To encourage someone, is to make them more determined, hopeful or confident, to give them a boost to their courage. This courage helps them to continue on the path they are on, helps them persevere in the battle they are fighting or simply makes their burden a little lighter.
Everybody needs an ‘En-courager’ in their life.
We are all as believers told to be an encouragement to others in scripture. We are told to daily encourage, because life is tough and the journey to heaven is hard.
“But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)
The word “exhort” also translated encourage, is the Greek word ‘parakaleo’ a compound of the words ‘para’ and ‘kaleo.’ Para means to come alongside and kaleo means to call, to beckon or to speak to someone. When these two words are put together, it means someone who is right alongside a person, urging them, beseeching them, begging them to make some kind of correct decision or action.
Someone coming alongside you to support you, is exactly the picture that this word encouragement is communicating to us.
Jesus used the word “paraklete”, a derivative of “parakaleo” to describe the Holy Spirit as the Counselor in John 14:16. It combines the ideas of comfort and counsel as the Holy Spirit encourages us in our walk. Not only do we have the Encourager to help us in our walk, but we are as believers to encourage one another. “…the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Cor 1:3-4)
1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
In the ancient Greek world, this word “Parakaleo” was also used to describe the way military leaders spoke to their troops in battle. They would come right alongside them, and honestly acknowledge the realities of war and the potential dangers of the battlefield. The leaders would also tell them about the glories to be found in winning a major victory. These leaders would come right alongside their troops and urged, exhorted, beseeched, begged and pleaded with them to stand tall, throw their shoulders back, look the enemy straight on, eyeball to eyeball and face their battle bravely.
We are to encourage one another like this too, as many of us are in battles for our family, our livelihood, our children, our health, our marriage, our business, our country, even our day-to-day survival etc.
There are days that the battle is hard and we need an ‘En-courager’ to come into our lives and speak courage to us. We need someone to come alongside and honestly… truthfully remind us that although the battle is hard, in Christ we still win. We are to build one another up so that we can be Christ-like and strong in the faith, persevering in all our trials.
Daily go out and build courage in someone else. Remind others what we believe, strengthen their faith, remind them of the hope we have. Find a friend in a spiritual battle and come alongside them like a military leader and en-courage them as you together, face the enemy.
The wonderful thing about encouragement, or exhortation, is that it is double-sided. One has to give it, in order to receive it. Then, when we receive it, we also, in our turn want to give it. Encouragement and kindness is contagious, once you have experienced it, you know the value it has for others.
Do something today! Give out of your plenty to someone in need. Give a compliment. Acknowledge the service someone gives to you. Give out words of encouragement. Write a note to someone, even if you only share your favorite bible verse. Go see someone who is in the thick of a battle. Phone someone who you know who needs to know that they are thought of.
If today you are the person in need of encouragement, turn to the Lord, our great Encourager and tell Him of your need. Then go out and be an en-courager to others and God is sure to take care of your encouragement to.
Lord help me to be mindful of the needs of others and creatively come up with ways to be an encouragement to others. Father forgive me for being so busy in my own life, that I have not paid attention to the lives of others. Please make me more alert and compassionate when it comes to the needs of others. Thank you for always being with me, You are my greatest comfort.