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 gives 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 that is needed is a gesture – sometimes a word of encouragement.
It is often that word of comfort and encouragement that gladdens the heart.
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.
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 anything, 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.
And it is through Christ that we have been so endowed. It is by Christ that we have been brought into God’s family. It is in Christ that we stand and in Him that we are accepted by the Father. It is Christ and Christ alone that is the means that has brought about our eternal bliss. All Scripture is given by God to teach, train, and encourage the whole church of God, but the wealth of knowledge within its pages are only for those that trust in Christ. The unsaved man is incapable of trawling the depths of the wealth of Scriptures..
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.
One person that Paul named in certain epistles, is Timothy.Paul knew that the Thessalonian believers had been undergoing some severe persecution and was anxious for their well-being… and so he entrusted Timothy, his faithful fellow-worker, to travel to Thessalonica to find out how the believers there were getting along, to establish them in the faith, and give them spiritual support and godly encouragement.Paul rejoiced when Timothy returned with the joyful tidings that they were being established in the faith and well-grounded in the Word, despite the many difficulties and distresses they were facing: May the Lord cause you to increase in your faith and abound in your love for one another and for all people, was Paul's heartfelt prayer for them all, just as we also do for you.Paul continued in prayers and loving intercessions for the saints at Thessalonica – beseeching God the Father Himself and Jesus our Lord to direct and govern their ways.May we be like Paul, and remember to lift up our fellow Christian brothers and sisters in continuous and loving prayer and heartfelt intercessions – that their hearts would be also established in the Lord and blameless before Him and that they would walk in holiness before our God and Father, encouraging one another as they look for the any-day appearance of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
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 circumstance, but he knew that this faithful servant of the Lord would edify the saints, encourage them to stand firm in the faith, and hold fast to the truth of the glorious gospel of grace.He wrote to inform them of his current situation during his imprisonment in Rome, and to reassure them that he was Christ's ambassador in chains, whose ongoing desire was to share the gospel as boldly as he could.
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 Paul 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.Although he is only mentioned five times in the New Testament, Tychicus earned the trust and recommendation of the apostle Paul.
The godly character of this dear man of faith was manifested in his actions, attitude, and commendable ministry.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, like him, pray without ceasing, rejoice in the Lord continuously, and in everything give thanks to our Heavenly Father.May we seek to be faithful servants 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.
And although there were a few dissenters who tried to undermine Paul's authority and others who had regressed in their spiritual growth, their enthusiastic response to the gospel of Christ was a great joy and encouragement to Paul, and his fellow-labourers in Christ.
Paul's letters were designed to strengthen their faith, encourage them towards holy living, correct any false doctrine, remind them of his apostolic authority, and further instruct them in Church-age doctrines and principles of godly conduct.
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 counsel 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, convincing, rebuking, and encouraging others with never-failing patience, while teaching sound doctrine.
Christ uses the parable of the widow woman and the unjust judge to encourage us to be continually in prayer, to pray without ceasing, and to remain in constant communion with the Lord as we petition Him for the blessings we need from His gracious hand - especially when those blessings seem to be delayed.
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 empathise in the trials and difficulties that our brothers and sisters in Christ are going through, to be there to help and to comfort, to support and encourage.
he bewailed, Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.However, God in His grace gave this young man comfort and encouragement for the daunting task that lay ahead: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, were the Lord’s reassuring words to this young man, and before you were born I consecrated you.Jeremiah had been born into a 'priestly' family, from the tribe of Benjamin... but it was not his parentage, his lineage, or the dictates of a board of directors that secured his prophetic ministry; nor was he a self-proclaimed mouthpiece for the Lord, as so often happened in Bible times, and still happens today!He was called and chosen by the Lord... and those that are called and chosen by God for a specific task, are always sufficiently equipped by the Spirit of God, to complete the task before them.Do not say, 'I am only a youth,' Jeremiah was told by the Lord, because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.He was not to worry about being too young or inarticulate, or because of any speech impediment.
