By Meg Bucher, Crosswalk.com
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Paul’s letters and prayers of encouragement are some of the most inspirational messages in Scripture. Paul’s infamous prose, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” reflects a deep-rooted heritage of the hand of God’s mercy. Stories like this are woven throughout Scripture. Jesus, the living Word of God, chose to come to earth and spent much of His time encouraging and admonishing us.
Why do we need encouragement?
Our human nature is the reason we need to be encouraged. We are prone to wander, doubt, and get lost along the way. We need to be encouraged because we are imperfect, and under attack. Our enemy will try every trick to unravel our confidence in Christ.
To be encouraged is to be inspired with courage. Jesus’ life on earth was full of courageous acts, truth and inspiration, miracles and messages. We carry all of it with us, in us, and always, as followers of Christ. The Holy Spirit translates, applies, reminds and inspires God’s Truth--Jesus--the Living Word.
To be Biblically encouraged is to be connected to Christ, and to allow Him to affect our everyday life. The Bible tells us to take captive every thought, I believe to remember God and be encouraged. Our joy doesn’t falter and fade through hard circumstances.
As Christians, we can be real about seasons of suffering that stretch us beyond what we think we can survive. We need to be encouraged, inspired, reminded, where our hope comes from. The stories of Scripture are weaved into our stories by the loving hand of our Creator. We are encouraged when we read His Truth, pray His Truth, and Trust Him for Who He says He is and Whose we are. Resting between his shoulders. What a promise and an encouragement to know how close our great God is!
A prayer for encouragement
This is the day you have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! For You promise Your beloved rest between Your shoulders. You are ever so close to us, Father. We can do all things through You …for You are the source of our strength. Let all we do honor You, Father. As you encourage us, let us be an encouragement to those around us.
Remind us when we falter and fail that You uphold us. Your merciful hand has purposed our lives, and we cannot outrun your love or free gift of salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Father, you weave our stories throughout ancient history and onto tomorrow. You number our days and surround us with Your love. When we are down, send Your Holy Spirit to remind us of Your loving kindness.
There is much to fear and be frustrated about in this life on earth. There is grave injustice, oppression, and unfairness everywhere we look. Disastrous weather events and horrific acts of violence. We fear losing our lives and our loved ones, disease and disaster. You are our comforter through it all.
In Your Word we are upheld and in Your arms we throw our anxieties and find safety and protection. When the world seems to press into our lives harder than we can bear, we know we are never holding on alone. You remind us to be strong and courageous, to rely on You for strength, and not to fear. You promise to strengthen us and uphold us.
Through every heartache and conflict, continue to broadcast the truth of Your word into our hearts. Encourage us, Father, always. Help us to navigate the tricky waters of relationships on this earth and hurdle the stumbling blocks the enemy lines our daily paths with.
We know in this world we will have trouble, but we do not want to let it steal our joy! For You have overcome this world! Though it can be hard and discouraging, let us take heart in Your truth. Squash every distorted thought and lie with the encouraging words of Christ. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28)
King David stated, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) He, and so many other Biblical hallmarks have left their legacies of Your encouraging word despite their sins and shortcomings. Let us fall in their footsteps, Father, following You despite our imperfections. Adjust our expectations through Your perspective.
Help us to keep getting up, keep following You, keep hoping, and holding onto the joy and peace Jesus died to give us. He is our ultimate source of encouragement.
In Jesus’ Name,
What does the Bible say about encouragement?
Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way. “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).
Paul was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, whose blessing from Moses promised they would rest between God’s shoulders. He was first accepted by the church in Jerusalem because of Barnabas and his encouragement. Barnabas means “Son of Encouragement.” 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, and that our struggles are worth it.
10 Bible verses about encouragement
“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
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10
“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Click here for more verses about encouragement.
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. She stepped out of her comfort zone, and her Marketing career, to obey God’s call to stay home and be “Mom” in 2011. From that step of obedience her blog, Sunny&80, was born, a way to retain the funny everyday moments of motherhood. Meg is also a freelance writer and author of “Friends with Everyone.” She loves teaching God’s Word and leading weekly Bible study, being a mom, distance running and photography. Meg resides in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and Golden-Doodle… all avid Cleveland Browns fans.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/XiXinXing
Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. An author, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, she earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University. Her first book, “Friends with Everyone,” is available on amazon.com. Meg leads and teaches Bible Study in Women and Youth Ministries. Living in Northern Ohio, she’s been wife to Jim for a decade and counting, is mom to two tween daughters, a distance runner, photographer, and avid Cleveland Browns fan.