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“Encourage” is a big buzz word in the Christian community. We love using it, and for good reason—it’s biblical.
“That message was so encouraging…
I just wanted to encourage her…
Maybe this Scripture could be of encouragement…”
I have to admit though, the word is so often used that I had come to view it as cheesy rather than inspiring.
With the National Day of Encouragement happening September 12th, the word has been on my mind all the more. I dove into the Bible to see where it comes from, and saw that the word encourage is mentioned over 30 times in the New Testament alone.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
With each verse my cynical attitude faded fast!
Despite its prevalence in our speech, the word “encourage” is powerful. It’s one cliché of Christian culture that should keep going…and it not only needs to be said, but done.
Why is encouragement so key in our faith? Why does Scripture command us to give and receive encouragement?
For the Christian, encouragement is more than acts of kindness, it’s an everyday opportunity to highlight the hope we have in Christ.Encouragement is the everyday opportunity to highlight for others the hope we have in Christ. Click To Tweet
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-24
There’s a vital connection between holding fast to the Gospel and fellowship within the church, and the glue is encouragement.
We live in broken world subject to every sorrow imaginable. Knowing this, God urges us in His Word to be active in encouraging one another about the eternal joy to come.
When done in faith, encouraging words not only build others up, but point them to the future of heaven, to the sufficiency of our Savior.
And let me be real sister—godly encouragement is not simply saying sweet words to make someone feel good about themselves.
Biblical encouragement is urging one another in the truth, and reminding one another of the infinite goodness of the Gospel. Encouragement is pointing one another to God’s Word, and praising others in light of their service unto Him.
When we encourage about the hope of heaven, we not only brighten a fellow believers’ day, but we say Christ is enough. Christ is coming. Christ’s love never ends.
How does it do this? Here are a few examples:
Encouragement has the power to deter others from sin.
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13 (NASB)
Encouragement can lead to worship.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
Encouragement can bring about unity and greater understanding of God.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ… Colossians 2:1-2
We can encourage in little and large ways, but in the end our encouragement must stem from a belief that the best is ahead, and the power of Christ reigns now.
When we encourage another sister in Christ, we are discipling as God called us to do. We are adhering to multiple commands of His Scripture, and in doing so demonstrating our love for Him and His church.
Whether we send a card to a friend in a struggle, exhort our husband in leading our home, show our neighbor uncommon generosity, we shine the light of Jesus through encouragement.
Are you ready to go out and encourage?
Take DaySpring’s Encouragement Dare to celebrate the National Day of Encouragement—and more importantly—share the very love of Christ!
When signing up for their challenge, you also receive an “encouragement kit” with printable faith-filled cards and ideas to uplift those around you.
I’m taking the dare, and can’t wait to see how God works through it to bring hope and joy!