It is a beautiful picture of the triune Godhead uniting on the banks of the Jordan to encourage the Lord Jesus as Son of God and Son of Man to fulfil His unique role as Prophet, Priest and King – as He took His first step on the road that led to Calvary. Let us never be content to skip through the pages of Scripture without a deeper look into the gracious soul of our Saviour – Who gave His life as a ransom for you and me.
Little gems of encouragement pepper the dialogue between Habakkuk and the Lord: for the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Hab.2:3.
with wood and with plane; with chisels and with compass. What encouragement to all of us, that our God and Saviour should Himself choose the take up the tools of a trade and work many weary hours for His crust of bread. His willing example doesn’t demean the kitchen sink or labourers toil, for His formative years demonstrate the worth of any lowly occupation…carried out to the glory of God.
Paul outlined in great detail these glorious positional truths to encourage our hearts. His desire was that we are united in love and understand the riches of God’s grace. He longed that we have complete assurance of the mystery of God – namely Christ: in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3 Paul’s epistles certainly are overflowing with much to rejoice our heart, but he also give us some severe warnings, which encourage spiritual alertness.
Words of Wisdom
Paul’s epistles give us much to rejoice our heart – for we are positioned in Christ. Paul’s words of encouragement rejoice our heart – and Paul’s words of wisdom provide us with some very timely warnings.
Comfort and Care
Exhortation and encouragement is a beautiful aspect of our Christian life. Peter is the apostle that encourages us to care for one another, in Christ. Peter tells us: above all, keep loving one another earnestly, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1Peter 4:8. We should be concerned for the well-being of fellow believers in many ways.
Exhort is the root word of the Holy Spirit as the great Comforter of our souls. This is a beautiful picture of a friend who gently comes alongside, to encourage. We are shown that we should function in the Spirit of exhortation and comfort.
Sometimes all is needed is a gesture – sometimes a word of encouragement. Sometimes a helping hand – sometimes it is simply quietly sitting still, in prayer… It is not coming alongside and telling one how he or she is wrong – and should never be that critical word we so often hear expressed.
No, the sort of exhortation required is uplifting, encouraging, exhorting. It is often that word of comfort and encouragement that gladdens the heart. It is a maintaining a responsibility towards the good of others. It is taking care of the household of God. It is building each other up in the faith. It is being careful one for the other – and it is carried out in the power of the Spirit..
The Salvation that is given as a free gift of grace to all Who trust in the name of God’s only begotten Son, is a great Salvation that was given to man by God; announced to the world by angelic beings; confirmed by all Who heard and received the glorious gospel of Christ and recorded for our learning – to guide us into all truth and to give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Past history recorded in the Bible, gives encouragement and provides edification. Present application of God’s Word, enable us to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. Future prophecies in Scripture, secures our hope in Christ and develops our faith.
These vital truths are for our learning and were played out in the time of Nehemiah. They are still true today and need to be fastened in our hearts and secured in our mind. Let us without reservation listen and love… listen to His voice and to hear His word – encourage each other to fall in love with our Lord, all over again.
Give no offence in any thing, so that the ministry is not discredited, but in all things seek to encourage each other..
Hebrews is a book that is written to both encourage and warn Christians in their walk. It helps maturing believers to steer a straight life-course through this world of unbelief. It warns that faith in God is the compass that guides us through the dark storms of life.
Encouragement in God’s Word
The apostle Paul lists the many perils that he had to face in 2 Corinthians 1: Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned – three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeys often; in perils of waters; in perils of robbers; in perils of my own countrymen.
every listening ear; every gift – every little encouragement.
How many burdens can you carry for others, in His love? How many loads can you help to lighten, with His joy? How many souls can you encourage to press on to the end? In giving love and in sharing joy, you too will gain:- “good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” Love as I have loved…..
when naught but night’s blackness hangs heavily at the casement window. Where no twinkling light of some distant star shines to encourage the heart. Even though there seemed to be no glimmer of precious hope, Habakkuk summed up deferred hope in his astonishing prayer:
lack of encouragement or disinterest, indifference; intimidation; over-protectiveness; over-bearance, and so much more all combine, to inflict deep-rooted wounds in the heart, and a deep-seated suspicion in the soul.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1,2 NIV)
In this challenging verse the writer uses the lovely word exhort, which is to encourage. We are to encourage others to be awake, alert, ready and prepared to meet our Lord – prepared all-day; any-day; every-day – for our salvation is drawing ever closer.
we are to exhort, to encourage, to urge and become united in hope, one with another.
This should also be a time when we examine our own relationship with Jesus. We can scarcely exhort others to be spiritual ready if we are ill-prepared ourselves. We can hardly encourage others towards preparedness if we have become careless. We cannot draw alongside others aright, unless we are in fellowship with the Lord – and the urgency increases as we see the day of His return approaching.
Exhort and Encourage
Oh yes – divide and conquer is a very successful satanic warfare strategy… yet we are instructed how to foil his tactic..
we are to gather together to exhort each other and encourage one another, and so much more as we see the day approach.
