- to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep on running.
- to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief duties of a teacher is to encourage students.
- to promote, advance, or foster
This is an important word. Where do we take our encouragement from? Where should we find encouragement? Is our encouragement derived from people, places, possessions, or prosperity? Does our socioeconomic standing or cultural perspective align us to a preconceived sense of self-encouragement? Can a man/woman be their own encouragement?
For Christians the answer to this question is relatively simple, even if it does not always seem so simple to practice. Encouragement comes from two sources.
Primarily, it is God Himself who is our constant source of encouragement.
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” – Hebrews 6: 18 NIV
Secondly, it is our brothers/sisters in Christ who should be another source of encouragement.
“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” – Romans 1:11,12 NIV
Where/How are you being encouraged?
What is God inspiring you to do/be? Are you confident in that?
How is He helping you to achieve that end? Have you sought the approval of your Heavenly Father?
What is He fostering within you? How is He advancing your life according to His will?
Just some things to think on.