The Power of Encouragement

The Power of Encouragement February 8, 2019

There is power in the tongue to either destroy or build up, but read about the benefits that encouragement bring.

Burdens Shared

I remember hearing that a joy shared is doubled, but a sorrow shared is halved, and I believe that is true, but I also believe that God wants us to take all of our burdens to Him. Jesus tells us all, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). If you are broken and crushed, then you are nearer to God than most of us are because it says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). When we have a burden, it’s best to take it to the Lord, for He alone can “find rest for [our] souls,” and by unloading our heavy burdens upon Him, He can “give you rest.”

Giving Courage

The word discouragement generally means experiencing a loss of confidence or enthusiasm or dispiritedness, however discouragement can be given to others by the words we use, and these discouraging words can show our disapproval of what they’re doing. Our toxic words can be creating difficulties for others, but discouraging someone from doing something is not always a bad thing. We may be trying to prevent someone from hurting themselves or others, but at other times, we can take the wind out of their sails and bring them down by what we say. Do our words build up or do they tear down? Do they encourage or do they discourage? To encourage someone means you support them, you give them confidence, and you give them hope. Our words can help persuade others to persevere or they can even stimulate a person toward personal development and growth, so to encourage someone is to give them the courage to keep pressing ahead. Discouragement takes that away, but our encouragement can build up a person just when they need it the most.

Transitions

When Moses had died, God tried to encourage Joshua because he was now the leader of a nation of millions, so God tells Joshua to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). If we recognize the fact that God will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5), then we can be encouraged and continue through life’s struggles. The Apostle Paul asks us, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom 8:31b)? When we feel discouraged and exhausted, read the Word of God because those “who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Building Up

You probably know your share of people who are discouraging to be around, but also those who are encouraging to be around, so if you don’t want to be discouraged yourself, try to be around encouraging people. These are the kinds of people that build others up. They are courteous, they are polite, and they see the positive in things more than the negative. Paul instructs us to “encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess 5:11), and don’t let any “corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph 4:29), so “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up” (Rom 15:2). In this way, we can “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:19). Tearing down others by words is easy, but so is building others up by encouragement, so “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18). That is more easily done when we speak words of encouragement.

Encouragement from God

If there is a shortage of encouraging words from those you know, turn to the Scriptures and you can be encouraged. Be encouraged by the fact that “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Prov 30:5). Be encouraged that you “can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Be encouraged that you can “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). One thing we can be encouraged by is the fact that “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thess 5:9-11). Is there someone you know who feels down? Build them up with words of promise from God, and there are many, like “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph 3:17).

Conclusion

My prayer for you is that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rom 15:13). When you are discouraged, have fears about the future, and are overwhelmed by the problems of today, remember that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tm 1:7). God will ensure that all things will work out for our very best (Rom 8:28), even if it doesn’t look like the “very best.” We can trust God with the future, especially since He’s been there and back, and knows the end from the beginning. God is never taken by surprise. He is in charge…even in the midst of chaos. That should encourage you.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.


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  • Matthew 22:37

    Thanks for continuing to encourage the world, Pastor, with your shining light.

    Your personal example truly is a blessing and illustrates what it means to be a true Christian gentleman and disciple of Christ.

    God bless you, sir!

    • Jack Wellman

      All glory to Him (Psalm 115:1) because what do I have that God did not give (1 Cor 4:7), but thank you for the “encouragement!”

      • Matthew 22:37

        I just got through reading an excellent bible dot org article entitled: “What in the world is worldliness?”

        Good quote from the article by Steven J. Cole

        J. C. Ryle (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker], 4:195) comments, “Holy living is the great proof of the reality of Christianity. Men may refuse to see the truth of our arguments, but they cannot evade the evidence of a godly life.” – end quote

      • Matthew 22:37

        The next time you hear that old militant atheist rant that religion is child abuse, Pastor, direct the individual to the ThinkingChristian.net article entitled:
        RICHARD DAWKINS’ ANTI-SCIENTIFIC HYPOCRISY
        October 24, 2011 by Tom Gilson

        In this article the study that disproves religious training is child abuse is disclosed.

        Dawkins never checked the scientific studies for it. He just went off on a rant in his book The God Delusion and created this propaganda like allegation against religious instruction.

        If he’s a scientist then why didn’t he check the huge study done on this subject?

        His assertion that religion is child abuse is a pseudoscientific rant of his personal opinion unsupported by research. In fact the research on this question disproves his rant.

        • “If he (Richard Dawkins) is a scientist then why didn’t he check the huge study done on this subject”. (Religious training is child abuse)

          Richard Dawkins is a scientist and his field of specialisation is biological science. He knows much more about scientific method than you do. He was an Oxford University biologist and Oxford is one of the top universities in the world. What makes you think that you know more about science than Richard Dawkins? You told Bob Seidensticker on the article related to Evangelism that science was your weak point. Yet you continue to pontificate on issues you appear to know little or nothing about. Are you careful about what Richard Dawkins actually said or are you continuing your religious propaganda?

