The Importance of Encouragement

Alexis Malek

2/19/2014

                                            The Importance of Encouragement

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” He also mentions the importance of building one another up in Hebrews 10:25, telling us not to neglect meeting with one another,  but to encourage each other since the day of the Lord’s return (2nd Coming) is near. The idea is for us to be fully prepared for Jesus’ return so when Judgment Day does come, we will be able to stand before the Lord blameless, and having fought the good fight of faith, make it to the Kingdom of God (heaven). There are people who are new to the faith or relatively new, or who are in danger of straying and becoming lost,  and they need encouragement in their faith. They need to be around positive people who believe in God and encourage them when they show spiritual growth and in studying God’s Word daily.

Those who have been in their walk with God longer than others need to be in the lookout for newer believers or just any believers in danger of straying and reach out to them with words of encouragement. Brother Francisco, one of the ministers who preaches at the Church of Christ I attend,  has recently been encouraging me and so has the other minister who preaches, and they tell me I have grown spiritually, and Brother Francisco told me just the other day after church service how proud he is if me. It lifted my spirits and it is nice to hear people notice your spiritual growth.  what is even better though is to have people help you grow spiritually by being there to talk to about God on a regular basis and on days other than Sunday or Wednesday.

God created us to be social and to love and be loved. In Genesis 2:18, God said that  “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So God brought all the animals to Adam for him to name them but none of them were suitable as a helper. So drop down to verses 21-23, which says, “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. ‘At last!’ the man exclaimed.  ‘This one is bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh! She will be called “woman” because she was taken from “man.”‘  God never meant for us to be alone,  and from the beginning, from the first man, God said that it is not good for us to be alone. Yet there are many,  like me, who due to circumstances beyond our control,  are forced to live among unbelievers because they are our own family members by flesh a and blood,  and they are giving us a roof over our head and so most days the only contact  people like us have with other believers is at church on Sunday for church service and Wednesday for Bible study. I personally try to make the best of this situation by doing my own daily Bible studies in my room and by reading bible quotes that are uplifting and encouraging, and I am also reading a Bible Plan that is 365 days long from Billy Graham. There are times this is not enough and I’ve tried reaching out to members of my church to hang out but they either tell me they are too busy or say okay to it but then never follow through. I finally said something about it in a form of prayer request in response to Brother Francisco’s  message from God on Sunday and he told me he was proud of me afterwards. Hopefully God soon answers my prayer to surround me with positive people who believe in God and encourage me in my faith.

If any of you are going through something similar and need another believer to talk to, please feel free to email me. It is important to build one another up in our faith so that we do not get lost and stray from God and find we are unable to find our way back to the safety of God’s arms. If you are not building someone up then you are tearing them down whether with your words, with your actions,  or with your indifference. You show indifference when you ignore your duty as a Christian to encourage a fellow brother or sister, especially someone you are aware of who needs encouragement but you’re unwilling to take the time to give it or to help them build their faith and to help them grow spiritually. If you are guilty of showing indifference, whether intentionally or not,  choose today to stop acting indifferent and get your fire back for the Lord and help feed the flames of fire for the believers in your life who need it. Who needs it? Everyone at some point in their spiritual walk with God needs encouragement. People need it individually and the whole church (members if your congregation) as a whole also need to meet together more than twice a week in order to grow spiritually as a whole and to bring new people to your church to become children of God. People will not be attracted to your church if they do not see God’s presence there and they will not see God’s presence if you are indifferent or for whatever reason ate neglecting meeting several times a week.

Acts 2:46 tells us that back when the church was first formed, all of the believers worshiped together at the Temple every day and met in each other’s homes for the Lord’s Supper. They shared their meals with great joy and generosity and all the while praising God and in doing this daily meeting, people kept being added to the fellowship. Why did they have joy and why were new believers added all the time? Because they met together to worship God and fellowship  every day and not just twice a week. We may not be able to meet every day now, but what if leaders of Christ’s church made an effort to get all of their members together at least 4 times a week? And what if on days not everyone can meet,  the church leaders take turns making themselves available to believers who need someone to talk to about God?  Brother Kerry offers to be there when in need and if you don’t mind it sometimes taking a while for him to respond then he will set aside time and talk to us. What to do in an emergency though? What if you have a crisis of faith and need immediate encouragement? Open your Bible and God will comfort you and quiet your fears with his unfailing love. Remember that the ultimate encourager is Christ since he went through the same temptations we face and had victory over all of Satan’s strategies and over death. Jesus conquered the grave and has offered us this same awesome gift through salvation and all children of God can experience this gift of eternal life by being faithful to God and standing firmly in their faith by wearing all of God’s body armor (Ephesians 6:14-17 lists what God’s full body armor consists of).

However, though Christ is our ultimate encourager and comforter, let us not get lazy  or neglectful in building each other up in our faith in God. Today, if you know of someone (or more than one person) in your life who needs your encouragement,  reach out to them and offer it willingly and with love. We must also show God’s kind of love for one another. Christ lists it as the second greatest commandment,  after loving God with all your heart, mind, and strength. You will live a more joyful and prosperous life if you do what you are able to do to help others, and especially in the form of their spiritual growth and faith in God. May everyone reading this be blessed in the name of Jesus!  Peace be with you all.

If you want to know different ways you can encourage someone there are too many to count but some ways are a hug, an acknowledgement of their recent spiritual growth, encouraging them in their dreams (the career life God put in their hearts to pursue), encouraging them in their walk – like when you notice they are feeling down or overwhelmed reassure them that God is still in control and that as a child of God they are more than conquerors through Christ. If you notice them missing from church, call or text them or if you know where they live, stop by and let them know they are missed and ask them how they are doing. These are just a few examples of how to show encouragement to believers or to potential believers who are not sure yet. You have the power to bring someone to God or to bring them back if they are on the brink of being led astray, or if it just happened there is a small gap where you can bring that person back with your encouragement and your presence (even if it is sometimes a silent presence). The Bible is full of ways to be encouraging to others and of how God encourages us so look up the verses with the key word “encourage” and see what positive verses about God encouraging us or about us encouraging one another come up. God bless!

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