Encourage…

cover-to-cover

This past week, I have felt buoyed by encouragement.  Encouragement…it feels so good…it helps me to keep putting one foot in front of the other…sometimes encouragement catches me off guard…unaware…not realizing I even needed it until like a beautifully wrapped present that someone had been hiding behind their back is placed in my hands ready to be unwrapped…a gift full of courage.

Encouragement can come in so many ways…a listening ear…a shared laugh…a timely email…a reminder of what  God says…a hug…a gentle nudge in the right direction.  Encouragement is a gift that we give one another but it is also one of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit…He is the Comforter…the KJV uses the word comfort to express encouragement.  In the Greek Lexicon the word “comfort” or “encouragement” used in the verses to come, means:

  • to call to one’s side
  • to summon
  • to strengthen
  • to speak to
  • address
  • to calm
  • instruct or instruction
  • to teach
  • to admonish
  • to exhort
  • to console

As I have been reading through Acts and the Epistles (letters of encouragement)…I noticed how often the word encourage is used.  Encouragement was vital to the new believers…everything in their lives was brand new and in many ways life had been turned upside down…in a great way but still the new church was tender and needed nurturing and care.

Take a look:

“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”

Acts 9: 31

“When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

Acts 11: 23

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.”

Acts 15: 32

“After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.”

Acts 16: 40

“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.”

I Thess. 3: 2

“Therefore encourage each other with these words.”

I Thess. 4: 18

“And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

I Thess. 5: 14

The early church needed encouragement and believers need just as much encouragement today.  Just think…every time we encourage someone it is like calling them to our sides…and truly if that encouragement comes from the Lord…it is like snuggling up close to the Lord…being summoned…called for…we need to be close so there can be strengthening…instruction…teaching…exhortation…consolation…

Who can we call to our sides…the Lord’s side today?

Do you think that each time we encourage another in this walk of life…that God delights in this…because we are being like Him…and we are all on the same side?!

Check out Bev’s blog for more Cover to Cover thoughts and post.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Encourage…

  1. Some people encourage by sending a sister in Christ a book! Thank you SO much, Helen for being SO sweet to me! You really are an encouragement and I am blessed to know you! I hope you get extra blessings for being thoughtful. I love the book and am taking it with me on vacation!
    So much love,
    Angie xoxo

    Like

  2. Love this my friend, encouragement is so vital. We are beaten down on so many sides, our advesary the devil seeks whom he may devour, but our Lord is there uplifting us, encouraging us to lean on Him. How good it is to be an extension of His love and encouargment to others. And especially with our children, they need those words of hope.

    You my friend are an encouragement to me 🙂

    Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

    Like

  3. Cynthia says:

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you for this post and thank you for being so encouraging. I did not realize that instruct was apart of the definition for encourage. But instruction is encouragement. Thanks again.

    Love,

    Cynthia

    Like

  4. Encouragement is a vital component in our walk–part of why we need community. I do believe it pleases God. Just as the Scriptures said we are comforted by Christ so that we can comfort others, we are blessed ourselves to be a blessing to others…spreading the love in the fullness of all that encouragement is. Thanks for these thoughts and the encouragement you are to me. Love, Annette

    Like

Go ahead and make my day! Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s