Living in Him Alone

Cheerleaders

Let’s just be honest. Life is difficult and I know this isn’t the first time you have ever heard me say this. Life is difficult without someone to depend on and to be your cheerleader throughout the rough stunts and even throughout the smooth moves of your life.

We all need someone who encourages us, who cheers us on, and who lifts us up on a consistent basis. We all need someone who spurs us on to Godly deeds and pushes us to be who God called us to be.

”But why?” you may be thinking. Why is encouraging others in my life so important?

Encouragement is not just suggested, but rather commanded.

Well, believe it or not God doesn’t just suggest the encouragement of others, but He commands it on multiple occasions through the use of Scripture.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes:

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

And again in Hebrews, Paul writes:

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

Are you beginning to understand why this practice of encouragement is not just lightly suggested, but is vital and necessary?

While there are many times throughout Scripture where encouragement is mentioned, those are two of my favorite verses to get your thoughts flowing.

Throughout this post, I will refer to many other verses that carefully discuss how to be a cheerleader for others throughout life’s stunts and address various questions that I feel are commonly asked about encouragement.

Question One: What is Biblical encouragement?

Biblical encouragements go further than complimenting someone on their yummy chocolate chip cookies or how wonderfully coordinated their outfit is on any given day. These are really important encouragements and kind thoughts you can give out daily, and I encourage you to do so, they are not the exact definition of Biblical encouragement. While it is important to compliment people on their characters, appearance, skills, and the like, it is also very important to give Biblical encouragement as well.

In Colossians Paul writes:

I’ve sent him to you so that you may know how things are with us, and so he could encourage you in your faith.

Colossians 4:8 (MSG)

Biblical encouragement is meant to focus one's thoughts on God and lifting their hearts. In times of doubt, Biblical encouragement is meant to help negate the thoughts of Satan. In times of trouble or worry, Biblical encouragement is meant to give peace. In times of feeling directionless, Biblical encouragement is meant to give you direction.

Biblical encouragement proves that God is faithful to His word and that He has not left us behind.

There are so many ways we can Biblically encourage one another. We can encourage one another to stay united (Philippians 2:1), encourage one another to stay strong in faith and faithful (Acts 14:22), encourage one another to persevere (Hebrews 10:25), and encourage one another to have hope for better days ahead (Romans 5:2).

Biblical encouragement is 100% necessary.

Question Two: Why is the encouragement of others so essential in faith?

God commanded us to encourage one another, because He knew life would be extremely difficult at times; He knew that sometimes you would feel like giving in; He knew that sometimes you would feel like making the unwise decision; He knew that sometimes you would feel like turning away from your faith; He knew you would be tried, as Jesus says in John 16:33.

Before Jesus’ time, during Jesus’s time, and after Jesus’ time we have lived in a sin-filled, broken, and messy world. So many things around us tempt us into sinful ways, deceitful decisions, and unrighteous paths. We are a culture full of negative influences and opinions.

Sin is a drain; sin is dirty water that when consumed, contaminates the rest of our body; however, the antidote is encouragement.

The reminder that grace is obtainable, the reminder that redemption does not have to be worked for and the reminder that God holds your entire life in His hands.

Encouragement is purification for the soul.

When cheerleaders are absent from the Church, we as a whole will begin to feel unloved, unimportant, and left behind. We feel empty and purposeless without the joy and positivity that those encouragers bring to the Church.

God knew that we would need reminders of His love and His strength. He knew that we would begin to feel discouraged and because of this, He designed cheerleaders. He designed people and put them in your life to fill you back up with joy when you're empty. This is why Paul commands us to build one another up until we see the return of Jesus in Hebrews 3:13.

Question Three: What does encouragement do for those around me? How do they benefit from it?

On Wednesday, I was having one of those rough days. Nothing seemed to be going my way and I felt stuck in the rut. You know how it is.

But halfway through the day, I got a very encouraging message from Steven. It helped lift my heart and allowed me to know that I was capable of the tasks I didn’t feel equipped to complete.

In short, Biblical encouragement, and even regular encouragement lifts the spirit. It helps remind you that you are entirely capable. It focuses on the positives, rather than the negatives, and it reminds you that even when you can’t see something good about yourself, that someone else can.

How can I grow through encouragement and become stronger in encouraging those around me?

In truth, there is not more than one correct way to encourage someone, but here are some ways that you can begin.

  1. Pray for God to equip you with the ability to encourage others. Encouragement comes naturally to some and to others, not so much. So, we can utilize prayer to ask God to give us the words and the discipline to encourage those around us when we know they need it. Pray everyday, if necessary, and ask God to provide the words, and the energy for you to give encouragement and joy to those around you.
  2. Encourage those around you daily. Make encouragement a part of your daily routine! As I said, it comes naturally to some, and less naturally to others. It’s like tying your shoes. With more and more practice, it became second nature, didn’t it? Choose one person you know needs the extra boost of cheer in their life right now and make an effort daily to send a encouraging text, email, tweet, or phone call their way.
  3. Pray for God to give you a specific person to encourage. Are you not sure where to start? Are you not sure you have someone you can encourage? Well, a great place to start is to ask God to expose someone to you, to put someone in your radar. This is such a solid way to communicate with God and ask Him to provide for you someone you can provide Biblical encouragement to.
  4. When encouraging someone, use scripture if possible, and be specific. If you can use Biblical evidence in your encouragement, do it! That only makes your encouragement mean that much more and it also provides focus for your words. If you can give the person a verse to focus on, their encouragement and growth with God is that much greater.
  5. Get started. Whatever you need to do to begin bringing the joy and light of encouragement into the Church, do it. Believe me, you are not alone in this search. There are people all around you that are trying to navigate this world full of sin and negativity that would love someone to work alongside with. Reach out to someone in your life who may help you navigate this process. And if you can’t find anyone, remember that I am always just one email away.

As written in Ephesians 3:20-21, God can do more than we hope or imagine. May he do just this.

I am praying for all of you and I love all of you.

We are in this together, so let’s begin to cheer one another on.

Further Reading...

The Valley

The Valley. Many of us think when we are standing in the thick of it, “there’s not a very clear view from here and I wish I could just see more.” We wish our view was clearer and we ask God why it isn’t. We lose focus and ultimately hope. We believe there is nothing to see here, when there is everything to see here.

With Us

In life, we can become so fixated on our circumstances that we completely forget the truth behind Jesus’ identity. We forget that he is God with us.