Why is encouragement so important according to the Bible?
Answer: “Butencourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so thatnone of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness,” Hebrews3:13 tellsus. FirstThessalonians 5:11 says,“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just asin fact you are doing.” Throughout the Bible we see instructions toencourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Whyis encouragement emphasized in the Bible? Primarily becauseencouragement is necessary to our walk of faith.
Jesus told His followers, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John16:33b).Jesus did not shy from telling His followers about the troubles theywould face. In fact, He told them the world would hate them (John15:18-21;see also Matthew10:22-23 and 2Corinthians 2:15-16).But Jesus’ grim forecast was tempered with cheer; He followed Hisprediction of trouble with a sparkling word of encouragement: He hasovercome the world. Jesus is greater than any trouble weface.
Without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless,and our will to go on wanes. The prophet Elijah struggled with discouragement (1Kings 19:3-10),and so do we. It is important to remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this darkworld and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians6:12).This truth makes encouragement all the more important. It is not just that we face the world’s displeasure; we are caught in the crosshairs of a spiritual battle. When we are encouraged in Christ,we have strength to put on our spiritual armor and remain steadfast(see Ephesians6:10-18).
Even in places where Christians do not experience overt persecution or hatred, we all know that life can be difficult. Discouragement is no uncommon human experience. At times, recognizing that there is meaning in the seemingly inconsequential things we do seems next to impossible. We may want to give up. Yet He who calls us is faithful,and He gives us the power to be faithful, too (1Corinthians 1:9).
A man in the early church named Joseph was given the nickname“Barnabas,” which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts4:36).What a blessing Barnabas was to the believers of his day! Through the encouragement of Barnabas, the apostle Paul was first accepted by the church in Jerusalem (Acts9:27).Through the encouragement of Barnabas, Mark was given a second chance after an abject failure (Acts13:13; 15:39).
Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way.Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (see John13:34-35).Encouragement gives hope (Romans15:4).Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing(Hebrews12:5).Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians5:22-26).Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life.
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 a liar or 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.
Encouragement from theBible gives us the will to carry on. It is a glimpse of the biggerpicture. It can prevent burn-out. It can save us from believing lies(“sin’s deceitfulness”). Encouragement helps us experience abundant life (see John10:10).
Proverbs16:24 says,“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” God’s Word is full of encouragement. Pleasant words,indeed.
RecommendedResource: Encouraging One Another, Women of Faith Bible Studies
DISCLAIMER FOR BLOG
As with all of the reading we do, we are to remember Pastor Bingham remands us to research and use discernment, always. We run these blogs for you to ponder and pray. Hopefully each topic helps someone each day. Our blog is not meant to support any other pastor or books written by clerics or laymen. This blog is merely to provide and provoke thought for you individual Bible Study. ALWAYS Check your KJV for Author Accuracy.
We love you and pray for your Bible Study and discernment.