There is one primary reason to encourage others and while the Bible contains many ways to encourage, there is one reason we should each have a ministry of encouragement.
Isaiah 35:3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. (NASB)
Will a kind word or a smile be the type of encouragement needed when someone is exhausted or physically unable to do anything? In these situations, practical encouragement in the form of bringing over a hot meal or two, cutting their lawn, washing the car or even taking the dog for a walk would be more a suitable type of encouragement. If you ask, you will most definitely get a “thanks but no thanks” response, so change your question to “what time should I bring over supper, 5 pm or 6pm?” Be creative in your practicality. But if you meet firm resistance, try again another time.
Acts 11:23 (NASB) Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;
We can do this verbally, in the form of a note, an email, text message, phone call or even a coffee date. As Paul encouraged the saints to remain true to the Lord, so should we encourage our brothers and sisters to remain strong in their faith, to be steadfast in their walk with the Lord.
Romans 15:2 (NASB) Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.
A kind word, aptly spoken, will encourage others. Has God given you a word for that person? If so, let them hear what God has for them. They may be waiting for confirmation of something they are praying for.
Ephesians 6:22 (NASB) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.
Colossians 4:8 (NASB) For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts;
Testimonies are a good thing, so share with others what God is doing in your life and in the church. Your testimony will encourage and increase someone’s faith to continue believing God for answers to prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB) Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Are you praying with others? Inspiring others to continue doing good work? Then carry on, don’t stop now! You are a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only! A friendly smile, a kind word, a quick note, will always be welcomed.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB) We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
In addition to encouraging one another, we are also to admonish, assist and be patient while doing so! Words of praise with all sincerity are always well received. Sharing Scripture that fits the occasion will lift and encourage. Scripture that shows how we are to walk in the Lord will often correct the missteps we sometimes take and will be received in the spirit it was given. Let everything you do, be done in love and with patience.
Titus 2:4 (NASB) …so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children
Teach younger women how to be good wives and mothers. Be the example they need to see so they know it is possible and can be done. Help them with their mothering skills by example. Unsolicited advice is not always welcome so walk in wisdom as you model the Word.
Hebrews 3:13 (NASB) 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.
Sharing the Word, praying with each other, over coffee and a chat will go a long way in strengthening someone else’s faith. We are to do this daily with each other so that we remain soft toward the truth of the Word and not be deceived by the subtleties of the enemy.
Hebrews 10:24,25 (NASB) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Think of other ways you can be a help to others in addition to meeting at church. Can you show practical love with a homemade meal? Maybe a walk and conversation would be welcomed. What about a play date for both mom and kids? Everyone could have fun and mom would be encouraged that someone cares enough to invite her and her children!
Keep in mind that anytime we give encouragement, whether it is verbal, practical, or showing friendship, we are strengthening each other’s faith in the Lord. Such actions affect their hearts in ways we are not always aware. We do not always know when someone is feeling discouraged. So, when you sense a prompting to say something nice to someone, don’t ignore it! Your act of encouragement is what they may need to feel loved, not only by you but also by God, and to be assured that He hears and answers prayer.
These verses all lead to the primary reason we should encourage others.
We are commanded to show love, as Jesus said in
John 13:34-35 (NASB) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Encouraging one another is showing love and it attracts those from outside the church. When they see that the church body cares for each other, they will want to be a part of that as everyone loves to be loved and welcomed.
Another reason why we should encourage and show love to others is to strengthen the faith of the believers. It is too easy to be discouraged and many of us deal with discouragement quite often. Anytime we can smile, give a hug (with permission) or show practical love, we are strengthening someone’s faith. Discouragement leads to weakened faith and becomes prey to the enemy. Encouragement will build up faith, making the believer strong once again.
A side benefit of being an encourager is that your own heart will be blessed!
Finally…to sum up encouragement, Paul concludes in his letter to the Philippian church with
Philippians 4:8 (NASB) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Are there any specific ways that you’ve been encouraged by someone else that really spoke to your heart? Would you like to share it here?
Or maybe you have a ministry of encouraging others; if so, what do you do that we could learn from you?
Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!