          Do you even know how to interpret scientific studies correctly? What do you know about hypothesis testing? What do you know about the techniques for gathering evidence and the probability of making type I and type II errors and how to draw careful conclusions from scientific studies?

          • Matthew 22:37

            Oh really the let’s demean a person so we can assert control over them attack.

            Imo narcissists may be incapable of self reflection which means they cannot put appropriate social checks on themselves and their outbursts.

            You should never attack other people. It shows a lack of self reflection, kindness and self control.

            You think you can get away with acting like a jerk on the net so you act like a hypercritical, know it all jerk.

            If you are incapable of self reflection and you may well be why don’t you seek out a shrink for some help.

            You are blind to your own faults.

            Prove unchecked sin hasn’t destroyed your mind and conscience and will power and empathy, etc.

            Never mind proving God exists. You may lack the basic human decency to recognize Him now.

            Why the heck you would allow a pack of strangers to sow unholy ideas in your head I don’t know but it’s not uncommon in this world loaded with false isms, philosophies and religions.

            There are bound to be consequences to pretentiously entertaining unholy ideas and unchecked sin in your life and you may have reaped spiritual blindness from your disloyalty.

            Sow to sin and reap an out of control sinner’s nature.

            Now you’re like a mad scientist wanting to sow your own sinful ideas on people to upset their faith because you were too ignorant to believe God and guard your own heart from evil and sin.

            Just pointing all this out.

            If you are incapable of self reflection then how can you repent?

            I am not talking to you any more until you get your heart right with God.

            You’re not sowing any of your filthy, error ridden ideas in my head.

            I intend to keep right on believing and serving God.

            I hope you see the light and repent. Goodbye.

          • It was you who tried to demean Richard Dawkins, not me. You take correction of your anti-scientific bias as a personal affront on your personality. It’s not. I don’t have a high opinion of myself, but I do have a degree in science (with majors in mathematics and statistics), so I am not entirely ignorant of how mathematical models of scientific theories are constructed, nor of how scientific theories are tested.

          • Matthew 22:37

            Your logic could have backfired on you but your high opinion of yourself keeps you from seeing that and from understanding God’s perspective so you let a lot of chumps talk you into giving up a wonderful life and future with God.

            You can check the writings of people who correct the logical mistakes of atheists.

            I would suggest you do that.

            Why let evil people’s poor logic reign in your head? Unless of course you have a personal reason for seeking it out and adopting it to serve your sinner nature but it only brings chaos to you and spiritual failure.

            Read the refutations and extract your mind from their snafu’d thinking.

          • You didn’t answer any of the questions that I asked you. You began a rant on me, instead of answering the simple questions that I asked you.

        • One study, no matter how large (unless a census), doesn’t disprove that religious training is child abuse.

          Was the study an observational study? Observational studies can only establish correlations between variables, but not causation.

          Was the study an experimental study (either a controlled experiment with a control group) or a randomised experiment (Randomised control trial)? If so, experimental studies indicate causation between the independent variable (variables) and the dependent variable. But one test is not enough. scientific studies need to be replicated with results being vary similar (errors randomised around a mean of zero, with a common standard deviation).

          How was the sample taken? Was it a random sample or not? If it was not a random sample, then the test results would be subject to bias.

          Do you know how to read the test results and interpret them correctly?

          These are simple questions, but you prefer to read a very biased website rather than outline for us how this study was done and why Richard Dawkins ignored it (if he did).

  • WaveDave

    Great article…and encouragement is so needed in this world that is so often cold, heartless and cruel…Just today, I was given the opportunity to give encouragement to someone and it was such a blessing. They were feeling kinda beat down by life. May the tribe of encouragers increase! thanks again.

    • Jack Wellman

      I hear it takes 5 postive words to make up for one negative, and I believe it, but you have been encouraging sir. Thank you kindly.

  • Brien

    The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,

    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age, until writing was invented,

    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.

    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, as many were not chosen,
    [ There are more than just four Gospels but only these four were agreed on ],
    were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council,
    for his expressed purpose of conquest and
    control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.

    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any god(s) ….(or of any jesus…)

    It is a historical novel…Only!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/faea0864cd8086a98d3ddb0e22c4a0645fb04434b1ea943af1a08537c9aa15fa.jpg

  • Matthew 22:37

    I love the Book of James because in it God gives a very clear example of the sin nature of man.

    In his article Top 7 Bible Verses About Deception, Pastor Wellman writes these verses. Look at James 3:11 in particular.

    Pastor’s quote:

    James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

    No one can say that they love God and not bridle their tongue because “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:9). “Can a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water” (James 3:11)? The deceived person’s tongue betrays them and they deceive others and are themselves deceived. Jesus said “the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Like a deep well that a bucket is lowered down into, what comes out of the well reveals whether the water is truly good or not. The well might look good from the ground level but what’s deep inside tells the truth so looks can be deceiving.-end quote