by Tammy Phillips
November 12, 2020

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 NIV)

We are to encourage one another to avoid becoming hardened by sin in which we believe the lie and not God.  The lie is that we should fear anything. We have nothing to fear. Listen, we have nothing to fear. Repeatedly, the word of God says be strong and be of good courage and more often it says do not fear nor be dismayed.  Dismayed also means discouraged, broken to pieces, torn apart and broken down with fear.

 Be strong (chazaq) and of good courage (‘amats) ; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NKJV)

 Be of good courage (chazaq), and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24 KJV)

In the Bible, two different Hebrew words are used for courage and they are loaded:

‘amats:  strong; brave; bold; made firm; be alert; quick on the feet; be strong in the feet; steadfast mind; restored; repaired; built up

chazaq: strong; bind strongly, hold fast; stick fast; encourage; to strengthen one’s hand; to restore, rebuild, repair; be firm, be constant, be #resolute2020! 

Joshua 1:9 could literally be translated: 

Be strong! Be strong!  Be of good courage! Be of good courage!  Do not be afraid nor broken down with fear!  Do not be shaken! Don’t be discouraged!

I lived a huge chunk of my life fearing everything until God enCOURAGED me in His word.  He taught me I did not have to fear anything, but Him.  This is why God called me to be an enCOURAGER.  He set me free from fear.  It is the reason He calls us to “encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV) We are to strengthen others with God’s words and not tear them down with our own.  In the New Testament the Greek word for encourage is parakaleō which means:  to call to one’s side; to speak to; to comfort; to console; to exhort; to urge on; to strengthen; to teach; to instruct; to refresh; to cheer.

Websters 1828 definition of COURAGE, noun [Latin, the heart.] Bravery; that quality of mind which enables men to endure danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; boldness; resolution.

The Greek word and prefix “en” means:  a fixed position; to cause to be in the place, condition or state named; to be surrounded, covered with.  As we en-courage, we move others from a place of disCOURAGEment to a place and a fixed position IN COURAGE. We can encourage just by standing beside someone, calling or texting them a good word.

God is our EnCOURAGER and our Comforter. He encourages us in our discouragement so we can encourage others who are in trouble and pain. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassions, and God of all encouragement;  who encourages us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to encourage those who are in any tribulation whatever, through the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged of God. Because, even as the sufferings of the Christ abound towards us, so through the Christ does our encouragement also abound. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 DBY)

Throughout the New Testament God sent the disciples to encourage others.  God used an enCOURAGER to get it started. The gospel was spread by sending out Paul and Barnabas, whose name means Son of Encouragement.

But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus. (2 Corinthians 7:6 AMPC)

JOHN exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. (Luke 3:18)

 BARNABAS encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. (Acts 11:23)

PAUL AFTER BEING STONED:  “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,”  (Acts 14:22)

JUDAS and SILAS said a lot to encourage and strengthen the believers. (Acts 15:32)

After PAUL and SILAS got out of the prison they immediately went and encourage their brothers and sisters (Acts 16:40)

TIMOTHY  was sent to strengthen and encourage in faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:2)

PAUL SENT TYCHIUS for the express purpose of encouraging hearts. (Colossians 4:8)

I enCOURAGE you to encourage the disheartened. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV). I “encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received instruction from us on how you should live and please God ​– ​as you are doing ​– ​do this even more.”   (1 Thessalonians 4:1 CSB)

I pray that “your hearts may be encouraged and comforted.” (Colossians 2:2)    “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, (Romans 15:5 NIV).  “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NIV)

Be enCOURAGED and go, be an enCOURAGER!

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