Have you ever wished you were better at encouraging others or, that you knew how to encourage yourself in those down times we all have? The Word tells us about encouraging others and ourselves and the 32 Ways to Encourage Others and Yourself. As you set about to encourage others, you will find yourself lifted up.
Scripture to Encourage Others
Let’s start with the most obvious Scripture –
1 Thessalonians 5:11-16 NIV, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
Live in peace with each other.
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Part of being an encourager of others and self is knowing that this is part of God’s will for you and this section of 1 Thessalonians gives us several instructions regarding aspects of encouragement we can incorporate into our lives. It also makes it very clear that it is God’s will for us to encourage others and ourselves.
- Encourage each other.
- Build up each other.
- Acknowledge and hold leaders in high regard (referring to leaders in faith).
- Live in peace with each other.
- Be patient with everyone.
- Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
- Rejoice always.
Ephesians has a similar exhortation.
Ephesians 4:29-32 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.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
- Don’t let unwholesome (sapros – Rotten, useless, corrupt, depraved. From sepo; rotten, i.e. Worthless.) talk come from your mouths.
- Let your talk only be what builds others up according to their needs – encourage others.
- Let your words benefit (Cognate: 3619 oikodomḗ – constructive criticism and instruction that builds a person up to be the suitable dwelling place of God, i.e. where the Lord is “at home.” See 3618 (oikodemeō)). those who listen.
- Impart grace to the hearers.
- Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit (with what comes out of your mouth).
- Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and malice. If these are part of you, your words will reflect it.
- Instead, be kind and compassionate to each other.
- Forgive as you have been forgiven.
Definition of Encouragement
What does encouragement involve? The definition of encouragement is – Merriam Webster Dictionary – “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to spur on, stimulate; to fill with courage or strength of purpose. ENCOURAGE suggests the raising of one’s confidence especially by an external agency.”
Encouragement is inspiration, courage, hope, strength of purpose, and confidence. When we encourage others, this is what we are giving and living. When you are down or discouraged, you need inspiration, hope, courage, strength, and maybe a boost in your faith. Encouragement is not criticism!
When we are discouraged (lacking courage, spirit, hope, courage or strength of purpose) we don’t need criticism. Sometimes we all need a cheerleader. At other times, we just need someone to come along and share their love and hope with us because our confidence is low. Encouragers are hope-builders!Encouragement is inspiration, courage, hope, strength of purpose, and confidence. When we encourage others, this is what we are giving and living. When you are down or discouraged, you need inspiration, hope, courage, strength, and… Click To Tweet
Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.”
- Consider how to encourage – choose your words – words which build up.
- Spur one another on so that they can hold unswervingly to the faith they profess.
- Don’t stop encouraging one another.
Here in Hebrews, we are told to ‘consider’ or ‘think about’ – take note of, perceive, consider carefully, discern, detect – how to spur on, stimulate or incite another person toward love (agape) and good (beautiful) deeds or acts. This means that encouragement is done intentionally after thought and consideration regarding how to inspire someone. Encouragement is a deliberate action meant for the good of others.
Hebrews 3:12-14, NIV, “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
How often are we to encourage others? Daily! The word ‘encourage’ used here is actually the Greek word ‘paraklete.’ The Holy Spirit is the paraklete – the one who comes alongside us. In John 14:26, Jesus said that He would give us a Helper (Paraklētos – Strong’s Greek 3875: (a) an advocate, intercessor, (b) a consoler, comforter, helper, (c) Paraclete. An intercessor, consoler), the Holy Spirit.
Be An Encourager
Encouraging, in this context, is far more than just an encouraging word. The encourager is willing to be an advocate and intercessor, consoler and comforter, every day. Why? So that no one is swept away into deception and sin. There is great power involved as we encourage others and ourselves.
- Encourage (come alongside, intercede for, console and comfort.
- Be an encourager daily.
Encourage Yourself in the Lord
But what about you? Who is going to encourage you?
Jude:20-25 TPT, “But you, my delightfully loved friends, constantly and progressively build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith by praying every moment in the Spirit.
Fasten your hearts to the love of God and receive the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us eternal life.
Keep being compassionate to those who still have doubts, and snatch others out of the fire to save them.
Be merciful over and over to them, but always couple your mercy with the fear of God.
Be extremely careful to keep yourselves free from the pollutions of the flesh.
Now, to the one with enough power to prevent you from stumbling into sin and bring you faultless before his glorious presence to stand before him with ecstatic delight,
to the only God our Savior, through our Lord Jesus Christ, be endless glory and majesty, great power and authority—from before he created time, now, and throughout all the ages of eternity. Amen!“
In this letter, Jude clearly tells the audience how they can protect themselves by building themselves up. The Greek word here is – epoikodomountes – (To build upon (above) a foundation. From epi and oikodomeo; to build upon, i.e. to rear up.)