But he also wanted to encourage others to taste and see for themselves that the Lord is good and blesses those that trust in Him.
And like David, we would do well to hide under the shadow of God’s protective arm, to seek Him in the midst of our trials and tribulation, 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 and to know how truly blessed is the man, who takes refuge in the Lord.
Let us remember that Ezekiel's prophecy was given to Israel, to encourage them at the time when Gog and a great army with him, sweep into the beautiful land of Israel, like a cloud covering the land, to take a plunder.
May we encourage them in their faith, strengthen them in their Christians walk, and never allow the freedom we enjoy in Christ to impact their lives negatively, for the honour and glory of our God and Saviour.
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.
He earnestly prayed for the Christians at Thessalonica, 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.
A simple word of thanks, a cheerful hello, or a passing comment of encouragement can mean so much to someone, and can make their day so much sweeter.
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 souls in every good work and word.
While there are always those who try to evade the work of the Lord in their life, it must have been a great encouragement to see the high priest and others from the priestly line of Levi and Aaron getting to work alongside their fellow Israelites, and not pleading exemption from this important work.
And he is the head of the Body, the Church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Paul's great desire was to glorify God in all he did, and to encourage all believers to die to self and live for Christ, to the glory of God.
It is of great encouragement, both to His people Israel, and to His children of every age, 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 serenely in His presence, in quiet confidence and in godly trust.
Unlike all his other letters, including the epistle to the Corinthians which criticised the behaviour and attitude of the saints there and corrected much false teaching, there are no warm introductory remarks in Galatians, no positive encouragement, and no praise for the churches in that region.
While the carnal Christians of Corinth who reverted to spiritual infancy received words of encouragement, no such praise was awarded the Galatian believers.
His Word not only brightens our pathway, guards us on our journey through life, and warns us of each lurking danger, but it is a treasure-trove of precious gemstones to be hidden deep within our heart - for it contains words of wisdom to guide our thinking, precious promises to encourage our hearts, godly instruction on how to live as the Lord desires us to live, and it is the perfect pattern for Christian living as well as the qualified adjudicator of our daily conduct.
It was to a disparate little group of His faithful followers that the Lord Jesus offered these words of comfort and encouragement: Do not be afraid, little flock, He told the anxious little group who had already started to be persecuted for righteousness' sake: Fear not, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.
No words of greater encouragement could have been given to Christ's disciples as they encountered increasing hostility from the Scribes, Pharisees, and Jewish leaders - blind leaders of the blind who refused the truth so that they could embrace the lie.
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, gentle chastening, and genial counsel with the glorious gospel of Christ in order to edify and encourage or even to correct.
Although this Psalm was originally given to encourage Israel to love the Lord with all their heart and walk in His ways, there is much about which to rejoice, when we read that the Lord knows the way of the righteous.
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.
The Sovereign Lord does nothing without first revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets, and Ezekiel was one such servant through whom the Lord spoke to His people, Israel, and disclosed many wonderful and many terrible things.Although this man of God warned of the judgement to come, there is much in this book that emphases the sovereign authority of the Lord, which gives encouragement and comfort to his people, Israel.Although the book of Ezekiel trumpets the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Sanctuary, it also proclaims the great and awesome glory of the Lord and describes, in detail, the future Millennial Temple under the administration of God's anointed King.One aspect of Ezekiel's ministry was that some of his prophetic announcements were to be articulated through drama or mime.
His ministry was to develop the faith of God's chosen people, through sound doctrine and mutual encouragement.
May we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest all we can from this little epistle to Titus so that we may also be equally equipped to share the knowledge of the truth, which is according to godliness, with those that are lost in their sins... and give Christian encouragement to our fellow-bondservants in Christ.
The Spirit-inspired words of Isaiah were an encouragement to the people of Israel, who were suffering affliction during their Babylonian captivity, and it is the same Holy Spirit that speaks to us and gently leads the body of Christ through the peaks and pitfalls of this worldly system.
