Examples of Encouragement in the Bible

Last updated on January 20th, 2022 at 06:25 pm

I need encouragement. It is just that simple. Maybe you are a little like me.

During times when I am feeling like I need to build myself up I look to the scriptures or to a close friend to speak into the situation. Usually both.

Let’s look at what the bible has to say.

Definitions of Encouragement

  1. Websters Definition
    • The action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” thank you for all your support and encouragement”
      • synonyms: heartening, cheering, cheering up, buoying up, pepping up, uplifting, inspiration, rallying, motivation, incitement, stimulation, animation, invigoration, invigorating, emboldening, fortification;
    • Persuasion to do or to continue something.” incentives and encouragement to play sports”
    • The act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.” the encouragement of foreign investment”
  2. Biblical Definition of Encouragement
    • One of the best examples of encouragement from God is to Joshua when he said: “Be strong and courageous!” (Joshua 1). The biblical definition of encouragement centres around the idea of building strength and courage in the inner self. The idea of literally putting courage in.

What is the Hebrew Word used in the old testament for Encouragement?

Good question.

The hebrew language isn’t like the english language. It has a number of different ways of understanding things. Encourage and encouragement are no different. Lets look at a few of the examples.

Joshua 1:6 – Be Strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

In this passge, the important word is the word for courage. God uses it twice. It literally means to make your mind strong. To increase your stubbornness and conviction towards what you believe to be true.

So to be courageous or very courageous literally means to strengthen the bond you have to what you know to be true. So to encourage yourself or someone else you are reinforcing the connection between the spirit and God.

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed, for the people talked of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit, each over his sons and daughters. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

This second example holds another key to what it means to encourage.

David has had a pretty rough day, and on top of that, the people that are around him are thinking of stoning him. At this moment he encouraged himself in the lord.

When we look closer at the words used we get a little glimpse into what it was that he did. The word is yithechazeq which technically means encourage. But when we look at the reason why it means that we get a better understanding of it.

The word yithechazeq comes from the root word chazaq which means to strengthen and literally bind or gird yourself. To Hold firm and devote oneself.

So in both of these examples when we get down to the root of what is actually being said, encouragement literally means to strengthen the bond that you have to the truth of who Christ is and who He says that you are!

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About the author

Lucas is a former worship pastor and Hillsong College graduate (2005). He has spoken at churches, conferences and worship events and loves inspiring people to be more than just a Sunday service-goer. He founded 15 Degrees NE and is one of our leading authors.

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Kathryn E Harris
Kathryn E Harris
2 years ago

Thanks. This took me right where I needed to be.