E for Encourage
Encourage appears in the Bible between fourteen and ninety two times – depending on which version you read! Whatever our individual age or stage of life, receiving and giving encouragement is beneficial to us all; whether this be in general terms, or more specifically in our faith.
As we journey through this season, let us remind ourselves of some of the verses which mention encourage in the New Testament (NIV):
In Romans 12:8, Paul lists encourage as a gift of the spirit. ‘If it is to encourage, then give encouragement;’
In 2 Corinthians 13:11, Paul encourages the Corinthians to rejoice and to encourage one another.‘Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.’
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul encourages the Thessalonians to continue encouraging each other. ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’
In Hebrews 10:24, the writer of this letter, urges the Hebrews to see how inventive they can be at encouraging one another. ‘Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.’ (The Message)
Reflect now on times when people have encouraged you:
- How did they do so?
- How did it help you?
- As you consider those times, ask God who he would have you encourage in this season and what you could do/say to encourage them.
Finally remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians and be encouraged!
‘God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times, so we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.’ (2 Corinthians. 1:4, The Message)