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Wednesday, 24 October 2012


 It's a fact: we all love to be encouraged. It inspires, strengthens and/or brings joy. God designed encouragement to build us up and help us. But does God command us to encourage others? Are we just supposed to soak it all up... or give it out as well?

 I define encouragement as one of three things: either 'something that inspires us, gives us courage or builds us up' ('hey, that's a nice top'; 'I just wanted to say, you have such a godly character'; 'you are doing such a good job, keep it up!'; 'you can do it!' etc), or 'an urging or advice' ('I'd encourage you to apologise' etc), or 'something, usually an action, and often unconsciously done, that brings joy or relief' ("Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints." {Philemon 1:7}). (I know these may seem blurred and/or all the same, but I did my best. :D I reckon you guys get the gist of encouragement.) Here, I'm just going to talk about the first one. 

 So: does God wan't us to give encouragement? OF COURSE!!! It may be hard to do at times, or seem weird, but God commands us to encourage each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (Let's hope that last bit is true!) There are stacks of other Bible verses that talk about encouragement; check out Romans 12:8, 2 Timothy 4:2 and Titus 2:15b. There are many places where the Bible talks about specific people encouraging: like Paul in Colossians 2:2, Barnabas in Acts 11:23 and Judas and Silas in Acts 15:32. Guess what? The Bible even tells us that God encourages us! (Psalm 10:17, Romans 15:5.) So does the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9:31.) God also speaks through the Scriptures to give us encouragement. (Romans 15:4; I think you've probably experienced these ideas for yourself!)

 Why encourage? Why does God command us to build each other up? Well, there's the simple fact that it makes others feel nice. You know how you feel when you're encouraged; others feel that way too when you encourage them. Everyone likes a boost. 
 Then, there's the effects your encouragement can have. Check out this verse: "But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see." (Deuteronomy 3:28, emphasis mine.) Your encouragement could do something big! OK, OK, maybe not saying 'I love your shirt' (I guess, you never know... it could start that girl thinking about creating her own fashion label... :P), but some things could have a big impact.
 Lastly, there's what might happen if you don't encourage someone. 2 Samuel 19:7: "Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall!" (OK, my example may be slightly exaggerated, but the concept still holds.) If you don't encourage someone, something negative could happen. Maybe if I hold back from telling the girl on my street that she looks pretty she'll grow up hating herself. (Maybe not, but who knows. My encouragement could just be the thing that pulls someone away from something bad or helps change a life course. But always remember, such encouragement - indeed, all encouragement - needs to be constant and consistent.) 

 I'd also like to point out that we can be channels for God's direct encouragement. This may or may not be a new concept for you, but it's really cool! For example, when I ask God for a message of encouragement for someone, He most often gives a picture. I then ask God what it means, and deliver the message. By the way, not everyone gets a picture, but I usually do.
 Sometimes God gives you a message (for your or someone else) suddenly, sometimes He gives it when you ask. Sometimes when you ask you don't get something, and that's fine. 

 So lets rise to the challenge... and the command! Let's spread encouragement all around us!

Love in Christ,Cassie xoxoxo

P.S. Check out this wonderful video!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post!! I totally agree with that! We all need encouargment as Christians to help us keep going. :)

    And I'd like to encourage you by saying that your blog is amazing! I love every post and I know that God will use you both now and even more in future. Keep it up! So many people need what you have to say and just YOU!!!

    I can't wait to see you tomorrow!!!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Bri xoxox


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