beating for your faith.


Do you feel confused, discouraged? Do you really wonder right now whether it's really worth walking with God? If you need some help, stay with us.

It's on the way. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Do you know one of Satan's most effective tactics against us is discouragement?

It's because it can paralyze us, cloud our judgment, and create distance between us and God. The apostle Paul knew that, so he urged believers in 1 Thessalonians to seek out those who were discouraged and help them out. And that's where Chip's headed today as he continues our series, Lift the Awesome Power of Encouragement.

He'll explain some easy ways to help others get the right perspective for any circumstance. So if you're ready, let's join Chip now for the remainder of his message, How to Lift Up Those Who Are Down, from 1 Thessalonians chapter 2. Notice in verses 3 through 6, he reminds them of the character of the messengers.

He, Timothy, and Silas. He says, For our exhortation does not come from air or impurity or by way of deceit. But just as we've been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know.

Guess what? You're going to put a box around. Nor with a pretext for greed. God is our witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others. Even though as apostles of Christ, we might have asserted our authority. Put a box around as you know, in verse 5. Next, he reminds them of the ministry they received in verses 7 through 11. He goes, But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives.

Why? Because you had become very dear to us. Verse 9, put a box around the next phrase. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaim to you the gospel of God. Notice verse 10. You are witnesses. What's that do? It reminds them.

Put a box around that. You are witnesses, and so is God. How devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behave toward you believers. Just as, verse 11, you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each of you as a father would his own children.

Why? Paul reminds them of the results in their lives when they received the message. So that, or resulting in, that you may walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. Now, just by way of doing a little Bible study, by the way, this is what I do. I'll read a passage over and over and over.

And any concept that is repeated, then I'll circle it or underline it. Look at verse 1. You yourselves know. Verse 2, you know. Skip down to verse 5, as you know. Skip down to verse 9, for you recall. Verse 10, you are witnesses. Verse 11, you know. Are you getting the idea that possibly the apostle Paul, right into these people, whose faith is being undermined, that he wants them to remember something? Could this be a possibility?

Why? See, there's something extremely powerful about remembering. What we tend to do is see the problem on the horizon, and it doesn't have to be very big, but as that problem gets closer and closer and closer to what happens, we lose perspective and we lose sight of all of this, let alone all that happened behind us. And one of the great ways to get perspective is to pull that problem back in light of history and what God has done and who he is and what you've experienced, then all of a sudden it's just a little pebble to deal with.

But when you're looking at it right through here, it looks pretty big, doesn't it? And so the apostle Paul is going to teach the Thessalonians, remembering God's work in the past is the key to getting perspective for doing his will in the present. That's what he's going to teach him.

And now what I'd like to do is I'd like to give you four key principles to help people who are faltering. Here's how to help them. First thing I think you need to do is help them remember the day. Just remember that phrase.

Remember the day. You've got a friend, you've got a son, you've got a daughter, you've got a mom, you've got a dad, you've got a brother, you've got a sister, whoever it is, help them remember the day that came to Christ. Remember the day that you were saved.

It will give perspective and encourage others. Whatever you can do to encourage them to remember the day they were saved. Second principle here is not only remember the day, but Paul says remember the people.

We need to remember the people that God used in our life because when our faith is a little shaky, bringing back to mind those people and remembering their character and remembering later their love will help us get perspective. See, that's what the Apostle Paul's doing. And we need to ask and help people who are discouraged, ask them whose life has the most credibility and how do you want your life to turn out? Life lesson? Ministry to others is a sacred stewardship.

You might jot that down. Ministry to other people for us as believers is a sacred stewardship. Our motives must match our message. See, the fact of the matter is that some of us are sharing our faith. Some people are coming to Christ. And right now when a person's picture comes to their mind about who's helped them spiritually, you know whose picture it is?

It's yours. Now they're going to go through some rough times later and your picture pops up in their mind. Will they be able to say, oh, that woman, that man, that student, they were a straight shooter. They really lived out what they said.

