“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV).
Hebrews 3:13 tells us to “encourage one another daily.” First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” and 1 Thessalonians 4:18 adds, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” Throughout the Bible, we see instructions to encourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Encouragement is emphasized in the Bible because it is necessary for our walk of faith.
There are a lot of things that are discouraging today starting with the pandemic. But we also face the challenges of our bodies breaking down, our plans faltering, our dreams diminishing, and our joy dimming. We should encourage each other because it is an essential way of extending grace to each other.
I encourage you to make encouragement a daily discipline. For some of us, encouragement comes naturally, for others, not so much. Develop a system or daily reminder to send someone an encouraging note, email, text, or phone call. Pray and ask God to show you who you can encourage. Nothing encourages us like promises from God’s Word. Make a list of Scriptures that God has used to bless you personally or an excerpt from something you read in your daily devotional. Find and share riches of God’s grace with others.
Without encouragement, life would soon feel pointless and burdensome. Without encouragement, we can be overwhelmed by the very real pains of our lives. Without encouragement, we feel unloved. Without encouragement, we begin to think that God is unconcerned with our welfare. So, the Bible tells us to encourage one another, to remind each other of the truth that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured, that our struggles are worth it.
Don’t forget about the pastors, the church staff or your small group leader. They need encouragement just as much as anyone else. If your pastor or staff member or small group leader says or does something that God uses in your life, tell him or her about it. Nothing encourages a pastor or staff member or small group leader like hearing specific ways God used a sermon or counseling session or small group curriculum to work in your life.
So, get started. Who can you encourage right now? Who has blessed you recently that you can thank? What verse can you share with them? How might God use it?
- Do you try to encourage people on a regular basis?
- Who can you encourage this week?