While 'overseers' or 'bishops' generally attend to the pastoral and spiritual needs of the saints and provide encouragement and edification to believers in their Christian walk, deacons are those entrusted with other material needs or financial issues that might impact the Christian church.
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.
The Lord is a consuming fire, and this passage begins with a description of God's righteous judgement on the wicked, but continues by giving encouragement to those who fear the name of the Lord.
Whenever God gives a warning of fiery judgement to the wicked, he also gives words of encouragement to the little remnant of believers, But... for you who fear My name, we read in Malachi, but for the remnant... the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
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.
There are many examples of men and women of faith drawn from Scripture which encourage us to maintain an unshakable trust in God's Word and stimulate the firm conviction that God is faithful and His promises stand fast forever.
Using someone like Abraham as an example of faith in a passage on developing faith, is to encourage us to follow in his footsteps of faith.
But no matter how many times these cheering words of encouragement appear, let us always remember that they are spoken by the Creator of the Universe to His people.
Do not anxiously look about you, are His words of encouragement, for I am your God.
These words of encouragement and comfort were spoken to Israel through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah: Fear not, was the command they were given, which was accompanied with the most glorious promise: Fear not - for I am with you.
And verse 9 speaks of the advantages of fellowship, partnerships, self-control, and mutual encouragement between two people, two are better than one, he writes, because they have a good return for their labour.
Our God is a relational God and He has made us to be part of a family and members of society... and we see in this verse a contrast between those whose lives are motivated by the futility of envy or isolated by selfish greed and inappropriate incentives, as opposed to the comfort, help, encouragement, and reward, which is gained in trusted friendships or a reliable partner in times of need.
God uses members of Christ's Body to compliment the gifts and graces of other brothers and sisters and to offer encouragement and support.
Shared successes and shared sorrows not only give greater encouragement and is edifying, it is how we are called to live in this world by our heavenly Father.
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 in 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.
The prayers and praises of the aged believer who has walked with the Lord throughout his days and trusts in the Lord with childlike faith, is a source of encouragement and hope for all who are blessed to be in their company and for generations to come.
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, was evidenced in the historical record of the book of Acts, and elsewhere.
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, his prayer was that his journey would be in accordance with the will of God.
The moment they cried out in fear, Jesus heard their distress call and straightaway He spoke words of comfort, reassurance, and encouragement to them.
The Lord could have prevented the storm and kept the disciples safe in peaceful waters, but He could not have called out His reassuring word to have courage so as to demonstrate that He is an ever-present help in need.He could have left them to rely on their own skill or encourage a self-generated, self-reliance that is independent of God, but He wanted to reinforce their faith in Him.
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.
Haggai was a post-exile returnee to the land of Israel whose main ministry was to encourage the people to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and to let them know that God was with them and would help them.
While we recognise that the Lord often sends His human messengers to help, encourage, support, and provide for our needs, and rejoice when they visit us, it is quite likely that the author of Hebrews was referring to heavenly messengers - angelic ministers.
Loving hospitality to strangers and a caring, Christian love, for those close to us, should be the hallmark of all believers, for God may send holy angels, family members, strangers who come to our door, or people we interact with in the street as ministering spirits to encourage, exhort, teach, correct, reproof, correct or instruct in righteousness.
But as much as we rejoice that all good things come from God and delight to quote this verse as an encouragement to one another and as a testimony to God's gracious provision, it is important to read this verse in its correct context and discover why Paul gave this great promise of abundant supply to his readers.
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.
Timothy was entrusted, by Paul, to be pastor of the church at Ephesus, but being the leader of a Christian community in the first century under Roman rule was no easy task, and Paul's letter to this 'son in the faith' contained personal encouragement, many warnings, and a lot of wise instruction on how to deal with a myriad of theological and practical issues that Timothy was likely to meet as he shepherded the little flock of believers in their spiritual journey through life.