Spirit and Prayer
Believers may be divided by thousands of miles – separated by land and sea… but we can gather together in love and encouragement – in spirit and in prayer, reminding each other that the time is short and we are to look up. Christ is returning soon and our redemption draws closer with each passing day.
The warning to be ready should rejoice our hearts and be an encouragement, for God has outlined in His Word all we need to ensure we are ready and prepared – and loving Jesus and trusting His word is the most important step in being ready.
But Paul also wanted to comfort, encourage and edify these believers - and so often we find that this is done by calling to remembrance all the wonderful things that God has done for us - and anticipating all the wonderful things that God has in store for the future.
Paul was a man who was equipped to comfort and encourage other Christians through the difficulties and dangers of life because Paul was a man who understood the significance of suffering for the sake of Christ - and Paul was a man that received gracious comfort from the God of all comforts - Who comforts each one of us so that we may be used by Him to comfort other people, who may cross our life-path.
Indeed, throughout all His writings this dear apostle had a deep affection and sincere concern for all the body of Christ.This particular letter holds a very special place in the canon of Scripture, as it is said to be the first letter of instruction and encouragement that the apostle Paul wrote to any Church.
Prosperity teachers encourage their followers to seek worldly wealth , temporal affluence and the riches of todays materialistic society, but as believers we are called to recognize the diabolic trap of laying up treasure on earth instead of making heavenly investments - for where our treasure is - there will our heart be also.
Not only did it contain news of Paul’s current circumstances… but he knew that this faithful servant of the Lord would edify the saints, and encourage them to stand firm in the faith and hold fast to the truth of the glorious gospel of grace.
And so, he sent Tychicus to encourage and comfort their hearts – in the midst of the difficult times in which they were living, and to embolden them to also preach the Word fearlessly.
It was through Tychicus that Paul sent his letter to Colossae, for this faithful friend was a man who brought encouragement and comfort to all those he served, and he had proven himself to be zealous for the gospel, and Paul’s worthy co-worker – and so he wrote: I am sending Tychicus to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
May we, like Tychicus, walk in wisdom, pray in spirit and truth, redeem the time and give godly comfort and encouragement to our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ.
May we seek to be a faithful servant of God and develop the sort of Christlike character that honours the Lord in word and in deed… and may we give godly encouragement and comfort to all those who are placed in our path – for the honour of His holy name.
What an encouragement it is to know God works all things together for good - even the bad things that take place in our lives. And how vital to face up to our own responsibilities and to let all things be done in love - for this honours our Father in heaven.
This is why Paul and the other apostles laboured to share the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ, to share the whole council of God, to teach sound doctrine and encourage the daily study of Scripture - so that we may be perfect and mature in the faith, wanting nothing.
And here, in his last known epistle, Paul writes to encourage Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and to serve Him faithfully... relying on God's sufficient grace alone, which only comes through union with the Lord, as we abide in Him and He in us.
Paul not only wrote to strengthen and encourage young Timothy, but to spiritually hearten and motivate many others believers to hold fast to the truth of the gospel of grace, and to faithfully preach the unchangeable Word of God, in season and out of season..
We are given wise advice on how to function spiritually as members of the body of Christ and reminded that we all have spiritual gifts, which are to be used for the encouragement of the saints and the edification of the body of Christ.
Paul knew how quickly error can creep into a fellowship of believers, and his epistle to Titus is one of three, pastoral epistles, giving him personal encouragement; reminding him of important issues in ministry, outlining the criteria and character required in a Church elder; correcting doctrinal errors that may arise in a Christian Church; explaining the roles and responsibilities of believers in their families and communities and exhorting the congregations towards godly living and good works, both at home and abroad.
Wise counsel and spiritual encouragement is the calling-card of the friend that loves at all times and loyalty, sensitivity and a genuine interest in the other are the qualities of the brother that travels through adversity with us.
He calls us to sympathize with each other - to have compassion one for another and to empathize in the trials and difficultness that our brothers and sisters in Christ are going through, to be there to help and to comfort, to support and encourage.
And like David, we would do well to keep under the shadow of God’s protective arm, to seek Him in the midst of our trial and tribulations, and cry out to the Lord for deliverance from the enemies into whose path we run – so that we too may rejoice with great joy and encourage others to taste and see that the Lord is good How truly blessed is the man who takes refuge in the Lord.
Faith is not based on experience, nor calculated through reason - faith is beyond the dimension of human thought, man's intellect or scientific 'proof.' The eye of faith sees beyond our present reality and places its feet firmly on divine revelation given by almighty God through the Word made flesh, and written for our learning, instruction, encouragement and hope within the pages of holy writ.
May we be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and empowered to help and encourage others, whom God has placed in our lives – and may we all grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus – for His greater glory and eternal praise.
Paul often prayed for the comfort, encouragement, establishment and strengthening of the Body of Christ, which is the Church... and in this great prayer we find Paul's fervent intercession addressed equally to the Lord Jesus Christ and to God the Father.
asking both God the Son and God the Father to comfort and encourage the hearts of these believers, and to strengthen and establish them in every good work and in all they say.
