It seems some people naturally know how to encourage others. In their presence, we feel refreshed; they freely offer praise, admiration, and genuine encouragement.
When I am around encouragers, it makes me wonder, how are they so kind? Is it possible for all of us to become encouragers? What does the Bible say about encouragement?
Expressing encouragement may seem a little awkward for some people. But what a different world it would be if we begin to understand what does the Bible say about encouragement and become people who speak words of hope.
What Does the Bible Say about Encouragement?
So, what does the Bible say about encouragement? The Bible is the greatest book ever written and the inspired Word of God. One of the wonders of reading the Bible is its ability to encourage us.
When we read about the lives of people in the Bible, stories of God’s faithfulness and Jesus’ life and death, we are inspired.
If we are feeling dry and discouraged, it is hard to express and share love. Learning what does the Bible say about encouragement and through prayer we can start filling our own spirit.
What does the Bible say about encouragement? A lot. Pages and pages of hope-filled words. Our job is to embrace the gift we have and discover its power!
What Does the Bible Say about Encouraging One Another?
Encouragement means to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. Encouragement is how we give strength to one another. How amazing that our words can touch someone’s heart and provide long lasting hope and confidence.
“Encouragement can provide people with strength to look ahead, move forward, and reach for the next goal. The whole emotional tone of a tough situation can be transformed through encouragement. Somehow things seem a little brighter.” Julie J. Exline Ph.D.
If our words carry the power to motivate, influence and provide strength, why do we hold back from encouraging one another?
I think most of us understand the importance of encouragement, but we struggle sometimes showing encouragement.
Could our inability to share hope be linked to our own feelings of inadequacy? Or maybe embarrassment that we will stand out when no one else is being positive? Could it be a learned behavior to withhold encouragement for fear that it seems ingenuine or not socially accepted?
I think all of these factors contribute to our silence, but there is a way to get over these hurdles.
Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and fill us with a new identity that brings confidence. He came to complete us and to turn our mourning into joy and our tears into laughter. There is hole that only He can fill.
When we are filled with the knowledge that we are His beloved, it frees us to extend love to others. We become more childlike in openly expressing our positive feedback to those around us.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”
Psalm 34:18-19 NLT
“Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”
Matthew 18:3-5 MSG
Why is Encouragement Important?
As my family prepared to move to another state, our pastor’s wife approached us after our last church service. She looked me in the eye and said, “You will be missed. Your family has been a breath of fresh air to our congregation.”
After 20 years, why am I able to remember exactly what she said to me? Because her genuine words provided encouragement during a stressful time in my life.
Can you remember certain things people have said that caused you to feel strengthened and hope-filled? These tokens of inspiration remind us why encouragement is important to us.
The secret to being able to offer encouragement is to feel encouraged ourselves. We all need people in our life who offer hope and inspire us; brighten our day and build us up.
“So encourage each other and build each other up just as you are already doing”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT
Encouragement sustains and lifts us up. It is like the air in a balloon. Once air is blown into a flat piece of latex it expands and floats with a new source of energy.
In the same way, encouraging words energize our spirit.
“Kind words are like honey; sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.“
Proverbs 16:24 NLT
What is Discouragement?
Discouragement is the opposite of being encouraged. Discouragement is a lack of inspiration and steals our hope. We don’t need help answering the question what is discouragement, because we have all experienced its pain and despair.
The problem with discouragement is that it seems to have super powers especially when we are struggling, feeling unnoticed and unsupported or someone is unkind to us. Hopelessness can override the positive and it can linger for a long time, sometimes for life. But we can overcome discouragement with the help of God’s word, prayer, trusted friends, a counselor and our faith.
Although we can’t entirely eliminate pain in life, we can learn to overcome feelings of discouragement and decide to become agents of encouragement who inspire others.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22 NLT
Encourage One Another Daily
When my daughters were young, they loved to be in plays. I sat through wonderful performances including Aladdin, Music Man and Alice in Wonderland as well as impromptu, untitled shows in our den.
