Words of Encouragement
I’m with you. I’m listening to you. I’m praying for you. I care about you. You matter to me. You make me happy. Just a few simple words like that can lift someone up, and be an encouragement to them.
The bible says in Hebrews 10:24; “And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and good works.”
We need to do that more often. We need to consider, what we could do to encourage someone else. It doesn’t have to be anything big, maybe just a few words, like.. Thank you for being you, and.. I appreciate you.
When we have people visiting our congregation for worship, I always make sure that I tell them how much I appreciate them being there. Because when they take the time out of there travels, to stop and worship on the first day of the week, it’s a big encouragement to me. And so I want to tell them, so that they know, that their faithfulness, is an encouragement to others.
It’s just like everyone who’s here today; I appreciate you being here, because it encourages me. Thank you for being you, and thank you for being here. You encourage me, just by being here. And I hope that others are an encouragement to you as well.
The Bible Encourages Us
Maybe we need to take more time during our worship services, to read more scripture verses that are encouraging. Verses like Deuteronomy 31, verse 6; “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them (because of those who oppose you) For the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave nor forsake you.”
And verses like Psalm 23:5 & 6; “You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. (in other words, even if someone does oppose me, even in my tribulations, God gives me everything that I need) You anoint my head with oil (oil refers to God’s blessings) My cup runneth over (Your blessings fill me and even overflow me) Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I’m always going to be with the Lord, and the Lord is always going to be with me.
How about Psalm 37, verses 23 & 24; “The Lord makes firm, the steps of the one who delights in Him. Though he may stumble, he will not fall; fFr the Lord upholds him with His hand.” We all stumble don’t we? It’s Ok, we’re human, and God knows that. He created us, and He’s provided for us. He’s given us Jesus, so that when we do stumble, we don’t have to fall away. All we have to do is get back up, and ask for forgiveness, and just like it says in 1 John 1, verse 9; “..He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
That’s encouraging isn’t it? God is “faithful and righteous to forgive us”.
God gave us, of Himself; He gave us Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. And He gave us His word, to instruct us, and to correct us, and to encourage us, and to motivate us, and to comfort us, and to build us up. And He gave us this verse, in Philippians 1, and verse 6; “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.” In other words, until the day when Jesus returns.
Jesus once said, in John 16, verse 33; “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me, you may have peace.” In Christ, we can have peace, but we’ve got to be “In Christ”, and remain, “In Christ”. “In the world you have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
And since Jesus overcame the world, He enables us, to overcome the world. We don’t overcome the world because we’re perfect, like Christ was; But we can still overcome the world. As imperfect, and as fallible as we are, we can all overcome the world.
An Old Saying
There’s a saying that I heard a long time ago, and it says that every trial and tribulation that comes your way, is making you stronger and stronger, so that each time you’re tried, you’ll be able to face greater and greater difficulties. And that should be an encouragement to us, knowing that each trail, is equipping us for greater trails, until we know that we can face absolutely anything that life throws at us.
It’s a little like the scripture in Philippians 4:13, which says; “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” And that verse by itself is encouraging, isn’t it? Think about it.. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me the strength to do all things!
And how does Christ give us the strength to do all things? He does it through His word. His word encourages us, and His word strengthens us, and it motivates us, and it gives us comfort, and contentment, and hope, and promises, and assurances.
The apostle Paul told the elders of the congregation at Ephesus; “And now I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and give you the inheritance, among all those that are sanctified.” Acts 20, verse 32.
And just like those in Ephesus, we too have been “commended” to the word of God’s grace, the bible. That word “commended” means that we have been placed right along side. There’s the bible, and then there’s us. God places us right there along side His word. God joins us with His word. And that’s where our encouragement comes from. That’s what comforts us. That’s what gives us the hope that we have. The bible says that “this hope is an anchor for our soul.” Hebrews 6:19. And it says that our hope is “sure and steadfast”. That means it’s reliable, and it’s firm and strong.
And Hebrews 6:19 also says, that this hope, “enters within the veil.” Do you know what that means? It means that this hope, gives us entrance into heaven. The word of God, gives us entrance into heaven! That assurance, is exactly the kind of encouragement and motivation that we need.
Be Encouraged by God’s Promises
And what about this promise, that we’re given in 1 Corinthians 10, verse 13; “There is no temptation that has come upon you, but such as is common to man. And God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, but along with the temptation, will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
You and I can endure anything that the world throws at us. That’s kind of like that saying that I started with. How that every difficulty, and every trial that we face, simply makes us stronger, so that we can face the next one. And not only can we face the next trial, but we can overcome it! Nothing will have the power to overcome us! Now that saying isn’t scripture, but here’s a scripture that’s along that line..
Listen to Romans 8, verse 35; “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” There’s nothing that can come between us and God, except for us. We can separate ourselves from God, but nothing else can. Nothing else, Nothing!
Remember, God has “commended us” to His word. He has joined us to His word, or more precisely, we have joined ourselves to His word, through our obedience to His word. That’s the way we join ourselves to God, and to His word, by obeying His word. And when we do that, nothing can separate us. It gives us “entrance within the veil”, as the scripture says.
Tribulation can’t separate us from God, because each tribulation simply makes us stronger. Anguish can’t separate us from God. Anguish is distress. When we’re in distress, the word of God is exactly where we go! We go there for the comfort it gives us, and for the encouragement we need. We go TO the word of God, we don’t turn from it! We go to it.
“Come to me”, Jesus said, “all you who are weary and heavy laden”, In other words, everyone who is in distress. “And I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28.
God Cares for us, and Strengthens us
Here’s a couple good verses, from Jeremiah 29:11 & 12; “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith Jehovah. Thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your later days. And you shall call upon Me, and you shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken to you.”
Knowing that God hears us, that He “hearkens to us” as the bible says, is really comforting, and encouraging, isn’t it? The bible says, “..he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is acceptable to Him.” Acts 10:35.
That’s all it takes. Fear God, respect Him always, and obey His commandments, to the best of your ability, and be humble enough to admit your faults, and ask forgiveness when you realize that you’ve fallen short. And then through Christ, and “in Christ”, we’re acceptable to Him. That’s encouraging.
Listen to what Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 40, verses 28 thru 31; “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to him that hath no might, He increaseth strength. Even the youths faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait for Jehovah, shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk, and not faint.”
All because we put our trust in God, and obey His words.
Let me read to you, 2 Corinthians 4:16 thru 18; “Wherefore we faint not; But though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. (that’s what Isaiah said, “they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength”) “For our light affliction, which is for the moment.. (whatever your affliction is, it’s only temporary, don’t let it discourage you) ..our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly, and eternal weight of glory, as we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen, are temporal, but the things which are not seen, are eternal.”
Don’t let your temporary afflictions discourage you. Don’t let the temporary things determine your happiness, or your outlook. Look to things eternal, and let them be the “anchor of your soul”, as the scripture says.
“For I am convinced, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is IN Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38 & 39.
Are you convinced? Does God’s word give you the encouragement you need, to live faithfully until death? I hope that it does. Let’s all be determined that we will look to things eternal, and be encouraged. And let’s all do everything that we can, to encourage one another. We all need each other, and we all need God.
If you’re not a member of the Lord’s body, if you’re not “In Christ”, I hope you’ll be encouraged to call on God to add you to His kingdom, by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and by confessing your faith in Him, by repenting of your sins, and by being baptized, immersed in water, so that your sins can be washed away.
And if you are “In Christ”, then I pray that you’ll be encouraged to remain faithful until death, so that God will give you the crown of life, that we all hope for.