What Does the Bible Say about Encouragement? 5 Tips to Build Each Other Up

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, I 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 grasped what does the Bible say about encouragement and become people who speak words of hope.

What Does the Bible Say about Encouragement?

What does the Bible say about encouragement? The Bible is the greatest book ever written and the inspired Word of God.

One of the greatest wonders of reading the Bible is its ability to change and encourage us.

Reading about the lives of people in the Bible, stories of God’s faithfulness, and Jesus’ life and death, we are inspired.

The Holy Spirit fills us with supernatural hope and we can move toward a life of purpose. From this overflowing well of love, peace and confidence, we can freely love and encourage those around us.

When you feel dry, disappointed, and discouraged, it is hard to express and share love with others.

By learning what the Bible says about encouragement and through prayer we start filling our spirit and become encouraged.

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!

Words-what does the Bible say about encouragement

What Does the Bible Say about Encouraging One Another?

Encouragement means to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. Encouraging one another is how we share strength, love, and courage.

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 motivate, influence, and provide strength, why do we hold back from encouraging one another?

Most of us understand the importance of encouragement, but we struggle sometimes to show 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?

All these factors contribute to our silence, but we can overcome 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 a hole in our soul that only Christ can fill.

When 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?

Encouragement is important because even if we understand what does the Bible say about encouragement, we can still struggle to apply it to ourselves.

-Seeing encouragement in action solidifies what the bible says about encouragement.

-Seeing encouragement in action is a firm reminder of its importance in our lives.

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 do I remember exactly what she said to me?

Because her genuine words encouraged me during an uncertain, stressful time.

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.

The secret to being able to offer encouragement is to feel encouraged ourselves. We all need people in our lives 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. It is like the air in a balloon. Once the air is blown into a flat piece of latex it expands and floats with a new source of energy.

Why is encouragement important? Encouraging words energize our spirit.

“Kind words are like honey; sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Proverbs 16:24 NLT

Balloon-what does the Bible say about encouragement

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 of 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, 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 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

What does the Bible say about encouragement? It is a practice that will transform our spirits and those around us.

When my daughters were young, they loved to be in plays. I sat through wonderful performances including Aladdin, Music Man, and Alice in Wonderland and impromptu, untitled shows in our den.

I remember their friends would surround each other and openly offer support and 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 in their abilities.

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.

What a sad shift this was toward indifference. There are scientific reasons why many of us begin to hold back emotions, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can decide to encourage one another daily and learn how vital it is to our well-being. We can choose to use positive words.

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 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

High five- what does the Bible say about encouragement

How Can We Encourage One Another? 

Sometimes it is hard to know how we can encourage one another.

We feel stuck, uninspired, and empty.

It is quite magical when we decide to be an encourager, we feel encouraged. Encouragement feeds on itself.

5 Tips to Encourage and Build Each Other Up

Here are 5 tips for building each other up that change us and how we navigate relationships.

  • If you notice something positive about someone, say it. Tell them if they have a nice outfit or pair of glasses or display a special trait. We have the power to inspire people by expressing our positive thoughts. How many times do we hold back compliments? It may seem unnatural to vocalize kind remarks especially if not modeled to us 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 we may have missed. Jesus stresses the importance of prayer when putting aside our needs to encourage and build 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 needs and insecurities aside. Day by day as we face struggles, this is hard to do. But noticing others’ needs is part of growing our spiritual identity. Spiritual growth goes hand in hand with generously serving others. At times, we serve not 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 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. Sharing stories of God’s love and mercy encourages others. 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 problems including learning how we can encourage one another. Being an encourager can leave us feeling vulnerable, but knowing God’s word leaves us feeling stronger. When we know what does the Bible say about encouragement and model it in our lives it affects everyone around us.

lady with heart-what does the bible say about encouragement

Bible Verses About Encouragement

What does the Bible say about encouragement? There are many ways the Bible encourages.

Every time I pick up the Bible, I am encouraged by an intimate encounter with God.

Short phrases, stories, and of course the life and death of Jesus will inspire and encourage you.

10 Bible Verses about Encouragement

Here are 10 Bible verses about encouragement to give you strength and hope so You can be an encourager!

These scriptures answer, 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 a few examples to teach us what the Bible says 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 trying to encourage and build others up.

Encouragement from the Bible is our greatest resource for hope!

Do you have a better understanding of what does the Bible say about encouragement? I hope so.

How do you stay encouraged and help build up others? 


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple websites and she is the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ”  and Life Changing Stories, a devotional collection, available on Amazon.

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Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.


  1. Collene on November 3, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Love this so much! The words the pastor’s wife shared with you “that you were a breath of fresh air” are exactly how I feel about the encouragers in my life. And I strive to in turn be a breath of fresh air around you. I love your 5 tips for encouraging others. Especially if we notice something positive to say something. Even just a comment on someone’s nice outfit is enough to put a perk in their step. The world needs more enouragers.😉

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Collene, thanks for reading and I agree every positive word counts!

  2. Christina on November 3, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Mary, I love how you go into depth on this topic of encouragement. If I’m not getting in the Word, it’s hard for me to be encouraged, much less encourage those around me. But when I spend time with Him, first thing in the morning and throughout the day, the hours are full of hope and encouragement to where it can overflow.

  3. M. J. on November 4, 2020 at 12:06 am

    Love the tips and verses you shared on encouragement. I have been trying to become more intentional with encouragement lately, so I will surely apply these!

