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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
In truth, there is not more than one correct way to encourage someone, but here are some ways that you can begin.
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.
Humans. Are we naturally compassionate or selfish? Arguably, we are selfish and have thrived in a society of "me, me, me," for generations; the narcissism never seems to end. But, is this behavior really behavior helping us thrive spiritually? Is this the way God desires for us as a Church to live, always wrapped up in ourselves? If you open His word, there you find an answer to this question and I discuss it in this weeks post.
In faith, we get to feeling stuck in the rut, feeling distant, feeling as though God is stagnant or absent, and being unsure of what to do next. This obvious silence and distance is often what turns people from Jesus, but we must persevere and remember that we live on God’s timing in God’s world.