The Bible uses the word “encourage”, “encouraged”,
“encouragement” and “encourages” in many places.The Holman Christian Standard Bible uses
“encourage” 21 times, “encouraged” 21 times, “encouragement” 12 times, and
“encourages” 1 time.Strong’s Lexicon’s Hebrew
word for “encourage” is chazaq (khaw-zak'),
the Greek is paramutheomai (par-am-oo-theh'-om-ahee) and protrepomai (prot-rep'-om-ahee).Both mean to comfort or exhort.
If you take the time to do a word search in places like
Crosswalk.com and find all the verses that contain any of the above words, you
will see God’s character shining through.In almost every instance, we see that God seeks to encourage His people
as He wants us to be like Him and to encourage one another in His ways.
(1Thess. 4:18; 5:11)In these last days
of Apostasy where everyone seems to be doing what is right in his own eyes
(Jud. 17:6; 2Tim 3:1) , we need to seek ways in which we can encourage one
another as God encourages us.It is our
responsibility to foster the well-being of each other as fellow believers.What are some ways we can do this?
Exhort to walk close to Jesus and
remain committed to Him in faith. (Rom. 15:4)It is through our endurance and encouragement of the scriptures
that we have hope.Endurance means
perseverance, and we persevere because of the encouragement of the
Scriptures.We can only have
encouragement of the Scriptures when we “feed” on them daily and absorb
their many spiritual “nutrients”.That is foundational to our Christian faith and in knowing who God
Build and strengthen. (2Thess. ) Encourage your hearts and
strengthen you in every good work and word.We gain strength when we pursue biblical
Truth in our daily activities and interactions with others.We give strength when we encourage
others to stay focused on the Lord and not veer off course where we’ll be
derailed by the trappings of the world.
Motivate others to be their best. (Phil.
4:8) Pursuing moral excellence through character building.Become more like Jesus.We should make it our objective to
strive for excellence in everything we do, and stay away from mediocrity
or lukewarmness.Likewise, we give the same support to those around us and make them
feel worthy of God’s love by motivations we give them.
Comfort the hurting/weak/sick. (1Thess.
) If we see
anyone who is struggling in their Christian walk, instead of judging, we
need to help them in their weakness so they’ll make better choices.Sometimes folks go through very hard
times and have many personal struggles.It can happen to any of us!So when we see someone “down on their luck”, try to be of service
and help in meeting their needs.It’ll make us stronger in the process!
Heal the brokenhearted. (Luke
4:18) Jesus stated publicly that it was His mission to bind up wounds and
heal the brokenhearted.He
ultimately did that on the Cross.There
were many brokenhearted people who were lost and needed the Gospel and a
Savior, which He preached to them during His earthly ministry.We need to remind ourselves and other
people that we are no different and to look to Jesus, the Author and
Finisher of our Faith.In Him we
have that healing and cleansing.
Hope for a hopeless world. (Rom.
5:1-5) We can rejoice to having obtained peace with God by accepting His
Son as our personal Savior.We now
have a real hope of eternal life and know with certainty that Jesus will
bring us to Heaven.That is also
our Blessed Hope, that we make it an event we look forward to and to obey
His command to WATCH for Him and be ready. (Mark ; Matt. 25:13; Matt. 26:41; Matt.
24:43).Watching for me is an
encouragement as I see current events unfold and know how they are lining
up with references about the end times. (2 Tim. 3:1; 1Thess. 5; Luke -32; Matt. 24; Dan. 12; 2
Resting in the Promises given to us in
Scripture.(2Pet. 1:4; Jer. 29:11) These are referred to in Peter as “great
and precious promises”, and they certainly are!In my mind, there can’t be anything
better than to “share in the devine nature”
which we will be given.I’m looking
forward to it as I get older!That
is real encouragement to me, to
be finally free of limitation and sin when I’m transformed into a glorious
Encouragement is a buffer against Satan.He would like nothing better than to tear us
down, make us feel impotent, like we don’t belong, that we’re not really saved,
motivate us to make wrong choices or take our eyes off Jesus.Let’s be wary of him!He goes about like a roaring lion, seeking
whom he may devour. (1Pet. 5:8)Although he is an accuser of the brethren,
(Rev. 12:10), his days are numbered and he has already been defeated on the Cross (1Cor. -57).God has therefore equipped us in every way to live victorious in Him
when we wholly depend upon the Holy Spirit which resides within us.Let’s keep that in mind as we go about our
job of being spiritual soldiers.