Words of encouragement are powerful! They can make a huge difference in a person’s day! When feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful, a kind word filled with hope spurs us on in our journey. Jesus understood this, practiced it, and stressed the importance of Christians mutually encouraging one another.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
“That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Romans 1:12 (NIV)
Biblical encouragement includes comfort, instruction, and consolation. It serves to embolden, teach, and strengthen. Through encouragement, we are built up or restored. Encouragement can rebuild and repair broken hopes and hearts. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the idea of building up is likened to building a house from the foundation up. On a spiritual level, it promotes growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, and awareness of blessedness.
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)
When watching the news and considering the events of each day, a person can become excited about living through the end days or anxious because of the many changes politically, spiritually, economically, and medically. The Lord warned and encouraged us not to be anxious.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6 (NKJV)
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
There is great value in remaining in fellowship. We must continue meeting together to pray, encourage, and edify the body of Christ… the church. Be assured the devil will do his best to interrupt our gathering. In fact, he has already done a good job using Covid to close down churches, schools, and other public gatherings. Since our God is not a God of fear, we must be strong and united in our stance to gather and worship the Lord of Hosts.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NIV)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)