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 who are seeking to stand firm in the faith, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
There are occasions when we need correction and times when we need instruction... 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.
While the promise of blessing in chapter 1 is a wonderful encouragement to believers, the warning in this final chapter of Revelation should be chilling to anyone, both believers and unbelievers, who tampers with God's Word or distort its meaning.
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.
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.
Maybe she was a woman of prayer or a lady who simply used her generous nature to encourage the saints and edify the body... but the name of 'Nympha' and her simple home-based ministry in Laodicea has been celebrated by centuries of believers who have read the book of Colossians.
Every verse in the book of Proverbs holds gems of wisdom from the Lord, whether they are words of warning or precious pearls of instruction, exhortation to live a godly life, or simply encouragement to trust in the Lord with all our heart and to keep the eyes of our heart firmly fixed 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 Christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures, 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.
Timothy had a deep and loving concern for the flock of God that reflected Paul's own deep concern for them... and so Timothy, who was Paul's son-in-the-faith, was dispatched to give encouragement and instruction to the Philippian Christians.
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 to the faithfulness of God in their lives, and a great encouragement for us to run the race that lies before us, and press on for the high call of God as we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith Who endured the Cross for our sake: Therefore, we are exhorted, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
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.
His question was not to get information but to encourage Bartimaeus to hold fast to his faith, to make his request known to God, and to trust in the Lord with all his heart and not to lean on his own understanding.
Paul's message of hope is an encouragement to all believers, but it was part of his defence against the unfounded accusations of false teachers who had set themselves up as superior saints, while denouncing Paul's teachings and accusing him of lacking integrity... because he altered his plans and failed to visit Corinth as expected!!!
May we have that same attitude as Paul and be prepared to address issues that challenge the truth of God's Word, while retaining a godly concern for our Christian brethren, as we offer encouragement and edification to one another, whenever we are able.
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.
The Lord Jesus knew the deep distress they were facing and the shocking persecution that they were going through, and His letter must have given them much comfort and encouragement - enabling them to hold fast to their faith during this time of extreme oppression.
What encouragement to discover that enduring suffering and faithfulness to the point of death, would also secure for them the coveted Crown-of-Life - which the Lord has promised to all that love Him.
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.
And similarly, it has continued to be a great encouragement and testimony for the people of God to identify the fulfilment of these... and numerous other biblical prophecies - many of which culminated in the first coming of Christ Who Himself is the personification and spirit of prophecy.
It must have been a great encouragement for the post-exilic Jews, to know that God would, one day, fight for His people against their enemies...for they were living in difficult times - far away from their homeland.
Paul's third missionary journey was around Asia Minor and Greece, and in Acts 20, we discover he was eager to give encouragement to different groups of believers in various locations along the way.
However, having been warned of the assassination plot against him, he arranged to meet with the elders in Miletus for mutual encouragement... and he took the opportunity to remind them of certain important, biblical truths.
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.
During his lifetime Paul had to face much personal criticism and significant hostility towards his message and his ministry, but he was not ashamed of the gospel, because he knew the gospel of Christ was the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, and it was Paul's deep desire to encourage Timothy to reflect this same fervour, and not to allow critics to discourage him in his own pastoral ministry.
Timothy was a young pastor who needed the encouragement of the older man, to remain loyal to the faith and to hold fast to the sound pattern of teaching he had received from Paul.
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.
It must have been a great comfort to Moses to hear the Lord guarantee, My presence will go with you and I will give you rest. And this wonderful promise from God is as relevant today as it was in those distant days, when Moses first heard those beautiful words of encouragement.
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.
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.
The commitment Joshua made before the company, was designed to encourage everyone to make the right choice - to consciously reject the false gods of the Amorites and commit to obeying and trusting the true and living God of Israel. The people were obviously impacted by Joshua's impassioned plea, because they replied as one man, We will certainly not abandon the Lord to worship other gods.
