We live in a day where discouragement is all around us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t go a single day without running into someone who is complaining, being negative, or is very discouraged. Oftentimes I find myself being that person too.
- What is the deal?
- How can everything be so discouraging?
- Is the world doomed?
- What is the Christian’s response in this scenario?
I think encouragement is written about so much in the Bible for a very specific reason…we are easily discouraged people… but when we are encouraged…we start to live the way God has designed us to live in the first place.
Where Discouragement Begins
If you think about it, discouragement has to come from somewhere. We don’t just drift into discouragement and it doesn’t just happen to us. Discouragement comes from sin. God is not a God who has designed us to live a life of discouragement or to lose hope. That is not who we really are and you can be assured if you’re living this way, that’s not who you really are. Your life has tremendous value.
Sin is bad. It’s ugly. It’s terrible. It’s deceiving. It’s evil. It’s mean. It’s negative. It’s discouraging.
“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
God calls us to encourage one another because otherwise, we’ll be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Sin will actually harden us more and more and make us even more discouraged. What’s challenging about this is that if we don’t encourage others, we allow them to become more hardened by sin, but at the same time, the encouraging part of this is that there’s an answer to discouragement.
Where Encouragement Begins
Encouragement begins with Jesus.
If we remember what Jesus has done, we’ll immediately be encouraged. How could we not be?
He came, He lived a perfect life, He died and took the wrath of our sins…all of them, and then He rose from the grave defeating death and sin in victory. How in the world could we not be encouraged by someone who has done so much on our behalf?
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
In light of the cross, God calls us to encourage and build up one another. We need it. We constantly are battling sin including forgetting what Jesus has done for us and we need to be reminded over and over again what He has done. Once we remember Jesus, our perspective immediately gets realigned with His perspective.
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
I believe the Holy Spirit gives us encouragement for one another on a daily basis, but most of the time we just keep it inside. We don’t bother actually saying the words out loud. Let me challenge you that the next time this happens, just say it. Why not? Don’t be afraid of the response. You are called by God Himself to be an encourager to those around you.
Do Not Fear, Take Heart
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Jesus told us that we have peace in Him. He also said that we will have tribulation in this world. Things are going to get discouraging. Things are going to get hopeless and challenging at times, but He said to take heart, He has overcome the world!
Take heart means to be confident. We can be confident in the One who has overcome this world and who has saved us. Jesus has already won! And as we give others that confidence and encouragement we can be sure that He’ll give us peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
Today, be encouraged. Jesus has won. Jesus is everything. That being said, what you are facing is real…it’s hard…it’s even discouraging, but trust and believe that Jesus is better. Better than anything you’ll ever face in this life. Pray to Him now to receive peace and trust that He is our ultimate Encourager.
Then, go and encourage others. Make that phone call. Send that text. Meet up in person. Do whatever you need to do to be an encouragement to others and help bring the light of Jesus into the darkness.
Questions: When is the last time you encouraged someone? Why or why not? Who can you encourage today in light of what Jesus has done for you? Do you, yourself, need to be encouraged? Please comment and join the discussion.
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.