And in the wilderness, where you have seen how that the LORD your God bore you, as a man does bear his son…
You need not be told that those clergymen who enter into the spirit of their office are oppressed with discouragements of various kinds. These it is incumbent on you to anticipate, and as far as lies in your power to prevent; a measure far more easy to effect than a removal of them after they have actually taken place.
I. HE IS LIABLE TO DISCOURAGEMENT ARISING FROM FEAR AS TO THE INEFFICACY OF HIS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LABOURS.
1. "Encourage him" by your regular attendance on the public, worship of God. Let. it ever be remembered that attendance on the House of God IS not a matter of choice, but a sacred duty.
2. "Encourage him" by endeavouring to derive personal benefit from his ministry.
3. "Encourage him" by endeavouring to counteract his fears in manifesting your readiness to cooperate with him in all his efforts to do good. It is heartless work to labour alone.
4. "Encourage him" by praying for him.
5. "Encourage him" by informing him of the success of his labours, whether on yourselves or on others.
II. A SECOND SOURCE OF MINISTERIAL DISCOURAGEMENT REGARDS THE UNFAVOURABLE IMPRESSIONS LIKELY TO BE MADE ON SOME MINDS BY THE FAITHFUL DISCHARGE OF HIS PROFESSIONAL DUTIES. Let it be your delight to "encourage" your minister by following him with patience and docility in all his researches into the inexhaustible treasures of inspiration.
III. ANOTHER SPECIES OF MINISTERIAL DISCOURAGEMENT SOMETIMES ARISES FROM FEAR RESPECTING THE FAILURE OF THE AFFECTION OF OUR PEOPLE AND THE DIMINUTION OF OUR OWN USEFULNESS SHOULD WE CONTINUE LONG TO LABOUR AMONGST THEM. There are some who will show less forbearance to a minister than to others; and who, not satisfied with exciting the hostility of their families, labour by partial statements of their own case to create a general prejudice against him. Contentions in parishes and in churches have often caused clergymen to sigh for a place in the desert, that they might leave their flocks and go from them; indeed, they have made them long for that place "where the wicked cease from troubling and where the weary are at rest." Encourage your minister, therefore, by endeavouring to be "all of one mind." As Christians, you must walk in love.
(T. Gibson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.