Final point under this is the credibility of the message is intrinsically linked to the integrity of the messengers. How many have a close friend who has fallen away or slipped away from the Lord because they put a lot of stock in a person, whether it be a pastor, whether it be a business person, whether it be someone who helped them spiritually, and now that person has gone south spiritually and that person says to you, hey, I gave it up after that. You know anybody like that?

I do. Who are the ministers in this church? It's us, right? Leaders are equippers. Every member is a minister. You are a minister. So guess what?

The integrity of the message, the credibility of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is intrinsically linked to the integrity of your life. Now, that's a moral weight, isn't it? Now, if you feel overwhelmed, good.

You should. That's what ought to keep me and you on our knees saying, oh, God, I deal with tough people. I deal with thousands or millions of dollars. I've got all kind of responsibility at my work. And there's people here in ministry.

They all really look to me and I can't measure up and I'm inadequate. Great. That's what the apostle Paul said. Who's adequate for these things?

Nobody is. And so you stay dependent. You cry out to God one day at a time and you say, God, give me the supernatural power to significantly live out my life. And when I blow it, don't let me fake it. Let me go back to people and tell them where I blew it. Make it right and go on.

People don't need perfect models, but they need real ones. And so we learn help people remember the day, help them remember the people that had impact. And third, help them remember the love. When people's faith is starting to falter, when they're getting knocked down, they're discouraged and they feel inadequate and they have some doubts.

They need to remember the people that really, really have loved them because we forget that. Paul gives us two metaphors here. Verse seven through eleven. Metaphor one is he said, we loved you with a mother's love. Metaphor two, we loved you with a father's love. The first is tender and compassionate and sacrificial and giving away your life and going for broke. The second one is instructive, encouraging, even rebuking when necessary to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Follow along. He says, but we proved to be gentle among you as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. The word tenderly cares literally it's to warm. The apostle Paul says the picture that comes to your mind when you see a tiny little newborn baby against the breast of her mother and the warmth and the security that baby feels, that's how we feel about you. That's how we loved you. Verse eight, he says, why? Having thus a fond affection for you.

This wasn't a job. We weren't preachers. Having thus a fond affection, we loved you. We were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel, but what? But our own lives because you have become very dear to us. The people that you know that are struggling need to remember there's people that have loved them deeply, sacrificially. There's people that have been over at their house late at night and prayed through the night and met them at the hospital and struggled with doubts. Verse nine, he goes on, for you recall brethren our labor and our hardship and how we work night and day as not to be a burden.

The idea is financially to any of you. We proclaim to you the gospel of God. You are our witnesses and so is God. Verse 10 of how devoutly it means holy, how uprightly it means morally pure and how blamelessly beyond reproach we behave towards you believers. How just as you know, we were exhorting, encouraging and imploring each one of you metaphor as a father does his own children. You study the three words.

They're amazing. We were encouraging. We were your cheerleaders. We were the dad who said, you can make it son. You can make it son.

Hang in there. I love you. Oh, you fell down. You blew it. You sinned again.

You went out and got drunk. God understands. We still love you. Come on, get up. Let's go again. Oh, it's all right. I know it's tough and you've been in those pagan temples.

Hey, get up and do it again. We love you. Hang in there. And then we comforted and we cried like a dad does at times. And then the final word we implored, we urged.

There's a sense of urgency. We stood up and said, hey, you're playing games with God. Step up to the Dagon plate and walk with God and say no to sin and do what you know is right.

See, that's what a dad does. The apostle Paul says, that's what we did for you. He said, you feel like your faith is on shaky ground. Remember the day that you're saved. Number two, remember the messengers. Remember the people that God used in your life. Third, remember the love.

Remember the love that you received. Why would God let go of you now? Why falter? Why doubt? Why question? If God loved you that much in the past, do you think he's going to let go of you?

No way. Application. Help others. As you meet with them this week, as you write letters, as you call people on the phone, as you line up lunch appointments, and I'm encouraging you to do that, remind them of the time and the meals and the counseling and the financial help and the encouragement and the child care and the friendship they've received from those that ministered Christ to them. That's mother's love. And remind them of the instruction and the truth and the Bible studies and the challenge and the spurring on and even the rebuke and the correction they received from those who ministered Christ to them.