Paul's desire for their ongoing sanctification and maturity in the faith was so strong that He prayed often and continuously that the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father (Who loved us and gave us eternal encouragement by His grace), would encourage their hearts and strengthen their soul in every good work and word.
It is of great encouragement both to His people Israel, and to His children of all ages, that men who follow their own atheistic ‘will’ and construct their own anti-God plans, will finally be brought to nothing – for God alone will be exulted among the heathen and His purposes alone will come to fruition - but we who have trusted Him for salvation are to sit silently in His presence - in quite confidence and in godly trust.
His Word not only brightens our pathway; guards us on our journey through life and warns us of each lurking danger, but His Word is a treasure-trove of precious gemstone, to be hidden deep within our heart - for its words of wisdom guide our thinking; its precious promises encourage our hearts and its perfect pattern is to be the adjudicator of our daily conduct.
We are to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ and to and live our lives as unto the Lord – no matter where we are or what our station in life happens to be.The true, Christian ministry of reconciliation will indirectly have a great impact on the many social injustices of our day.
What a beautiful picture this presents of the joy and gladness that fills the heart of a man or woman, when a beloved Christian friend or dear brother in Christ combines gracious acts of kindness, wise advice, words of encouragement and genial counsel with the glorious gospel of Christ in order to edify and encourage or even to correct.
In his desire to warn believers of the increasing numbers of false teachers and heresies that were bombarding the church of his day, Jude wrote an epistle of encouragement and advice – but he begins with a beautiful greeting – a prayer that has travelled down the centuries, to the body of Christ, and an entreaty to God that mercy and peace and love be multiplied to all those who in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is a song that contains lessons from days of old, which are designed to help us to learn from the past, to encourage us to make the right choices in the present - and to live as God has ordained that we should live.
What marvellous words of encouragement are couched throughout Scripture and here we discover God's sufficient grace is available to all His children in the midst of the various trials and temptations that we all have to face during our earthly sojourn.
And what an encouragement and example this short passage has been to many believers down through the centuries, who have found themselves in times of financial hardship, dire need or severe persecution.
Jude had planned to write about our initial salvation by grace through faith - the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but he needed to alter his message and urgently encourage believers to stand fast in their faith.
But for the little remnant of Israel, who trust in the Lord and hold fast to the many Messianic promises, the words of Zephaniah should be an encouragement, for despite all the wickedness and evil that is manufactured by sinful men, and the fires of God's wrath that will come upon the whole earth, he writes that God will one day remove His hand of judgement from His chosen nation - and as King of Israel, will live among His people; calm them in His love and rejoice over them with singing.
May we encourage and edify our brothers and sisters in Christ, with gracious words and pure deeds - so we remain in close fellowship with our heavenly Father and become the living testimony to our fellow man.
However, his earnest desire to visit these believers, share their common faith, and give one another spiritual encouragement..
But there is one very notable thing about which we should take account - for despite the earnest desire of Paul's heart, to visit the great city of Rome, and give mutual encouragement to the saints who lived there..
He could have left them to rely on their own skill and encourage a self-reliance that is independent of God, but He wanted to reinforce the need to live by faith in Him, knowing that without Him they can do nothing.
They will support and encourage us, help and counsel us, comfort and warn us and they will love us no matter what happens.
He is the One who will always support and encourage us, help and counsel us, comfort and warn us - and He is the One Whose unconditional love will be poured out upon us without measure, through time and into eternity.
He is equally diligent, to encourage us to do the good, whilst simultaneously identifying areas, attitudes or activities, that are detrimental to our spiritual growth, and dishonouring to our heavenly Father.
And although there are many warnings against falling, in our Christian walk, and many instructions on how to live godly lives, there are also many passages that are wonderfully uplifting and which offer great encouragement.
The verse in question, which immediately follows an important warning against spiritual immaturity and some elementary instructions on reaching full maturity, gives some great encouragement to believers..
but God knows that there are also times when His people need encouragement.
What a great encouragement it is, to all the people of God - to know that the Lord is aware of the thoughts of our hearts, the words that we speak and the actions that we carry out in love - for His praise and glory.
His inner peace is something to which all believers are called, both individually and corporately and should become a reality in the lives of all who are called by His name.. for each is given particular gifts and a unique ministry that is designed to give mutual encouragement to one another in our service to the Lord.
What a wonderful testimony of these dear saints of God, and what an encouragement to us, to boldly proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation, for all who believe.
Most of his epistles include sections that address various false teachings that were infiltrating a particular church or congregation, as well as providing clear teaching, sound doctrine important correction and great encouragement.
Every verse in the book of Proverbs holds gems of wisdom from the Lord… whether they are words or warning or precious pearls of instruction - exhortation to live a godly life of simply encouragement to trust in the Lord with all our heart and to keep the eyes of our heart firmly fasted onto our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In the light of this truth, the message of the Cross should be to you and me, the most important, exciting and precious truth, which should both thrill our soul, encourage our heart and motivate us to share the staggering message:- that that Christ died for our sin according to the Scripture, that He was buried and rose again, so that whosoever believes in HIM would not perish, but have everlasting life.