This unknown group of people obviously have faith in Christ and Jude gives them very precise instructions which also apply to us. The words ‘constantly and progressively’ are not in the original text but are wonderful descriptive words to help us see the urgency and power of following Jude’s words.
- Constantly and progressively build yourselves up.
- Constantly and progressively build upon the faith you possess.
- Pray in the Holy Spirit.
- Keep yourself in God’s love.
- Look for mercy.
- Have an attitude of compassion on others.
- Pull others out of the fire of sin.
- Jesus is able to keep you from stumbling.
- He is able to present you faultless before the Father.
- God, our Savior, alone is wise.
- He possesses glory, majesty, dominion, and power now and forever.
Words of Encouragement
As you look at this list of 32 ways to encourage others and yourself, you see a common theme of a positive outlook on life. While Paul is not ignoring the great hardships and tests we all endure, he is telling us how to be victorious in them. Encouraging others will also cause you to be encouraged because your thinking is uplifting, not only to others, but also yourself!
“So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” Philippians 4:8 TPT
If you really want to be a genuine encourager, Philippians 4:8 is the verse for you. If your mind is fixed (logizesthe) – To reckon, count, charge with; reason, decide, conclude; think, suppose.) on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy – how can you be anything other than encouraged!
You are not ignoring the realities around you. Instead, you are focusing on the higher realities which comprise the kingdom of God.
Be Your Highest and Best Self
I often repeat a phrase in these blogs – be your highest and best self – be the person God created you to be. The world wants to pull us down to its level of greed, selfishness, anger, self-righteousness, entitlement, revenge, and more. It wants us to follow the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life.
“Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but from the world.
This world and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to do the will of God live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 TPT
“Understand what is always behind anything the world offers: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Recognize this as the basis for all sin, beginning in the Garden when satan first tempted Eve (Genesis 3:6). Do not love the world or what it has to offer.” Spirit Filled Life Bible, page 1,877*
- Don’t love the world (cosmos) or the things of the world.
- Continue loving to do the will of God and live forever.
In 1 John we are told not to love (agape) the cosmos. It is not just this earth he is referring to. It is also the systems that comprise the cosmos and refers to the sphere of evil which operates under the direction of satan. Sin does have momentary pleasure and we have daily choices to make regarding what we love, participate in, think about, follow, and pursue. We can choose to encourage others, doing the will of the God we love.
By following the exhortations of Philippians 4 and the other Scripture listed here, we can keep our focus where it belongs and not be dragged down into satan’s traps. We can be victorious, conquerors, more than conquerors, and be encouraged while encouraging others.
Accept God’s Challenge to Be an Encourager
Certainly, living life as an Encourager is a challenge. There are days when we simply don’t want to be positive or encouraging. Yet, here are the clear exhortations of the Word of God to do exactly that. The most powerful and faith-building times of our lives are those in which we obey the Word, not because we feel like it, but because we love the God we serve.
In the darkest times, encouragement is the most needed and, though it might be hard to find, all we have to do is turn to the Bible and repeat its words to ourselves and others. The Words of God are higher, more powerful, and effective than any other force on earth or in the cosmos. Jesus is the Truth. His Words are truth. And, when we know the truth, it sets us free.
It is Well With My Soul
There is an old hymn called “It Is Well With My Soul.” It was written by Horatio Spafford in 1873 and borne of the worst of circumstances. He was a successful businessman whose business was lost in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and the financial turndown. Somewhere around that same time, his four-year-old son died.
Afterward, he and his family were going to Europe but he decided to stay behind to take care of some business matters. On the trip to Europe, the ship sank and his four daughters perished. His wife survived and sent a telegram that became famous for its brevity and heartache – “Saved alone.” As Spafford traveled to meet his wife, his ship passed near the point where his daughters were lost and Spafford penned the now-famous words.
The hymn has 6 verses and here is the first verse and refrain:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to knowa
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
In his darkest days, Spafford encouraged himself in the Lord and has encouraged others for centuries since. A new song was written a few years ago by Bethel using the refrain – It Is Well With My Soul. When my husband died, it was my anthem of hope, peace, and faith, Here is a link to it on You Tube – It is Well
I would encourage you to listen to the Bethel song and to read the story of John Spafford along with the entire hymn he penned. I pray that you are uplifted and challenged to live a life of encouragement – encourage others!
Click on the pic below to download the Scriptures and 32 Ways to Encourage Others and Yourself.
**WM uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.
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