“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
Encouraging others is a great way to triumph over discouragement in our own lives. Over the last two weeks, we have looked at what the Bible had to say about who and how to encourage. This week we will look at scriptures regarding what to encourage.
You never know what difficulties a person faces on any given day. The young, single mother who lives next door may be struggling to pay her monthly bills or keep her children fed. For these kinds of situations, actions speak louder than words. Providing a hot, home-cooked meal, paying a utility bill, or offering free childcare for a day will help more than anything you can possibly ever say.
For the overworked and often under-appreciated leader, or other individuals who are weary, exhausted, or disheartened, a timely written word of encouragement refreshes the soul. Let the recipient know how much he means to you and how grateful you are for his hard work and dedication as a father, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. And don’t stop there. Remember those who serve our families on a regular basis; coaches, teachers, pastors, police officers, trash collectors, store attendants, postal carriers, those in the military, etc.
As a loving Christian, encourage others in the church to remain faithful to God and all He has called them to. The following scriptures are a few examples of what they are to be encouraged in:
“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” Titus 2:4 (NAS)
“Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.” Titus 2:6 (NIV)
“When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:23 (NIV)
“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 (NAS)
“He appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the Lord’s temple.” 2 Chronicles 35:2 (NIV)
We’ve looked at who, what, and how to encourage. Does the Bible have anything to say about when and why? Absolutely! We are to encourage others daily – not only for their good, but also for our own protection.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
Encouraging at least one or two people each day has now become second nature to me. This habit has also helped shift my focus off myself and my problems, and has made me more aware of the needs of those around me. When we encourage others, it’s a win-win for both the encourager and the one being encouraged.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the scriptures in your Word that show us how to live and be blessed by being a blessing to others. Amen.