To walk in the Spirit is to walk by faith and to immerse ourselves in the Word of God - it is to encourage one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, as we sing with grace and thanksgiving in our hearts to the Lord.
The Word of God teaches that we are to deny ourselves by keeping 'Self' in the place of death, so that we may love and serve the Lord our God in spirit and truth, and encourage and edify our brothers and sisters in Christ.
He yearns to see them and to minister to them, and so he tells them of his eager plans to visit them shortly - for their mutual edification, to encourage their spiritual development and to strengthen their faith in the Lord.
Let us live in peace with each other, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone - and may we never repay evil with evil, but let us always seek after that which is good.
Paul not only sought to demonstrate that God worked tremendous triumph out of his own personal tragedies but wanted his personal difficulties and distresses to become an encouragement to all of us - demonstrating that God desires to use the circumstance of our life as a springboard to further the Word of truth..
They are called “a great cloud of witnesses”, and indeed their lives demonstrate a trust in God that stands as a wonderful testimony and great encouragement for us – to run the race that is set before us, as we look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.
I am sure that Paul used this historical example to encourage Timothy, the young minister of the gospel, who would become an increasingly important figure in the development and growth of the early Church.
There is much in chapter 31 that gave great hope and encouragement to the little remnant of faithful Israel, but right in the middle of the chapter, Jeremiah contrasts the shocking time when Judah’s sister nation – the house of Israel, was brutally taken into captivity by the savage Assyrians. Thus says the Lord, a voice is heard in Ramah.
It is the heavens that declare the glory of the Lord and our consciences which give an inner witness of God's righteous goodness - but it is the Word of God which was written for our learning and encouragement, which points the way to salvation... It is the Bible which step by step explains His glorious, redemptive purpose for humanity.
It is Scripture that gives us the encouragement to press on for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord..
How important to read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and rightly divide the Word of truth, for whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction and our encouragement..
IF there is any encouragement in Christ, (and there is) then we are to show it in our lives by living unto the Lord.
for ALL believers have found encouragement in Christ, ALL have known the consolation of God's love; ALL have benefitted from the fellowship of the Spirit, which is in Christ Jesus and ALL have access to God's grace and mercy..
What an encouragement to Christian mothers and grandmothers (as well as the fathers and grandfathers) to pass on the gospel of God's grace to each new generation of children and to teach them the things of God.
What eternal rewards there are when we speak the truth to children and young people, and to encourage them to read, mark, learn, recite, inwardly digest and meditate upon the holy Scripture day by day, as they grow into adulthood, so that they in turn will become instrumental in teaching the next generation the wisdom of God.
He encourages all believers to live in peace with one another and to give encouragement and help to all who are members of the body of Christ, because he himself knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength, Paul calls on his brothers and sisters in Christ to rejoice in the Lord and to keep on rejoicing together in harmony of heart.
Both had a passion to give encouragement to their brothers and sisters in Christ, and to share the good news of the gospel of grace, with those that were lost.
Paul indirectly praised Timothy's gracious character, his godly disposition and his Christ-like love, because he chose to send him to encourage the Christians in Philippi, in preference to others who: seek after their own interests, and not those of Christ Jesus.
We must never forget that we are to listen to His voice, heed His instructions and live by faith “today“. We are to encourage one another day after day, for as long as we live and keep growing in grace as long as it is called “Today“.
Paul's detailed argument in support of the resurrection, and his clear description of what will take place when graves are opened, and the dead raised, engenders great hope and encouragement in the heart of every living soul, but Paul makes it clear that each will be resurrected in his own order.
Preaching the word is often to encourage and exhort the body of Christ as we watch and wait for the any day return of the Lord Jesus for His church – but it should always reflect Christ's gracious character.
He urged Timothy to make prayers and petitions on behalf of all persons, to encourage others to become praying people of God – and to ensure that when we petition our Father in heaven, we do so with a grateful heart of thanksgiving and praise.
Let us take to heart the significance of these final, solemn instructions from Paul to Timothy – If our faith is firmly founded on the truth of God’s inerrant Word we will be thoroughly equipped to preach the Word in every circumstance of life and encourage, reprove, rebuke and exhort our brothers and sisters in Christ, with great patience and instruction.
They generally begin with a salutation; a little word of encouragement and the signature of the author - which sometimes defends his apostolic authority within the body of Christ.
It is as Paul draws his letters to a close that he adds greeting from other saints of God and often introduces brief words of encouragement and succinct directives to pray; rejoice; give thanks; abound in good works; trust in God's supply and glorify our heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ - our great God and Saviour.
Mutual encouragement is also an important part of Paul's closing sections and here in this verse Paul sends greetings from the brethren who are with him... exhorting the Philippian believers to: greet every saint in Christ Jesus.
May we pay heed to the letters of Paul, which give such encouragement and instruction on growing in grace; living a victorious life; trusting in God; holding fast to the truth and maintaining an unswerving, focus on Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour..
