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Encouragement – Important?
B.b.S.s.Saint March 17, 2021 at 12:27 pm
These days, a number of people are encouraged by communications from people they trust that appear to be supporting the concept that Biden is not really President and that President Trump and others are actively working behind the scenes to detect and develop evidence against a large number of people around the world who are involved with overthrowing the recent Presidential election (and other heinous activities).
A second group of people are convinced that the election is over and Biden is President and we, the voters, will have to become very active in determining which politicians really have America as first priority in their hearts and which are ready to cede American sovereignty to Globalists and Socialists for their own personal gain.
The second group generally thinks that the hope that stems from “encouraging signs” seen by the first group is unwarranted and irrational. The first group generally thinks that the second group does not value the “encouraging signs” seen by the first group and has an unwarranted pessimistic view of this situation. The “encouraging signs” not seen by the second group are valuable in supporting the hope for the present situation that is held by the first group.
In the current situation, the second group views the first group as being addicted to “Hopium”, an unwarranted and irrational hope for a means to a certain positive outcome. The first group views the second group as a bunch of “Debbie Downers” who can’t see the hopeful signs because of their pessimism.
The point of this discussion, so far, is to establish that within each group, encouragement of their point of view leads to hope on one hand, and a dedication to the hard work involved in ensuring a favorable result in the next election on the other hand. Encouragement is very important as a support for the hope that each group holds for a favorable outcome in the future.
Encouragement in our Christian lives is vastly more important as it leads to a bolstering of our faith to believe, think, speak and act in a manner that guards against failure in our Christian walk and moves it from immaturity toward maturity.
Vastly more important? In the worst case, those who have sampled the Christian life and then walked away from it are in danger of putting themselves in a position of being separated from God for eternity . . . a concept and a consequence of monumental importance. Encouragement or lack of encouragement can have a large impact on the possibility of this eternal outcome.
Marica March 15, 2021 at 8:21 pm
Why is encouragement in our Christian walk so important according to the Bible?”
“But encourage 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 tells us. First Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Throughout the Bible we see instructions to encourage one another and verses that are meant to encourage us. Why is encouragement emphasized in the Bible? Primarily because encouragement 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” (John 16:33b). Jesus did not shy from telling His followers about the troubles they would face. In fact, He told them the world would hate them (John 15:18-21; see also Matthew 10:22-23 and 2 Corinthians 2:15-16). But Jesus’ grim forecast was tempered with cheer; He followed His prediction of trouble with a sparkling word of encouragement: He has overcome the world. Jesus is greater than any trouble we face.
Without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes. The prophet Elijah struggled with discouragement (1 Kings 19:3-10), and so do we. It’s important to remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This truth makes encouragement all the more important. It’s 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 Ephesians 6:10-18).
Even in places where Christians don’t experience overt persecution or hatred, we all know that life can be difficult. Discouragement isn’t an uncommon human experience. At times, recognizing that there’s 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 (1 Corinthians 1:9).
A man in the early church named Joseph was given the nickname “Barnabas,” which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). 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 (Acts 9:27). Through the encouragement of Barnabas, Mark was given a second chance after an abject failure (Acts 13:13; 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 John 13:34-35). Encouragement gives hope (Romans 15:4). Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing (Hebrews 12:5). Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26). 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 the Bible gives us the will to carry on. It is a glimpse of the bigger picture. It can prevent burn-out. It can save us from believing lies (“sin’s deceitfulness”). Encouragement helps us experience abundant life (see John 10:10).
Proverbs 16:24 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.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:24-25.
“But encourage 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.
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” Romans 15:2.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” Ephesians 4:29.
“A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” Psalm 100:1-5.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” Philippians 4:8.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” Isaiah 43:2.
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,” Romans 15:5