7 Keys To Encouraging Yourself And Others

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We’ve got an encouraging word for you today . . . no matter what you’re facing or going through at the moment.

You may feel like you’re not able to give, go, sow or do what you’d like to do for the Kingdom of God but there is one thing that you not only can do but you are scripturally mandated to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.”

I find it interesting this verse doesn’t say. . .

“Encourage one another if you like them. . .if they go to the same church. . .play on the same softball team. . .work in the same department. . .ride in the carpool you do. . .dress like you do. . .smell like you do. . .talk like you do.”

Guess you’re getting the point. . .we’re to encourage others and that means all others.

It’s also interesting that the verse says to “build up one another.”

The King James translation of the verse says we’re to “edify one another.”

In the Strong’s Concordance the word edify is the Greek word G3618 and it means:

to build a house, erect a building; to build (up from the foundation); to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness.”

In reading the definition of the word edify I think you can see that this is not to be a sometimes thing . . .a “do it if you feel like it” thing.  Nope, it sounds like an absolute scriptural mandate for every child of God.

There are no exclusions printed at the bottom of my Bible . . .this is a job not just for the Preacher, Evangelist, or Deacon . . . it’s for everybody and that most assuredly includes you and me.

I think we can find some clarity about how often we should edify one another in Hebrews 3:13 in the New International Version:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”

Let me say that again. . .actually let me read you what the Word of God is saying, “encourage one another daily.”

In re-reading Hebrews 3:13 you see that we’re to encourage one another daily so we aren’t deceived by sin.  The Amplified Bible translation of Hebrews 3:13 says:

“. . .that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].”

How do we build up one another?  Here are seven keys you can use in encouraging yourself and building up others.

First, you must encourage yourself before you can encourage anyone else.

What’s the best way to encourage yourself?

Reading the right books is important.

Making the right confessions is very helpful.

Throwing out negative thoughts works wonders.

Memorizing the right quotations will stir your faith and that’s good.

Listening to the right CDs and MP3s empowers you.

All of those things are good. . .however, the most important thing that you can do is to encourage yourself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6 says:

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

David and his men returned home from battle to find their families had been kidnapped, their valuable possessions stolen and everything else burned to the ground.  

Needless to say, he wasn’t having a good day but then things went from bad to worst.  His men were now talking of stoning him to death.

For there to exist that kind of anger against David, their leader, you know things had to be pretty bad.

In the midst of such adversity and personal grief. . .David knew there was only one thing to do. . .one thing to make him feel better. . .one thing to sharpen his perspective. . .one thing to bring victory in a desperate, distressing and depressing situation. . .he knew it was time to encourage himself in the Lord by speaking what he knew to be true in God’s promises.

When you’re going through hell. . .the only source of peace and deliverance is through encouraging yourself in the One who can turn things around. . .just like that.

What’s the best way to encourage yourself in the Lord. . .by praising Him for what He’s already done and is doing in and through your lives.

When our lips praise Him. . .the enemy flees.

Encouraging yourself in the Lord sends the enemy packing thus clearing your spiritual environment with peace positioning you to hear more clearly God’s divine instructions for your life.

Second, encourage and build each other up in the power of the Holy Ghost.

Jude 1:20 in the New Living Translation says:

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Similar thoughts are expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 in the New International Version which says:

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

My spirit was stirred as I read the Message Bible translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

“Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.”

As I was reading this verse. . .God immediately and specifically drew my attention to “. . .no one left out, no one left behind. . .”

It’s clear that many who want to prosper or have their promises FULFILLED have the wrong focus.  Instead of keeping their eyes on Him and those He wants to bless and prosper. . .they focus on themselves and their own needs.

Remember, Ephesians 6:8 says…whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else. . .God will do for you.

Hallelujah!!  That’s why I get fired up. . .when I read verses like. . .

Hebrews 3:13 in the New International Version which says:

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.”

Let me say that again. . .actually let me read you what the Word of God is saying: “encourage one another daily.”

I believe there are people God positions to encourage you.

My friend Randy most every day sends me an encouraging text after each morning’s Rich Thoughts For Breakfast call.  His wife Laurel sends us a beautiful email after each SUNDAY NITE LIVE call.