But He also gave us great comfort and encouragement with the words: but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.
Paul acknowledged that the Lord is able and willing to give comfort and encouragement to each of us, in all our troubles - so that we, in turn, are able to give solace and support to those who are in any kind of difficulty - through the comfort that we ourselves have received from above.
so that the comfort that we receive from the Lord, will pour forth godly comfort and encouragement to others - which will have an impact on their Christian growth and spiritual well-being.
We have a great inheritance, which is reserved for us in heaven, and this glorious, future perspective is to encourage us, and to lead us to a godly life and holy living, which will result in our internal victory.
Paul also knew how easily discouragement can descend on the saints of God, for the enemy as a roaring lion prowls around, seeking whom he may devour - and so he gave one final word of encouragement - do not grow weary of well doing.
We are not to be those that pull back when times get tough, and should take to heart Paul's words of encouragement - as we press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, knowing that His grace is sufficient.
Let us pay special heed to these final words of encouragement, so that we: do not grow weary of well doing, in the closing season of the Church dispensation!
While Paul’s epistles were written to specific people or church communities to teach doctrine, give reproof, provide correction, deliver encouragement, impart instruction in righteousness and give guidance in Christian living, the book of Acts could more accurately be described as an historical document.
In his epistle to Titus, Paul gives much excellent instruction and great encouragement, but he also considers it necessary to give wise advice on how to deal with those that become divisive within a Church fellowship.
What precious encouragement to all His children that the promise of our blessed hope, on which our hearts have been focused throughout our Christian life, is nearer than the day when we first trusted in Jesus as Saviour, and that with each passing day we are moving ever closer to His any-day return.
This is indeed a very encouraging and exciting truth that Paul shared, and so we are exhorted to encourage one another with these words Following our departure from this earth, will be that dreadful “Day of the Lord” (a 7-year tribulation period, followed by the millennial rule of Christ on earth).
Let us occupy in the work that God has prepared for us to do, and encourage one another as we see the day getting closer.
And as he neared the end of this epistle of encouragement to his brothers in Christ, he repeatedly calls each one of us to rejoice in the Lord - to be joyful in God our Saviour - to delight ourselves in Christ our Lord.
And at the start of his second epistle we find Simon Peter, (bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ) offering words of encouragement and advice to all who by God's grace, had the obtained the same precious faith that he had received, for in Christ Jesus our God and Saviour, we have all become the righteousness of God in HIM; we are accepted in the Beloved and have the permanently in-dwelt by His Holy and life-giving Spirit.
His mission was to point out their gross apostasy and encourage them to change their ways while warning them of the consequences that would follow, if they failed to repent of their sins and return to the Lord their God.
And so Paul wrote this second epistle, to these faithful believers at Thessalonica, to allay their fears, and encourage them in their Christian life.
These suffering servants needed to hear this great encouragement from the apostle Paul, but they also needed to understand that it is not what WE did that saves us, but what Christ did at Calvary, on our account.
God takes equal care over all His servants, but He uses the different challenges in each of our lives to lead and guide; to train and correct - to uphold, encourage and prepare us for the work that He has purposed for us to do.
isolate themselves from the encouragement, exhortation, correction and reproof of their brothers and sisters in Christ.
This is a general exhortation for all believers to be faithful in attending their local church assembly, in order to participate in brotherly encouragement... strength; support; edification; spiritual nourishment; biblical teaching and the joy of sharing fellowship with like-minded believers..
Let us do all we can to ensure that we do not forsake our assembling together as the Body of Christ - as is the habit of some believers, but rather let us take every opportunity to meet together with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ,, for mutual strength; support; edification and encouragement - so that we can give and receive spiritual nourishment and sound biblical teaching together with like-minded believers - which is all the more important, as we see the day of Christ's return drawing ever nearer
Peter was one of Christ's chosen apostles who was naturally an authority figure in the early Church, but he was also one who denied His Lord three times and yet three times, he was called by Jesus to Feed My sheep - to care for the flock of God and to provide for the little lambs that needed nurturing, nourishment, encouragement and training.
Paul summed-up this beautiful picture, of a servant suffering for the sake of his Lord, with these words - 'that I may know CHRIST, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death', and he also gave us this wonderful encouragement: 'God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able, but with the trial will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.'
How blessed are we who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ and how often we find encouragement, comfort, peace and hope in the Psalms of David, whose words so often reflect the joy we also have in the Lord and bring to our remembrance the many precious promises that are ours in Christ.
We are to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, and to guide them towards sound doctrine, for the time has come when men are departing from the faith and will not put up with wholesome teaching at all.
Let us therefore encourage one another and seek to build each other up in our most holy faith, praying in the power of the Holy Spirit..
Esther is a thrilling story that results in the destruction of the wicked; the promotion of characters who trusted God for salvation and encouragement for all who trust God's word; believe He is in control and are willing to be used by Him.
Jude would have liked to written about our wonderful salvation and encourage us in our spiritual growth but he was led to write a short, sharp epistle condemning the depraved acts of the apostates - who were infiltrating the Church.