I remember their friends would surround each other and openly offer support and words of encouragement.
“Great job. You were awesome. I love your voice. Your costume was perfect.” They freely praised each other and modeled how to encourage one another. The kids were inspired and confident of their abilities.
But I began to notice a shift when my daughters reached middle school. Instead of cheers and unrestrained joy, their friends would slightly smile or nod, or sometimes they would express nothing at all.
What a sad shift this was toward indifference. There are many scientific reasons why many of us begin to hold back our emotions, but it doesn’t have to become permanent. We can learn to encourage one another daily and learn how vital it is to our wellbeing.
If we are not intentional about encouraging one another, this posture of cool restraint can become a new normal and continue into adulthood. We can struggle expressing ourselves and instead of feeling encouraged by others we feel alone and uninspired.
What happens that causes us to forget how to encourage one another and build each other up? And can we turn the tide and learn how to encourage one another?
I think we can with the help of a servant, carpenter named Jesus, who walked the earth as a mighty encourager. He set a great example for everyone. Jesus’ life is the answer to what does the bible say about encouragement!
Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:10 NIV
How Can We Encourage One Another? 5 Tips for Building Each Other Up
Sometimes we struggle knowing how can we encourage one another because we feel stuck, uninspired and empty. Below are 5 tips for building each other up in a way that can change us and how we navigate our relationships.
- If you notice something positive about someone, say it. If they have a nice outfit or pair of glasses or more importantly display a special trait, let them know. We have the power to inspire people by expressing our positive thoughts. How many times do we hold back compliments? It may seem unnatural at first to vocalize kind remarks especially if it has not been modeled or we are shy. When we genuinely encourage others, it feels good as the giver and receiver of the compliment.
- Be sensitive to others’ feelings and recognize when they need encouragement. We spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves, but when we flip the switch, develop a new pattern and notice others more, we see things that we may have missed. Jesus stresses the importance of prayer when we are putting aside our own needs to encourage and building each other up. Jesus speaks to his disciples who slept as He faced His darkest hour and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane:
“Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:40-41 NLT
- Put our own needs and insecurities aside. Day by day as we face our own struggles, this is hard to do. But noticing others’ needs is an important part of growing in our spiritual identity. Spiritual growth goes hand in hand with generously serving others. At times, we do not serve out of an overabundance of energy but from the knowledge that we are children of God who can draw from His strength and pour out love to others.
- Remember you are the beloved child of Jesus, the King of kings. He loved you so much that He died that you may experience an abundant life. Embracing the knowledge that we are uniquely made and loved, helps us see others through the eyes of Christ instead of our flawed vision. When we walk in this confidence, encouraging others becomes a natural extension of our identity in Christ.
- Study and memorize scripture. The word of God offers solutions to many of our struggles including learning how we can encourage one another. Being an encourager can leave us feeling vulnerable, but knowing God’s word will leave us feeling stronger. When we know what does the Bible say about encouragement and model it in our life it affects everyone around us.
Bible Verses About Encouragement
Here are 10 Bible verses about encouragement to give you strength and hope and demonstrate what does the Bible say about encouragement:
- Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”
- Romans 12:12
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
- Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of hem, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
- Ephesians 6:10
“Finally, be strong in the lord and in the strength of his might.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
- Psalm 31:24
“My flesh and hear may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
- Psalm 34:4
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.’
- Psalm 46:1
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
- Psalm 23:4
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
- John 16:22
“You have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
These Bible verses are just a few examples that let us know what does the Bible say about encouragement. The Bible is full of scriptures that provide peace and hope. You can turn to these verses when you need encouragement or when you trying to encourage and build each other up.
Encouragement from the Bible is our greatest resource for hope!
How do you stay encouraged and help build up those around you? Would love to hear from you.
Mary Rooney Armand loves to write inspiring, faith based stories. She focuses on helping others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Mary lives in New Orleans with her husband Cory and four children. Besides writing, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. In 2020 she created ButterflyLiving and a Bible Study titled “Identity” which is available on Amazon. To learn more visit maryarmand.com.