Thursday, September 27, 2012

Every One Needs an Encourager in their Life

The word translated "encourage" is usually translated "comfort". It comes from the Greek word Parakletos, which means "one called alongside." "The Comforter" is one of the names of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7). The Holy Spirit comes to our help and empower us. Our English word comfort comes from two Latin words that means "with strength." When you encourage other, you help put strength into their hearts so they won't quit or get discouraged. In fact the word "courage" comes from a word that means "heart," so encourage means "to put heart into someone." The word "discourage" means to take away heart and leave people with no courage at all.

God commands it. God did not design us to make it here on this earth alone. We were designed to have authentic, caring relationships. God also promises to comfort us when we’re facing difficult circumstances “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:4). "Therefore, encourage one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:13). "Encourage one another daily" (Hebrews 3:13).

Sin is deceitful. If left to ourselves, we will start going into denial and begin compromising what we believe. All of us need encouragement to guard against a growing complacency in our walks with God.

Spiritual growth requires it. In 1 Thessalonians 3:2 Paul tells the persecuted church in Thessalonica that he is sending them Timothy, who will strengthen and encourage them in their faith. In a similar way, we are instructed to help ignite the faith of others who are feeling discouraged. This means we’re to provoke each other to grow spiritually.

We lose perspective so easily. In 2 Corinthians 7:3-7 we read how even the Apostle Paul was faced with so much discouragement that he lost his perspective and was ready to quit his ministry. But God comforted him by restoring his spiritual perspective of the situation. As believers, we are also called to motivate others to righteousness and holy living, and to help restore their perspective by giving them God’s truth. Check out Romans 15:4 in this regard.

To sum it all up: everyday Christians like you and me are supposed to aid, help, support and intercede for one another by comforting those who are experiencing affliction. When we do, their faith grows stronger and they are motivated toward righteousness.

Are there people in your life who are discouraged and going through a difficult time? Let’s be the encouragers that God has called each of us to be, helping them to be successful and to finish this life well!

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