Instead of a simple salvation message Jude's letter was written to encourage believers to contend earnestly for the faith..
But from his own incarceration in a Roman jail, the apostle Paul was able to encourage His timid labourer in Christ, by reminding Timothy.. (and us as well), that God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power; of love; of a sound mind and godly judgment.
No wonder Paul's joy would be complete if his brothers and sisters at Philippi were united together in love, having the same mind and being in full accord with one another, for Paul knew that only as we remain in the flowing stream of God's perfect will for our lives, will we become willing channels through whom the thoughts of God's will stream through us, to refresh and encourage others.
John's brief correspondence to the beloved Gaius, gives great encouragement to this mature brother in Christ... who walked in sincerity and truth, as led by the Spirit of God.
However, John not only gives encouragement to fellow-believers, who read his epistle, but also provides some serious warning for all born-again believers, as we face the temptations and trials of life: Beloved, he pleads, do not imitate what is evil, but imitate all that is good.
Paul wrote six passionate chapters to expose the dangers of legalism; to explain the delights of the gospel of grace; to equip the saints to recognize deception; to exhort against the self-exultation of ill-taught men and to encourage believers to apply the truths that he himself had received from the Lord, and had painstakingly taught to them.
Paul offered many prayers to the Lord on their behalf and wrote an instructive letter to encourage their hearts, develop their spiritual understanding, guide them in the truth of the gospel of Christ, warn them of the dangers of false teachers and unite them together in love.
Though Isaiah's words are encouragement to the people of Israel, who were suffering affliction during their Babylonian captivity - it is the same Spirit that gently leads the body of Christ through the peaks and pitfalls of this worldly system.
These words were spoken to warn of the many tribulations and trials that inevitably stalk the paths of all God's blood-bought children, and to encourage each child of God - knowing that Christ has won the victory on our account, so that no matter what may happen, we are safe in the arms of Jesus.
Paul's dear desire is that these believers grow strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and that they know the joy of the Lord Jesus in their heart, as an abiding presence - and so Paul is writing to this little band of believers while being chained-up in a Roman prison-cell, to offer encouragement in their Christian life and to give instruction and direction on how to grow in grace and mature in the faith.
We have a firm hope in Christ, and the expectation of His soon return to take us to be with Himself, and so in this verse, we find Peter offering comfort, encouragement and instruction, to all who endure suffering for the sake of Christ. Therefore, Peter wrote, those also who suffer according to the will of God, shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator, in doing what is right.
Christian love seeks to encourage one another towards godly living and spiritual growth, and Paul gives us biblical guidance on what to do when a brother or sister in Christ is caught up in any trespass or sin.
And in this verse we are exhorted to speak wholesome words and do good things that encourage and edify others - Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, we are instructed, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment - so that it will give grace to those who hear.
The words we speak should flow from a heart that is centred on Christ and should minister timely words of grace and encouragement to others.
When a word we have spoken has given encouragement to others, and meets a timely need, it is a joyful thing, it blesses other and it honour the Lord.
We are not simply to know what Scripture says, but are to act responsibility and obey the call of God to speak timely words of encouragement, which edify the Body; rejoices the heart; give grace to all those who hear them ... and honour our Father in heaven.
And despite his imprisonment in a Roman jail, it was with the joy of the Lord that Paul was able to write his letter of encouragement to his brothers and sisters in Philippi - exhorting them to unity, humility and continued sacrificial service to the Lord.
And although part of his letter was used to encourage these saints to set aside all self-interest and selfish ambitions and to be bonded together in the unity of the faith, he gives great encouragement, by describing their work of faith as a precious, sacrificial service to the Lord.
To help God's people remember His never-failing faithfulness, he taught them the Song of Moses... to both encourage them in the days ahead and as a constant reminder that God's work is perfect; His way is righteous; His laws are just, and His faithfulness lasts from generation to generation.
James does not necessarily encourage these believers to cry out for God's help or His strength in their desperate time of need, nor does he advise them to request an escape from the fiery trial they are facing.
Not only are they called to be even-tempered in their dealings with others, honourable in all aspects of their home life, self-restrained in their business and financial dealings and hospitable towards others but they are instructed to stand firm in the faith; to hold fast to sound biblical doctrine; to be able to exhort and encourage others in the furtherance of the gospel of God - and they should also be in a position to oppose and rebuke those that contradict the Word of God..
Yet it is to his faithful young follower, Timothy, that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write his final epistle of encouragement and warning, with a call to faithfulness in ministry, courage in the challenges of life and patient endurance when facing the inevitable hardships, that pursue all who live godly in Christ Jesus.
The psalms, prayers and praises of David have been a source of comfort and encouragement to multitudes down the corridors of history, and this Psalm, where David cries out to God for forgiveness of his sins, has demonstrated the importance and wisdom of confessing our sins – particularly our post-salvation sins - for in so doing we are immediately returned into a right relationship with the Father.