And that's father's love. Help people remember how they've been ministered to. And the little life lesson here, ministry is messy. Ministry is very messy. Ministry isn't about transmission of informational teaching.

Ministry is about wholehearted involvement in the trenches of life where you go through it with people and you love them until they mature and you go down with the downs and up with the ups and down with the downs and up with the ups. And there's times where you love, embrace, encourage and comfort. And there's times you sit down and say, if you really don't mean business with God, why don't you let me know?

Because I don't want to play games and God doesn't want to play games. What you're doing is wrong. And the last three or four times we've met, you've asked for help and all you're doing is whining. If you want help, I want to give it.

If not, at least get honest, okay? That's ministry. It's involvement. And the apostle Paul says, if you can help people remember that day they're saved, if you can help people remember the people that have been significant and remember how deeply they've been loved, you know what happens to their little problems, their faltering faith?

They get small. I mean, we're talking about a God. If he's done this much in the past, he's surely going to help them make it through this final thing. He says, remember the transformation in your life. He reminded the Thessalonians, Hey, not only when I came, how you came to Christ, not only the character against all the slander and attack you here, man, we were above reproach. And not only did we stay up late and help you and love you and care for you like a mother, but he says, you know, Thessalonians, why don't you just, you know, rewind the tape. Your life has changed.

You've been transformed. Notice verse 12. He says this imploring, this encouraging, this exhorting like a father, his own children. Notice verse 12. So that when you see that in English, it can either mean purpose or it can mean result.

In this case, grammatically, it means result. It has the idea so that or resulting in you may walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you in his own kingdom and glory. He basically says so that we encourage, we loved, we helped so that you have the power and the ability along with the desire to live out a new life, even as you already are. And he tells him, look, think back when we came into town before you heard the gospel. Now think of all that time. Now think of who you are here. Now look at the difference between your life here and there, your relationships between here and there, your joy level between here and there, the peace in your heart between here and there. And you know something? We need to remind people in our midst of how much God is changing them. You know who the last person is?

This is another life lesson. The person who's last to know how much Christ is changing their life is the person inside the body walking around. Because most of us, what do we do? Even though we're changing, all we see is the crud that still needs cleaned up. All we see is the problems that still need, you know, attention. And so we give our focus to that. We need to be little mirrors to one another.

We need to verbalize to one another. Man, you're making progress. Wowee, are you just starting to talk to your wife and kids like that? You used to be pretty insensitive.

Wowee, you know that issue you asked me to pray about three months ago with your husband? It is amazing the change I see. Man, your countenance is indifferent. The discipline I see in your life.

Your concern for other people. Man, I hear you verbalizing your faith and living it out. It is amazing what I see in your life. But it happens so gradually, doesn't it?

Okay, back to square one. People are hurting more than we know and more than they ever show, right? And you have more to offer than you know and more than you show. Find that person, if they'd be in your own home, if they're in your Bible study, if you're in ministry with them, if they're a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, a co-worker, I'm going to ask you to fan out and each one of us choose one person and say whether it's over lunch, a letter, a phone call, an email, I'm going to guide this person to remember the day that they were saved and relive it. Wouldn't that do a lot for them? I'm going to guide this person and I'm not going to tell them it, I'm just going to start asking them questions about the people that have had the most impact in their life. I'm going to do something over the phone or around the table where I get them to remember how deeply God has actually loved them through other people and then I'm going to make some very honest, objective, not blowing smoke comments about the concrete supernatural Christ-like character that I see in their life that didn't used to be there.

People I want to tell you something. If you bow your head tonight and ask God to bring a name to your mind, He will. And if you this week will take steps to help that person remember God's faithfulness in the past, then they will get perspective to do what?

Do His will in the present. When our faith is slandered, remembering the work of God in our past is what provides perspective to do the will of God in the present. That's what the apostle Paul did for the Thessalonians and that's what he wants to do for us and what he wants us to do for others. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, How to Lift Up Those Who Are Down, is from our series, Lift the Awesome Power of Encouragement. Chip will be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute.