This should encourage us to look for and hasten the coming day of the Lord with godly anticipation and thanksgiving... for this fallen, cursed world and everything that has been contaminated by sin, will one day be burned up.
But the Lord Jesus spoke gracious words of comfort and encouragement to their troubled hearts... caring words that have travelled down the corridors of time and been such a blessing to so many countless saints, let not your heart be troubled...
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 greetings 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 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.
It will have a 'knock-on' effect... so that the comfort 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.
What a gracious God we serve, that even when we fail in our devoted service or become waylaid by the mounting pressures we inflict on our own Christian service, He is ready and willing to warn us of our failure, to encourage us to listen to God's voice, to instruct us to put our priorities in order, and to command us to return the Lord Jesus to His rightful place in our lives. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, is a warning that every Christian should consider on a daily basis.
Paul not only wanted to enjoy mutual fellowship and encouragement with these fellow-believers in Rome, but he also wanted to develop their spiritual understanding and establish them, even more in the faith.
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 prowls around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and so Paul 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 a 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.
This is a letter that was meant to give Timothy much encouragement and support, while providing him with detailed instruction on remaining true to the faith, and sound in doctrine.
However, he did seek to encourage his fellow-labourer to be faithful to his calling, to build up the Body of Christ and to strengthen the resolve of this younger man, as he pressed on to the goal of his calling.
Many of David's psalms begin with great lamenting and cries to the Lord for help or vindication, but inevitably they conclude with optimism, words of encouragement, a heart that hopes in the Lord, or a declaration of trust in the God of his salvation.
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' (the 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 called 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.
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.
Many passages in the Word of God give a believer encouragement and reassurances, but they often come in the form of contrasts; sinners and the saved, death and life, darkness and light, carnal and spiritual, unbelief and trust.
Paul also gave us that wonderful encouragement, that 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.
In his earlier incarceration, the apostle appeared to enjoy a significant amount of freedom when he continued to receive encouragement and support from the believers in Rome, as well as fellow-labourers in Christ, throughout Asia.
Timothy had not abandoned Paul, like so many other Christian colleagues, so the apostle used this opportunity to encourage the younger man to remain faithful to his calling, to fan into flame his spiritual gift, and never to be ashamed of the gospel he preached, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe.
Paul's fervent prayer gives witness to the love he had for this brother in Christ, and the encouragement he also received from him.
Paul also used his prayer for Onesiphorus as an encouragement to Timothy to remain faithful during the difficult days they faced.
We do not know what encouragement this man gave Paul or what service he rendered in Ephesus, but we do know that he was a faithful brother in Christ, who had provided Paul with help and encouragement in the past.
May we give encouragement to the saints and be a faithful servant of our heavenly Lord in our own sphere of life, and may we honour Him in the lives we live as did the testimony of these three men in their various ministries - Paul the apostle, Timothy the pastor, and Onesiphorus - the 'Bringer of Help'.
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.
So much exciting truth has been condensed into a few short verses in Psalm 103, that it should rejoice our heart, still our soul, provide encouragement, and cause us to gaze in utter wonderment and awe at the God Who created us, redeemed us, and upholds us moment by moment by the might of His powerful hand.
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.
There are lessons on godly living for men and women of all ages in Paul's letter to Titus, and we would all be well-advised to take to heart his guidelines for those in positions of authority, within the church, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything, he advises.
May we give encouragement to those that are younger than we are, while imitating the godly traits of those that are mature in the faith.
It was despite this failed attempt to erase the memories and transform the minds of these four youngsters, and implant an allegiance to Babylonian gods and culture, that we discover the book of Daniel to be one of hope and encouragement for the future restoration of Israel.
How blessed we are to have brothers and sisters in Christ, who refresh our soul and encourage our heart.