But although this like other psalms, prayers and praises of David is an ever-present source of comfort and encouragement to all believers, and rightly so – this verse is a prayer that the Christian can never pray, for in so doing it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the permanent, indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, in the life of ALL believers - following Christ’s finished work on Calvary's cross.
The psalms, prayers and praises of David are a wonderful source of comfort and encouragement, but we must never confuse the way God dealt with His chosen people Israel - PRE-Cross, and His chosen people the Church - POST-cross.
They tumble and glimmer through the Word of God like a myriad of twinkling stars, peeping through the glowering skies of doubt and sorrow - refreshing the soul, giving hope to the faint-hearted and encouragement to the weary in heart.
It is in the midst of Christ detailed instructions to His disciples and warning of coming persecution, that the Lord adds a word of encouragement - Therefore do not fear them, are the Lord's heartening words, for there will be nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
But before Paul started to detail the process and procedure of end-time events, in this epistle, he greeted the Thessalonian believers with some lovely, uplifting words of great encouragement: therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God..
It was only right that Paul offered this well-earned, encouragement and reassurance, to these beleaguered saints ... to persevere in the midst of terrible trials, by commending them for their Christian commitment, when they were undergoing such pressures, persecution, temptation and trials.
We are exhorted to consider Him Who lived in humble obedience to the Father and walked in spirit and truth - we are to consider Jesus, Who endured grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself, and to draw strength and encouragement from His example- so that like Him we will not grow weary but seek to follow His example, of a life lived in utter dependence upon God - for the joy that is set before us.
As well as offering encouragement to these younger men, the three epistles give us instruction on how the body of Christ should function and interact with one another, and also list the roles and responsibilities of Church leaders and those in their charge.
These older ladies, who have greater life-experience, are directed, in verses 3 and 4, to encourage younger women to love their husbands and also to love their children.
Older women are to be discreet and chaste in both their public and private lives and to encourage their daughters in the same path of purity.
What a great testimony to all believers down through the centuries who have read the epistle to the Philippians and what a great encouragement it is for us today, in these increasingly difficult and dangerous times - where world-wide persecution is escalating out of all proportion, and many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being slaughtered for their faith.
David pleads his own wretchedness and implores God's goodness to direct and govern his ways, and like so many of his petitions, these verses feed the hungry soul, lift-up the fainting spirit and encourage the believer' heart.
Paul was often imprisoned for teaching the truth and it was during such a time that letters of encouragement and instruction were often penned to the Church..
Paul's stated purpose in this verse should be the motivation for all of God's children in these increasingly evil days in which we are living - so that in Christ we may encourage one another in the faith and be united together in a godly love of the truth.
Understanding the perplexity in their hearts, the gracious Saviour offered words of compassion and comfort as He compressed His eternal love for them into a brief season, starting with these dear words of reassuring peace, comfort and tender encouragement.
We are exhorted to walk worthy of our calling; to contend earnestly for the faith; to abstain from earthy lusts which war against the soul and to encourage one another while it is still called “today'; lest any of us are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Let us take note of the many scriptural warnings and exhortation to walk worthy of our calling; to contend earnestly for the faith; to abstain from earthy lusts which war against the soul and to encourage one another while it is still called “today'; lest any of us are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin - or simply drift away from the Lover of our soul.
Some of the last words of help, encouragement, advice and guidance that Christ gave His eleven disciples, shortly before He became the sin sacrifice for humanity, were that He did exactly as the Father commanded Him - so that the world would know that He loved the Father.
Well, Paul gave us some help in his final instructions and encouragement in second Timothy - we are called to be faithful in knowing and learning ALL the sacred writing of God, which are able to give us wisdom - and which leads us to Salvation, which can only be found by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
In his closing comments, Paul speaks a word of encouragement, while exhorting them toward sound doctrine, maturing in the faith and developing Christ-like love, by making this solemn pronouncement: If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be anathema.
Early writings about the Christian Church are reported to have said: see how these Christians love one another, and in this epistle to the saints of God, one of John's main discussion points is how to maintaining fellowship with the Lord, and how to encourage Christian communion with one another.
What a great encouragement and wealth of spiritual truth this benediction from Jude provides as he brings his short but dynamic little epistle to a close - for the only One Who is able to keep us from stumbling in our Christian walk and Who will one day joyfully present us faultless before His glorious presence is none other than our God and Saviour.
Would that we were day-by-day and moment-by-moment swept off out feet and rendered breathless, as we consider the enormous encouragement and wonderful wealth of spiritual truth that is embedded in Jude's magnificent benediction, to all who are one with Christ.
As always, Paul used every opportunity to strengthen the Philippian believers, encourage those that laboured with him for the gospel of Christ, and entreated them all towards good works and holy living.
He seeks to warn us against favouritism; to remind us of the dangers of an unruly tongue; to encourage us to seek wisdom from the Lord; to avoid the devastating danger of pride, which manifest itself in covetous cravings and evil desires and to remember that Scripture teaches that the indwelling Spirit of God yearns over each of us with a godly jealousy – that desires that we walk in spirit and truth and live humbly before our God.
