Study 4: Encouragement
Proverbs 31:12. “She will comfort, encourage, and do them only good as long as there is life within her”.
* Building up and affirming, not flattering
* Loving in weakness.
* Spurring one another on towards love and good deeds.
What Encouragement IS…
A strong arm – “I’m here, if and when you need me”. Galatians 6:2.
A loud cheer – “I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it”. 1 Peter 2:12
A warm hand – “Take my hand and we will travel this road together”. Mark 1:41.
A gentle prod – “Oh c’mon you can do it” Hebrews 10:24.
An understanding smile – Understanding from the heart and not in condemnation.
A loving embrace – “I love you and accept you, I support you and believe in you.”1 John 4:7
A silence – Know when to keep our mouths shut. Silence listens. Proverbs 29:20.
A soft voice – Always be aware of the power of your words. Proverbs 18:21; 31:26.
What Encouragement is NOT…
Exploitation or manipulation. Job 15:2-6
Discouragement. Ephesians 3:13.
Artificial or forced affections, Matthew 19:18; 2 Peter 2:3
Building a wall Luke 18:9
Flattery “… a flattering mouth works ruin” Proverbs 26:28; Acts 12:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:5,6.
When to give Encouragement
1. When we really CARE. 2 Corinthians 1:4; Colossians 2:2.
2. When we know our own motives are right. 2 Corinthians 7:1-4.
3. First, to all at home. Hebrews 3:13.
4. When the person is frightened/weak/sick/in a trial/recovering. 1 Thessalonians 5:14.
5. When the person has got into sin. Titus 2:15; Proverbs 28:23
6. When the Holy Spirit brings the person to mind. 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
7. When we are willing to stay at someone’s side even when we do not get any response. 2 Timothy 4:2.
8. We have a responsibility to obey the Word. 1 Thessalonians 4:18; Hebrews 10:25
9. Everywhere we go, we have the light of life. Galatians 6:10.
10. Always to our Pastor and leadership. 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13.
How to communicate Encouragement
1. Listen to the tone of your voice
2. Watch the facial expression
3. Ask specifically what is wrong
4. Repeat aloud what you think you heard.
5. Most important really CARE.
How we give Encouragement
1. Be specific. Comment on what part of their personality you appreciate most. 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
2. Be positive. Say how they have grown and matured as a Christian. 1 Thessalonians 5:15. 2 Corinthians 7:1-4.
3. Notice when they perform an unselfish act.
4. Ask, “Lord where does……….need encouragement today?” Revelation 14:12.
5. Through prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21.
6. Through testimony. 1 Peter 5:12; Ephesians 6:22; Romans 1:12; Philippians 1:14.
7. Through the Word. Romans 15:4
8. Visiting. 2 Timothy 1:16.
9. Consistency is vital. Colossians 4:6
10. Respond in obedience to the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 13:8-10; Proverbs 3:27.
11. Writing a letter. Acts 18:27. (Consider a prisoner here.)
12. Sending a card just to say you were thinking of them.
13. Do not worry about the reception. Proverbs 3:27.
Anyone can embed themselves into the concrete of defeat, failure and bitterness, which is then almost impossible to crack. We need to have a real sense of urgency in the Body of Christ today, to stop the loss of precious members dying spiritually from lack of support. We have to make a quality decision to encourage each other, so that our brothers and sisters do not drift away from fellowship and from their Father. We need to be totally committed to other people’s well-being, body, soul and spirit, whatever the cost. When we do revive their interest and their self-worth, a new found confidence is born in them. A desire will then be released in them, to fulfil their destiny as God has planned, and they can move on and encourage others.
How we encourage ourselves
1. Fixing our eyes on Christ’s victory in painful times will always encourage us.
2. Count your blessings.
3. Make sure you are the right company for others and they are for you.
4. Look beyond the problem to eternity. 1 Thessalonians 4:18; Hebrews 10:25.
5. Look at the bigger picture. Proverbs 29:18.
6. Do something worthwhile. Activity is the best therapy.
7. Take time to recover. Allow yourself ten minutes to cry, then get busy helping.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit to excite you with a Bible verse, e.g. Psalm 34:18; 37:6.
9. Be honest with God. Psalm 139.
10. Let Go and let God. Proverbs 16:3 (Amp)
11. Don’t compare yourself, as in similar situations our responses are different.
12. Change your thinking habits. Philippians 2:1-5.
As encouragers we will give; forgive; forget; release our own will to obey God to the maximum and wash dirty feet with an attitude of gentleness and humility. After all those beautiful thoughts, you will get ripped off occasionally! I want all of us to enter into this ministry of servant hood with our eyes wide open. If we serve others long enough, we will suffer wrong treatment for doing right things (Matthew 5:11-12.) Knowing all this ahead of time will help us to be more determined to improve our servant heart by fixing our eyes on the perfect servant, JESUS.
Remember everyone can make it with God’s help. God’s help comes through someone’s arms to hold you; someone’s tears mixed with your tears and someone’s faith to keep on believing in you. You WILL make it, and then be able to help others. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
Home Challenges for Joyful Woman 04
1. Are you growing in the recognition of how valuable you are to God and to those close to you? Give one verse about this that helps you, and say why it is so important.
2. Are you learning to trust people more as you get to know God more through His Word? Do you want to share how you have changed in this area?
Read the notes and references ‘Joyful Woman – Encouragement’.
3. What is the most exciting new thing you have learnt about encouragement?
How have you applied this to your life?
4. What verse from this study really spoke to you?
Time for everything
Read Proverbs 31:13-14. “She seeks out the wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it. She is like the merchant ships loaded with food stuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far country.”
5. In your opinion, which job of a woman do you think is most rewarding?
6. Spend some time prayerfully considering what you believe God wants you to do in the next year. Set some goals, write them down and keep them in a place you will be able to find every month, not just for the first month. (If you are not sure just write down what you would love to do this year.)
7. Do a daily plan for your week. Make a chart with each day divided into time slots and firstly fill out the things that have to be done, and then add the things that are a priority. Make sure you give yourself space to do personal time for relaxation.
8. “A sluggard does not plough in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” Proverbs 20:6. According to this verse, why is planning ahead so necessary?
9. If we want to see new believers in our Church, should we plan to do anything about it? If we think so, what should we do?
10. Having decided how you are going to organise your day/week/month/year, always remember Isaiah 40:29-31; which shows us the key to every busy woman’s success, is the waiting heart.
What circumstances are you in, at this time which you can receive this encouragement for?
11. When considering your time with God as your first priority every day, how are you going to spend time with Him? Be practical. Do you need some discipline?
12. Is God asking you to give anything up to make your time better ordered?
13. Are you stressed at this time? Is there anything you could change to relieve this tension?
14. Do you see time as a very valuable commodity? Ask God to open your eyes to this as it will help you to order your day better.
15. Learn the memory verse. Proverbs 16:3
(Amplified Bible) “Roll your works upon the Lord – commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
OR (NIV) “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Write down what works you are rolling onto the Lord today and let Him cause your plans to succeed.
16. Answer True or False to the following questions. If you know any verses from the Bible to back up your answer, that will help you.