But Paul was also an apostle of Christ who was ready and willing to supply advice to those that were confused, encourage those whose faith was faltering, edify those who were growing in grace, and to warn of false teachings.
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, must have given this Christian brother great encouragement.
While John gives great encouragement to his fellow-believers, who read his epistle, he also provides some serious warning for all born-again believers about the dangers of narcissistic people in the Church, who display a spirit of control - the spirit of Jezebel.
Paul knew that he was soon to be removed from this earth under the 'axe' of the executioner, but his letter to Timothy was to become the greatest encouragement to the young pastor - and to us as well, to fight the good fight of faith, to run the race that is set before us, and to honour the Lord in all we say and do, by keeping the faith and enduring to the end.
This was Paul's beautiful message of encouragement to Timothy as he wrote his final letter to his precious son in the faith.
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 recognise 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.
I encourage us to explore the experiences of Israel - to avoid their mistakes, to learn from their successes, to gain strength to endure, and to press on for the high toward the goal of our calling - to press on unto perfection.
There are some very specific warnings to heed, a great many words of encouragement and strength, and some important lessons for all Christians to learn within Israel's past history.
All warning passages caution us against spiritual negligence, but all are followed by words of helpful, spiritual encouragement.
Despite his blistering denunciation of the apostate ways of God's chosen people and in spite of the prophet Isaiah's grave warning regarding God's impending wrath and the inevitable punishment that must follow God's disobedient people, we discover that the Lord is gracious towards His chosen nation, Israel, and offers them beautiful words of comfort, encouragement, renewal, and pardon.
Despite his blistering denunciation of the apostate ways of God's chosen people in the early chapters of Isaiah, the prophet's message from chapter 40 is one of enormous comfort and encouragement, for the Lord is a faithful and gracious God who gives strength to the weak and rest to the weary.
And so he wrote these words to encourage us: What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
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.
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.
While we live in this mortal body, suffering and pain is inevitable, but Paul offers us some great encouragement in this passage, by telling us that ALL Christians will one day receive an immortal body.
But He also added words of great encouragement, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.Christ is in union with each of His children and He feels our hurt, He has empathy with the unfair treatment we receive.
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, courage, and instruction, to all who endure suffering for the sake of Christ.
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.
But Israel would not harken to the Word of the Lord, and the prophet Isaiah used withering grasses and the fading flowers of the field to illustrate the transient nature of mans’ life, in an attempt to encourage Israel to repent of their sin, leave their apostate ways and turn back to the Lord.
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 others, and it honours 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..
It must have brought great encouragement to the people when Nehemiah arrived, accompanied by all the king's men and his army officers.
It only took a few days for Nehemiah to gather the facts he needed, encourage the people living there, deliver the king's message to the governor, and secure the enthusiastic commitment of the residents of Jerusalem to join him in this important building project.
And in this final epistle of encouragement and warning, he trumpeted 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.
He suffered just like we suffer and was faced with the same tough choices that all of us are faced with every day - but He did not sin. In so doing, He was equipped to come to our aid and to help us, comfort us, support us, and encourage us in our times of need.
The psalms, prayers, and praises of David have been a source of comfort and encouragement to multitudes down the corridors of history.
Therefore, even though this psalm, 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.
It is in the midst of Christ's detailed instructions to His disciples and His warning of coming persecution, that the Lord adds a word of encouragement, Therefore FEAR NOT, are the Lord's heartening words, do not fear them, for there will be nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
In this first epistle to Timothy, Paul balances the encouragement and edification he gives, with some necessary warnings about teachers of the Law, who have deviated from the truth, while setting him the task to correct any erroneous doctrine.
It was to encourage sinners to turn from their sin and turn to God for the forgiveness of sin - which only comes through faith in Christ - God's perfect sacrifice for sin.
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 to consider Jesus, Who endured grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself, and 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.
As well as offering encouragement to these younger men, the three epistles give 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.
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.
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.
