– Hebrews 10:25
How do we encourage one another without using words? It’s hard to do. However, there are other ways to encourage one another besides words but not to the exclusion of words, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). So “brothers (and sisters), if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it” (Acts 13:15b), and do hold back as “Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words” (Acts 15:32).
Isn’t it encouraging in knowing that others are praying for you? I know several people who pray for me, and that truly encourages me. People who I don’t even know pray for me; and in writing these devotionals, I pray for those who read them, even if I have never met them. It doesn’t matter; God knows them, and that’s all that counts.
Fellowship and Encouragement
Paul likely suffered more than the other apostles, at least early on, and wrote, “I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” (Colossians 2:1-2). So Paul believed that seeing him face to face would encourage their hearts and in fellowship; so should we in seeing one another face to face.
Serving and Encouragement
In writing to the church at Philippi, Paul wrote, “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2). One way we can encourage others is to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). When we serve others in love, we encourage them and enable them to perhaps continue in the faith with more resolve, thereby empowering them to encourage others and perhaps even stirring them up unto good works (Hebrews 10:24).
The author of Hebrews was writing about encouragement when he wrote, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23-25).