BE ENCOURAGED! ENCOURAGE OTHERS! Both the Old Testament and the New Testament have many references about encouragement. We often overlook that word and fail to put it into action in our lives. Actually, many of the scriptures that emphasize courage and encouragement link it with its opposite word, FEAR!! Over and over in the OT, God said to His people, "Do not fear! Be of good courage!" Then right before Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, He spoke these words of encouragement, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer (be encouraged), I have overcome the world." In John 14 He also said that He was going away, but that He would return to take us with Him to a new heavenly home. What a wonderful word of encouragement to each of us.
The words, "Be of good courage" are mentioned more than 7 times in the N.T. And those words mean "Cheer up!!" Jesus used "Cheer up!" in reference to the fact that He pardons our sins.(Matt. 9:1-8). He says that we are to cheer up when we see His power that is in us. (Matt. 9:18:22). Then in Matthew 13:22-27, Jesus says that He will cheer us up with His precious presence. Jesus longs for us to be a happy and cheerful people. Satan is a discourager, but Jesus says that He gives peace, comfort and encouragement to those who trust in Him (John 16:33.)
Then in many of the books at the end of the NT, Paul, Peter and others often included the words, "Be encouraged and encourage others!" Once a person is encouraged by God and His presence through prayer and Bible study, then he must go out into the world to share that encouragement with those around him. What a better world we would live in if we made this practice a rule in our everyday relationships. Try it and see what happens! Make an honest effort to be an encourager. Change your world to the glory of God.
Do this: Try to encourage at least five people during your day and note the reaction that each person had toward your words or actions of encouragement. Then share your findings with a family member or with a fellow believer. Rejoice together that God used YOU to His glory that day!!