Walk With Me

The Many Ways That Christ Encourages Us

By Charles F. Stanley
  • August 05, 2016

We all experience times and situations when we need an encourager—someone who lifts us up if we’re down, motivates us to keep going when we want to give up, and stands with us through every challenging circumstance.

What’s more, each of us needs to be an encourager to someone else. There are people all around us who are discouraged and could use a word of comfort or an act of kindness. Whether they are friends, family members, acquaintances, or strangers, we can and should reach out. When we do, we could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life and give them a glimpse of Christ as we follow His example of compassion and kindness.

When Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, he encouraged them with assurances of Christ’s return and information about what to expect. Then he said, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another just as you also are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11). The Greek word for an encourager is “parakletos,” which means “one who is called alongside.” And that’s exactly what we are to do for one another—come alongside to help.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples that although He was leaving, He would send them another Helper (John 14:16-18). This is the same Greek word, “parakletos.” Up until that point, Jesus had walked beside them, but now someone like Him would come and actually live within them—the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity.

Christ’s teachings were filled with words of encouragement on various subjects.

  • Prayer. He taught His disciples to expect answers to prayer. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7).

  • Forgiveness. Jesus showed them the importance and benefits of forgiving others (Matt. 6:14).

  • Anxiety. Using the example of God’s provision for flowers and birds as proof of His care for them, He told the people not to be anxious (Matt. 6:25-34).

  • Sin. When the Pharisees and Sadducees brought Him a woman caught in adultery, He didn’t condemn her but said, “Go [and] sin no more” (John 8:11).

  • The Spirit. Christ’s most encouraging message was given to His disciples the night before His death. He told them of the persecution they’d soon face but also assured them that He would send His Spirit to be with them forever (John 16:1-7).

Jesus also encouraged people with His actions, providing whatever was needed.

  • Provision. After teaching a large crowd, He felt compassion for them because they were in an isolated place and had nothing to eat. Taking five loaves and two fish, He multiplied them to feed a crowd of over five thousand people (Matt. 14:19-21).

  • Protection. When His disciples were caught in a storm on the sea and in danger of sinking, Jesus came to them walking on the water, saying, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid” (Mark 6:47-51).

  • Healing. On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus was not too busy to heal Bartimaeus, a poor, blind beggar who cried out to Him for mercy (Mark 10:46-52).

  • Life. When Mary and Martha were grieving over the death of their brother, Jesus demonstrated His power by raising him to life (John 11:38-44).

  • Care. Even in the midst of His suffering on the cross, Jesus was concerned for His mother and told John to take care of her (John 19:26-27).

Who has been the greatest encourager in your life? What did they say or do for you that was so uplifting? We are all called to exhort one another and remind others of God’s goodness and love. Who have you encouraged lately? Purpose to be someone who lifts others up, and you’ll find your own spirit becomes a little lighter along the way.

This article is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message Being an Encourager which airs this weekend on TV.

Related Topics:  Discouragement  |  Christian Fellowship  |  Intimacy with God

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11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

25 For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

31 Do not worry then, saying, `What will we eat?' or `What will we drink?' or `What will we wear for clothing?'

32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

11 She said, No one, Lord." And Jesus said, I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."]

1 These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

2 They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

3 These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.

4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

5 But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, `Where are You going?'

6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

19 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,

20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.

21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.

48 Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.

49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out;

50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid."

51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished,

46 Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road.

47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

48 Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

49 And Jesus stopped and said, Call him here. " So they called the blind man, saying to him, Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you."

50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

51 And answering him, Jesus said, What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!"

52 And Jesus said to him, Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

39 Jesus said, Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days."

40 Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."

43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."

44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Unbind him, and let him go."

26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, Woman, behold, your son!"

27 Then He said to the disciple, Behold, your mother!" From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

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