In this 12-part study, Chip opens the book of 1 Thessalonians and unpacks the apostle Paul's game plan to encourage fellow believers. He shares practical ways we can love and bring hope to those we care about and explains how when we help, support, and just do life with one another, our faith grows too. For more information about this series or our many resources, visit

That's Well, Chip's with me here in studio now to pass along a quick word. Before we go any farther in this program, I want to pause for just a minute. We've been talking about the power of encouragement. And I think there's a unique group of people that have a great need for encouragement, and they're getting lost. Women in particular, young women are being bombarded today. We've never seen such anxiety, depression, and struggles among young women. But it's not just young women. It's older women as well who are being bombarded that as they grow older or as life isn't turning out the way they thought, feel like they're useless.

What's their purpose? My wife went through a very challenging childhood, and then she went through some very, very difficult times where she felt unlovable and worthless and like she is of no use to anyone. And then the Lord got a hold of her life. And out of that, some good counseling and some time together, she developed these affirmation words. We've had a hard time keeping them in stock as people have read them over and begin to replace the lies of the world with the truth of God, especially designed for women.

Out of that grew a real demand. Literally, a lady said, Teresa, you have to get this in a book form. And so we've created a very small, readable book in about an hour, hour and a half called Precious in His Sight, where she shares not only her story, but the process by which she began to see herself the way God sees her. If you know some women, young or old, that need encouragement, let me encourage you to get these resources. Dave, could you give them all the info about how they can get these resources?

Be glad to, Chip. To get either Teresa's book, Precious in His Sight, or a set of our affirmation cards, go to or call us at 888-333-6003. Both of these helpful tools are sure to encourage you in your walk with Jesus. And if you haven't thought of it already, this book or these cards would make great Mother's Day gifts. So to get them in time for that special woman in your life, place your order by May 1st. For complete details, call 888-333-6003 or visit

App listeners, tap special offers. Well, here again is Chip to share a few final thoughts. I want to end today's broadcast. You're a teacher. You're a pastor. You're the leader in a parachurch organization. You're a small group leader.

You're involved in a high school group and you have some other high school kids that you're trying to help. This passage today, Mark It Well, is one of the strongest, clearest models for discipleship in all the Bible. Notice when we talked in verses 7 through 11, the soft side of discipleship and the hard side. We proved to be gentle among you as a nursing mother, tenderly caring for her children.

People are hurting. We need to be tender. We need to be understanding. Ministry is messy.

It takes time. It means there's long nights. It means you put your arm around people. You affirm them. When they fail, you let them know you have failed.

You let them know God forgives. Strong on the soft side. But too many discipling relationships end up with only the soft side. Listen to me carefully, parents.

There's also the strong side. As a father, and then you notice what he said, we exhorted, we encouraged, we implored. I didn't have time to develop those words as much as I'd like to in the message. There is a progression there of going from a cheerleader to a stern disciplinarian, of a father saying, I'm on your team, let's get with it, to you better get with it or else, to there is no option, baby. You get with it.

This is right. And there's times where we need to set clear boundaries for people that we're helping. And that has to do with confrontation. That has to do with hard things. That has to do with developing discipline.

The passage then goes on and says that you are witnesses and so is God of how devoutly, uprightly, and blamelessly we behaved among you. The power of discipling, in essence, is modeling. You're going to produce who you really are. You cannot impart what you don't possess. And so there's a soft side, there's a hard side, there's a modeling, and then there's a goal.

And never forget the goal. The goal isn't to have a group. The goal isn't for everyone to be happy. The goal is that they may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Mom, dad, small group leader, pastor, parachurch group leader, let's make disciples.

Good word, Chip. As we close, I want to thank each of you who's making this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts go directly to the ministry to help Christians live like Christians.

Now, if you found this teaching helpful but aren't yet on the team, consider doing that today, won't you? Sending a gift is easy. Go to or text donate to 74141. That's the word donate to 74141 or visit App listeners tap donate. And let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. We'll listen next time as Chip continues his series, Lift the Awesome Power of Encouragement. Until then, I'm Dave Drouie, thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 05:26:29 / 2023-04-25 05:36:25 / 10

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