  4. Lily on November 4, 2020 at 1:45 am

    I used to struggle with encouraging others. I always felt like it would come off sounding like lip service. I realize now, that those thoughts had more to do with me, than those saying them. I felt discouraged and didn’t know how to receive compliments or encouragement. I didn’t know how to believe some of the things people said to me. Once I learned how to be encouraged in myself, it has been so much easier to bubble over into other people’s lives with words of encouragement. Thank you for this in depth look on the topic of encouragement. We could all use a little more of it these days.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Lily, thank you for reading and I love how you bubble over to others now!

  5. Jed and Jen on November 4, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Great tips. The first one hit home today. “If you notice something positive about someone, say it.” I think we are in a time when more positivity is needed. For me, this is a good reminder to be on the lookout for things going right in our family (there are a lot) and to celebrate them! Thank you for this.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you for reading! Sometimes the simplest tips make the biggest impact. So glad it was helpful!

  6. jerralea on November 4, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Great post, Mary! I loved when you said, “The secret to being able to offer encouragement is to feel encouraged ourselves.” Like David in the OT, we sometimes have to encourage ourselves before God can use us.

    I also like your tip, “If you notice something positive about someone, say it.” So simple, but it really does make someone’s day; and we cal all do this!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Jerralea, thank you so much and I am glad you were blessed by my words!

  7. Mindy Jones Blog on November 4, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I love this post! I feel like the Lord has given me the gift of encouragement, there is just so much negativity around us and I’ve made it my mission to try and be a positive light to people around me. However I find it hard to take that same encouragement and apply it to myself, I am my own worst critic! This was a very encouraging read and a great post, thank you. <3

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Mindy, what a wonderful gift to have and I pray you feel encouraged yourself! Thanks for reading!

  8. Marilyn Nutter on November 4, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    An excellent post – much needed in these times. This could be a Bible study!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Marilyn, thank you so much!

      • Betty on November 7, 2020 at 9:35 pm

        Some people are great encouragers but we all should strive to be an encourager because the world is full of challenges.

  9. Ava James on November 4, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I love points 2 and 3. Being sensitive and empathetic is so important and a quality so easily overlooked in today’s busy world . Thank for your inspiration!

  10. Nancy Ruegg on November 4, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    I love that story about your pastor’s wife from 20 years ago, speaking encouragement over you–words you remember to this day. Encouragement is POWERFUL, impacting the recipient long after the words are spoken. That’s the kind of power I want to wield. Thank you, Mary!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Nancy, positive words do make a lasting impact! Thanks for reading!

  11. Teresa Hodge on November 4, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I know some who seem to be natural encouragers. And what wonderful people to be around! I find that I need to work on that myself. So, thank you for these tips and verses! Blessings!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Teresa, thanks for reading and may God give you the words to encourage others with!

  12. Pam Morrison on November 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    This is such an important post, Mary. People so need to be built up and it does bring such refreshment to give and receive encouragement. I was also struck by your description of what happened when your daughter and her friends hit middle school. Oh my! That is the truth. The exuberance and support can dry up at that age. It’s sad.

  13. Victory on November 6, 2020 at 2:05 am

    Such a beautiful topic. You are right about putting your insecurities second when it comes to encouraging someone who needs it. It has been tough for me to do this because I occupy a leadership position in the church, but God’s grace has been sufficient. And a little encouragement has fostered love and unity among us in the church.

    Even a little ‘thank you’ is enough to make the heart glad

    Thanks for sharing

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 9, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      Victory, thanks for reading and yes just a thank you can sometimes make a big difference!

  14. Teresa on November 8, 2020 at 6:54 am

    I really need to be reminded of what the Bible says about encouragement. I cannot express how spot on this article was for me this morning. I’ve been in a season of discouragement, and I can honestly say I felt the spirit moving within me as I read the article. Suddenly, I remember – it’s not about me! I’ve always been called, as a teacher, to encourage others, to lift them up. Your article helped set me back on that path!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 9, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Teresa, well that encouraged me today! So thankful God speaks to us through others’ words. Be blessed my friend!

  15. Carla on November 8, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    I think it is very important that you addressed why we may struggle to give encouragement to others. On one hand we think it is such a simple thing to do, but on the other we might not offer encouragement because of our own insecurities, laziness, or ignorance. You really challenged me to think about intentionally encouraging the people God has put in my life.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 9, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks for reading and so thankful we can encourage each other!

  16. Evangeline Samuel on November 8, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    So beautiful. In a world where cynicism and bitterness abound, what a way this is to be a light! Thank you for sharing these wise words with me. 🙂

  17. Kari on November 8, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Love this post and all the helpful tips you give! I’m already thinking about who I can encourage tomorrow! 🙂 thanks so much!

  18. savoringeachmoment6cd0664a71 on November 8, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    I love the idea of being an “agent of encouragement”! I plan to put this into practice tomorrow at work and see who I can encourage! Thank you for being an agent of encouragement by encouraging us to reach out to others.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on November 9, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks for reading and may we all be agents of encouragement!

  19. Karen on November 9, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you for this scripture treasure! It’s wonderful to read what the Bible says about encouragement! I loved your tips and I will take them onboard to be better at encouraging others.

  20. Rachel Rains on November 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    It is truly amazing the difference a little encouragement makes in peoples live. I’m always amazed to hear when my simple, kind words have influenced and empowered someone! Love all the ways you remind us to encourage one another. 💕

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