A small flame

A small flame

Why Encourage Others?

I recently studied through a devotional book called 'Acts of Love: the Power of Encouragement' by David Jeremiah. I appreciated much of what he had to say about this topic and wanted to share bits of his book as well as my own musings on encouragement.

Maybe the question to start with is 'why should encouragement be so important to us?'

For one thing, our world is full of so much pain. And we know so little of the pain around us every day. The waitress at the restaurant, the guy in line behind you at the grocery store, the woman you walk past in the hall way at church every week. . . We are so often unaware of the deep life-wounds that others carry. Larry Crab in his book Encouragement, the Key to Caring makes the observation that everyone around you is more wounded than you know. As believers, we not only have many opportunities to apply the salve of encouragement to the hearts of those we interact with every day, but we are uniquely equipped to point people around us to the source of true comfort found in the Gospel.

In Acts of Love, Dr. Jeremiah points out that, as believers, the privilege of encouragement should be of great importance to us because of Who our God is and because of the family He has adopted us into.

'Encouragement is part of the ministry of our God. Each member of the triune God - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit - has a priority to encourage.' {p.11}

God the Father

1 Corinthians 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy, pity and mercy and the God Who is the Source of every comfort, consolation and encouragement. (Amplified Bible)

Romans 15: 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God the Son

2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through His grace, 17Comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

John 16:33I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but take courage! For I have overcome the world.

God the Spirit

'The word in the New Testament that is most often translated "to encourage" is the Greek word parakaleo. Para means 'along side of' and 'kaleo means 'to call'. So to encourage is to be called alongside someone.' {p 20}

Another form of the word, 'paraclete', is used for the Holy Spirit and is translated as 'comforter' or 'helper'. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit - to comfort, help, encourage.

John 4: 15If you love Me, you will keep My commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. (Amplified Bible)

John 16:7; However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go away, I will send Him to you. (Amplified Bible)

'God the Father encourages, God the Son encourages, God the Holy Spirit encourages. We need to be encouragers because it is the ministry of the triune God' {p 11}

Surely if we seek to be 'imitators of God' {Ephesians 5:1} and 'conformed to the image of Christ' {Romans 8:29}, then we ought to give some serious thought to the ways we can incarnate our God to others around us through the ministry of encouragement.

thoughts from Acts of Love - the Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah

{read the rest of this series here}

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