The Meaning of Encouragement

January 31, 2017
By: Elizabeth Prentiss

The words “to encourage” can properly translate the New Testament word that means “to call beside.” When we encourage, we are coming alongside someone else, cheering them on. We are offering comfort and motivation. When we encourage someone, they know they are not alone.

Jesus promised that troubles will come to all of us in this world (John 16:33). This is a fact no one can escape. But when those times of trouble come, how precious it is to have someone to encourage us and remind us that Jesus didn’t stop after acknowledging the troubles we would know. He also told us to “be of good cheer” because He has overcome the world! When a fellow believer reminds of this truth in the midst of troubles, it can provide much-needed encouragement.

We can each be the source of similar encouragement to others.  When we know someone is struggling, we can come alongside them and call out to them, reminding them that Jesus has overcome the world and they can make it through this trouble.

Elizabeth Prentiss was a woman who knew her share of troubles, from physical illness to losing a precious child. But she determined to use what she learned in her life to help others. She said, “Much of my experience of life has cost me a great price and I wish to use it for strengthening and comforting other souls.” Let us follow her example and encourage one another with the encouragement and comfort we have received.

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