He wrote to correct the Judaiser's legalistic errors; to clarify the truth of the glorious gospel; to encourage the believers to hold fast to the truth; to vindicate his name and to restore order to the local Church community.
The book of Esther was written to offer Jewish exiles and those who had returned to the land of Israel with Ezra, great encouragement and the assurance that God is a covenant-keeping God, Who is faithful to His word and watches over His people, even when they are disobey Him.
The letter Paul wrote to the Colossians suggests that the believers there, as well as those in Laodicea, had never met Paul in person, although he prayed regularly for them and wrote letters to them to give them personal encouragement and instruction in Christian living.
There appears to have been some considerable interaction between the two sets of believers in these cities - both commercial and religious, which enabled them to share fellowship with one another; read each other's letters and provide encouragement and edification.
But Paul knew that nothing could separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, and that no one could pluck him out of God's hands - and he wanted the saints at Rome to know this truth in their heart, and to encourage these believers to hold fast to the faith, and stand firm on the truth of the gospel of God.
But like all of us, Paul also needed encouragement from other members of the body of Christ, and so he told these Christians in Rome that he longed to come and see them..
As the days get darker and the world becomes increasingly evil, the need for sincere Christian fellowship and encouragement, becomes even more necessary.
Every believer has been given spiritual gifts and graces that are to be used to encourage and exhort one another.
Paul himself taught that our spiritual gifts are to be used for the mutual edification, exhortation, teaching, consolation, building up and encouragement of the Church of Christ.
As members of His body, let us seek to use our gifts and graces to uplift and invigorate our brothers and sisters in the faith, and to welcome the encouragement and advice we receive from them.
Let us never forget that we have gifts that differ from one another, according to the grace that has been given to us, and by God's grace should exercise them accordingly - not only for the mutual encouragement of one another.. but also for the honour and glory of His precious name.
As God's chosen apostle to the gentile, he wanted to warn us to live godly in Christ Jesus; to admonish us to grow in grace; to encourage us to walk in spirit and truth and to teach us the unsearchable riches of God.
Both David and Peter encourage a positive attitude towards life – by faith in God Who has promised to be with us always, even when things are difficult – even when we are facing persecution and problems.
Although the psalmist pleaded for God's grace and salvation in the earlier verses and described the bitter dismay that was heavy on his soul, the final few verses provide a flickering ray of hope and encouragement, as David starts to rebuke those that have disturbed his peace with a display of confidence - Depart from me all you who do iniquity, he cries in exultation, for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
As he penned his final epistle from a dungeon in Rome, Paul wanted to encourage this young pastor to stand fast in the faith, and endure the inevitable challenges he would face, if he were to be faithful in ministry, remain true to the glorious gospel of grace and preach the Word of God, to a world that was dead in sins and at enmity with God.
Paul wanted to encourage this young man to remain faithful to his ministry and pastoral duties, as he preached the Word and shared the gospel of Christ, with those in need..
He knew that our Father is a God Who hears and answers the prayer of His children, and so Paul encouraged the Philippian believers to intercede on his behalf - knowing that God would hear and answer their prayer, and that his deliverance from prison, would increase their faith; give great encouragement to the body of Christ and cause the gracious spirit of Christ to be formed in them.
But the important message that he wanted to relay to Timothy was to faithfully continue to preach the word; to be ready in season and out of season - to be prepared to reprove, rebuke, exhort and encourage other believers with great patience and godly instruction.
It is also God's will that we admonish unruly brethren, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone and refuse to repay evil with evil.
True ministers encourage one another and seek after that which is good, which brings glory to God. The godly minister rejoices in the Lord, prays without ceasing and gives thanks in everything - knowing that this is God's will for all His children.
Both the resurrection and rapture are glorious truths, that give great encouragement to Christians - especially in times of hardship, which is why Paul wrote his extended treatise on the resurrection..
The book of Job has been an inspiration and encouragement to many saints down through the ages who themselves have had to go through some terrible trials and horrific persecutions as well enduring the day to day problems that all humanity has to face in a fallen world..
The many passages in the Word of God that give the believer encouragement and reassurances, but they often come in the form of contrasts:- sinner and saved; death and life; darkness and light; carnal and spiritual; unbelief and trust.
And although these Old Testament passages are addressed directly to the nation of Israel - all scripture is profitable for the Church, for through it we can discover truths and principles that can comfort, encourage..
Although this is certainly a serious warning against treating this issue carelessly, or without understanding the tremendous responsibility incurred in teaching God's Word... this verse is also a great encouragement for us all, to study the scriptures daily, to show ourselves approved unto God, be in a position to tell others the good news of the gospel of grace - and to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ.
Paul knew they were eternally secure, through faith in Christ but he wanted to encourage each of these Christians to stand fast and hold firm in their faith.
We are called to encourage those that are struggling; to pray for those that do not know Him and to sow eternal seeds of hope, joy and rejoicing in the hearts of all we meet, so that together we will one day rejoice as we stand and worship our great King of kings and loving Lord of glory.