And at Christ's crucial hour of commitment, the Lord Jesus received the most glorious encouragement from His heavenly Father, for His prayer was answered by a voice from heaven, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
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, and made a solemn pronouncement, If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be anathema.
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; that 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 our feet and rendered breathless, as we considered the enormous encouragement and wonderful wealth of spiritual truth that is embedded in Jude's magnificent benediction.
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 manifests 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 of grace, 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 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 interactions 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 him 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 the same 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 through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we should exercise our spiritual gifts and grace 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 Gentiles, 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.
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, Peace I leave with you.
They are exhorted to speak wisely to younger and more inexperienced women... while giving them both encouragement and godly guidance.
Rather, they are exhorted to teach that which is good: So that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible and pure, to be industrious at home and kindly to others - being subject to their own husbands, so that the Word of God will not be dishonoured.
As with so many of David's prayers and petitions, these verses feed the hungry soul, restore the fainting spirit, minister to those that feel overwhelmed by life's circumstances, and encourage a believer' heart.
In this passage, Paul gives an expanded teaching on the glorious truth he wrote about in Corinthians, that this fallen, decaying body of ours will put on incorruption: But when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.' And Paul encourages us to comfort one another with these words, to encourage each other as we watch and wait for the return of the Lord Jesus in the clouds, to take us to be with Himself.
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... knowing how easy it is to become discouraged in a hostile and godless world.
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.
Although the call on Jeremiah's life was devoid of great visions of heaven like Isaiah, or revealed to his parents like John the Baptist, the knowledge that he had been singled out by God and set apart for an important prophetic ministry must have been a great encouragement to this young Levite.
Not only is God faithful to keep his Word, and Paul had been faithful in discipling Timothy with words of instruction and encouragement, but he in turn must remain faithful to his calling.
Not only does Paul encourage faithfulness, which is well-pleasing to the Lord, but also identifies men that may have been fellow-labourer with Paul who had become unfaithful in their service, You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, was Paul's sad reflection, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
But the important message that he wanted to relay to Timothy was faithfulness - 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.
Paul wanted to encourage Timothy and assure him that God is faithful to keep His promises, that the Lord would rescue him from every evil deed and every corrupt happening, and that God would bring him safely to his heavenly kingdom, for in Christ is all the power and all the glory forever and ever, amen.
The promises of God 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 providing encouragement to the weary.
Paul knew that it is not only important to teach the truth of the gospel of grace to unbelievers, but to nurture, disciple, and encourage baby Christians to grow in the faith.
As with all his letters, the little epistle of first Timothy provides each of God's children with great encouragement and edification, authoritative instruction on living the Christian life, and wisdom in combatting false teachings, as well as the blessings of God's grace, the joy of His mercy and His perfect peace in our hearts - a peace which passes understanding.
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... and concluded with the exhortation: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
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 as enduring the day to day problems that all humanity has to face in a fallen world where God has been rejected by the vast majority of mankind. Valuable lessons can be learned from Job's trials, even though the mystery of suffering is not totally fully understood by any of us.
Not every Christian is gifted with the communication gifts Paul mentions in this passage, but every one of us can use our spiritual gifts to exhort, encourage, comfort, and support one another.
Rather let us stir up the spiritual gift with which we have been blessed and exercise it wisely, so that we too may help to equip, encourage, comfort, and support the saints in their spiritual service, and pray that God would use us to help build up the body of Christ, for His name's sake.
In Acts 15, we read of a serious disagreement that blew up between Paul - who was a chosen vessel of Christ, and Barnabas - who is often called 'son of reconciliation' or described as 'a man of encouragement and consolation'.
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.
Firstly, their firm faith in the gospel brought Paul much encouragement, for it brings eternal life to all who believe on Christ.
The thanksgiving he expressed for their developing faith was clearly designed to encourage them to maintain their faith in the Lord and press on for the upward call we have in Christ Jesus, and so he began this personalised section by telling them, We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers.
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.