Our friends Diane and Michelle are encouragers.  Okay, I probably shouldn’t have started naming names. . .but to those who encourage us please know we love you and are blessed by your words.

In encouraging others. . .we should encourage them to maximize their potential.

Deuteronomy 1:38 in the New International Version says:

“But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.”

Even great leaders have to be reminded to encourage and build up the people who work with them.

Deuteronomy 3:28 in the New International Version says:

“But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."

Everybody needs and should give daily encouragement.

Third, encourage and build up others by your service.

2 Chronicles 35:2 says:

“And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD.”

The scripture is very clear that we’re to build up each other in the house of the Lord. . .our fellow church members.

Romans 14:19 in the New Living Translation says:

“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”

Why do you go to church?  Be honest.

In areas where there is a prevailing religious spirit. . .for instance in the so-called Bible Belt. . .some people go to church. . .just to be seen. . .because it’s the right thing to do.

Others go to church. . .because they love God.

Still others go to church. . .because they have a hunger to know more. . .to develop an intimacy with God.

And yes, there are those who go to church. . .to be used of God to minister to others who may be in the church service.

When was the last time you thanked an usher, greeter, nursery worker, parking lot attendant, janitor, Sunday School teacher, member of the choir, children’s church volunteer, youth leaders or any other worker at your church.

It’s not only a good thing to do. . .it’s a scriptural direction.

Fourth, encourage and build up others in their work.

If it is within your power. . .always say an encouraging word to a friend, a co-worker and yes, your supervisor. 

When someone on your job prepares an excellent report or does a commendable job. . .build them up with words of encouragement.

By all means, do not allow the enemy to poison your future by creating thoughts of jealousy in your heart.

Encourage and appreciate the success of others.

This scenario of encouraging others is a proper blend of ‘what you sow, you will reap’ along with a little Ephesians 6:8. . .whatever good thing you cause to happen to someone else God will do for you.

Let me let you in on something that shouldn’t be a secret but it is.  If you commend someone’s effort in the workplace to your or their supervisor. . .it will not only reflect positively on them. . .but you as well.

If you are recognized as someone who appreciates effort, hard work and excellence. . .it will place you in that same light.

Think about it.

Fifth, encourage and build up those you’re working with to maximize their potential.

We quoted Deuteronomy 3:28 in the New International Version earlier but I feel it’s important to share it one more time.  The verse says:

“But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."

Encourage and strengthen. . .that’s what each of us needs as we journey through the wilderness of mediocrity and adversity to enter our Promised Land.

I find it interesting that the verse says “encourage and strengthen” so Joshua can see the land you will inherit.

We need to encourage and strengthen our leaders so they can see. . .the fulfillment of the vision that God has birthed within them.

We’re also encouraged to not just build up leaders but everyone we can influence in a positive way.

2 Samuel 19:7 in the New International Version says:

“Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now."

This verse makes it pretty clear that people. . .workers. . .everybody needs to be encouraged in what they’re doing.

Sixth, encourage yourself and build up others to do the things He has called you to do.

Isaiah 1:17 in the New International Version says:

“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

These verses don’t say. . .if you feel like it. . .if it’s convenient or not too much trouble. 

No, we’re scripturally directed to do the right thing. What’s the right thing.

First, learn to do right.  The first word “learn” implies that it will not only take effort but it’s something you must purpose to do in your life.

Second, seek justice for everyone.

Third, encourage the oppressed (not just your friends or those who encourage easily.)

Fourth, defend the cause of the fatherless.

Fifth, plead the case of the widows.

Seventh, encourage and build up others by your giving.

2 Chronicles 31:4 says:

“Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.”

Have you ever had someone give you something unexpectedly?  How did it make you feel?  Did it make you feel for that very moment that your problems were somehow less severe because of an act of kindness, random or otherwise?

Why should you encourage others with your giving?

2 Corinthians 9:8-13 in the Amplified Bible says:

“8 And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

9 As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever!

10 And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity].

11 Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God.

12 For the service that the ministering of this fund renders does not only fully supply what is lacking to the saints (God’s people), but it also overflows in many [cries of] thanksgiving to God.”

People are encouraged and blessed by our generosity. . .but here’s a secret. . .so are we.

Okay, it’s not a secret. . .it’s in the Word. . .but sometimes we treat it like a secret.