Why Encouraging Each Other Now Is More Important Than Ever

Meg Bucher

Updated Jul 10, 2020
Why Encouraging Each Other Now Is More Important Than Ever

“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 10:24-25 ESV)

Church is now closed on Sunday. We are undoubtedly living through tricky times, but humanity has endured tragic and hard circumstances before. Thankfully, church isn’t defined by the building we meet in on Sundays. We love those buildings. We love fellowship with each other, live and in person. But, not being able to meet physically has not stopped the church from meeting together virtually, nor will it ever be able to stop us from loving people with the gospel hope of Jesus Christ.

God has gone before us, giving us the ability to connect digitally across the globe. His blessings abound, even in precarious times. Though the way we connect and serve each other currently looks different, it’s no less powerful or effective. Globally, as we make daily efforts to focus on the goodness of God rather than worry about what tomorrow will bring, it’s important to encourage each other. In fact, it’s more important than ever.

What Does it Mean to Encourage Others?

What Does it Mean to Encourage Others?

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

Merriam Webster’s definition of encourage is “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to attempt to persuade; to spur on; to give help or patronage to.” Witness runners during a race. They intentionally reach out and encourage each other, even stiff competition, amidst great pain. Why? Because they know encouraging others will renew and restore their own spirit and stamina. Encouraging others requires us to take attention off of ourselves. The miracle of encouragement is that when we give it selflessly, we actually receive it ourselves.

“Because of Christ’s resurrection and ours,” the NIV Study Bible Notes explain of 1 Corinthians 15:58, “we know that serving him is not empty, useless activity.” Our reward awaits us in eternity with God, where there will be no more pain, no more sadness, and no more death. Jesus never neglected to address the hard circumstances we would have to endure in this life. Scripture makes it very clear we live in a fallen, sin-cursed world full of heartache and sorrow. When Christ spoke to His followers on earth, He always did so in a way they, and we, would be able to understand. The hope we find in Jesus is accessible to everyone. It isn’t a fleeting happiness that fades in and out circumstantially, but a sustaining joy and peace rooted in the goodness and love of God. Jesus didn’t have to endure the excruciating pain of the cross, but in His pure goodness and love for us, He chose to.

Like runners reach out to encourage others hurting alongside them, so must we compassionately remember the souls suffering alongside us. None of this is bigger than our unchanging, good, and loving God. Intentionally, we can shift our focus to loving Him, and others. Through this pandemic, we can cling to His rock-solid Truth. Battered and bruised, fighting worry and fear by the moment, many of us sick and clinging to each breath, we can still intentionally encourage and love each other. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV). Encouraging others encourages our own souls.We were meant to serve others. Selflessness serves God’s purposes on this earth.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/LoveTheWind

5 Simple Ways We Can Encourage Each Other Daily

5 Simple Ways We Can Encourage Each Other Daily

1. Pray

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22 ESV)

Scripture resounds with the importance and power of prayer! Words from the apostle Peter encourage us to cast our anxieties on God, because he cares for us (1Peter 7:7). Paul admonished the Philippians, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV). Just as our actions can default to a self-centered manner, so too can our prayers! By keeping an actual list of people God has laid on our hearts and put in our lives, we can diligently lift them up in prayer. This is how we pray alongside each other for a miracle cure and healing from COVID-19.

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2. Check in on Each Other

2. Check in on Each Other

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13 ESV)

We certainly aren’t alone, because Jesus, Himself, promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 ESV). In quarantine, we can still be the loving arms of Jesus by intentionally staying connected to each other. The people in our lives are facing possible unemployment, homelessness, hospitalization, and separation from their loved ones. In the face of the seemingly impossible, our God is faithful to show up. Each day, we can reach out to see how some of our neighbors, friends, and family are doing, asking for specific prayer requests. We can counter our selfish defaults by intentionally shifting our attention towards encouraging each other. Especially right now.

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3. Digital Facetime

3. Digital Facetime

“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 10:25 ESV)

The technology we hold in the palm of our hands connects us with faces in our neighborhoods and across the world. God goes before us. He prepares a way. Every good thing, every ability to invent new outlets of communication, comes from God! The apostles and early founders of the church made intentional efforts to encourage each other through hand-written letters. How much more access do we have to encourage each other face to face, even when we are physically apart?! Now is the time for us to be diligent in using the technology we have to initiate connectivity through meetings, Bible studies, small groups, and group chats. The church is still meeting, just as ferociously as we were before, if not even more—and with swift intentionality!

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Alexander Dummer

4. Flood the Feeds with Hope

4. Flood the Feeds with Hope

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)

Joshua had to step into Moses’ shoes. Tough act to follow. He led Israel into the promised land. Imagine the intimidation Joshua assuredly felt. For he, too, was human, just like us. We’re not leading the Israelites into the promised land, but we are the moving feet of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has commanded us to “Go,” and spread the good news. How can we do that when all physical contact has been halted? Personal contact through digital platforms, letters, and walking to our doors to wave across the street. But we can also flood the feeds. Social media usage is something we must diligently monitor on account of our souls, but the positive thing about it is that we can flood it with the hope of Christ. We can make others smile, and reach out to take prayer requests and answer in comfort to those reaching out through different platforms. God uses everything for good.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images

5. Paint a Picture of Positivity

5. Paint a Picture of Positivity

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word made him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 ESV)

Our current situation begs us to get creative in the ways we communicate to each other. We can spread encouragement and love from right where we live. Not just on social media or via video calls and meetings, but by brightening the spaces we occupy. Leave verses and encouraging messages where they will be seen, both inside and outside. Chalk sidewalks and driveways, and leave reminders of His faithfulness on mirrors and refrigerator doors. We can paint a picture of positivity because our hope is in Christ Jesus! There’s no wondering if He’s with us. He is! We truly are never alone.

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Encouraging Verses to Write on Our Hearts

Encouraging Verses to Write on Our Hearts

1. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV

2. “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,” Matthew 6:28 ESV

3. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 ESV

4. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

5. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

6. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

7. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 ESV

8. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

9. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV

10. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 ESV

Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ as an author, freelance writer, and blogger at Sunny&80. Her first book, “Friends with Everyone,”  is available on amazon.com. She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters. Besides writing, she leads a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. She lives in Northern Ohio with her husband, Jim, and two daughters.

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Meg BucherMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ at megbucher.comShe is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion." Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Web Network since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team at Salem Web Network. Meg loves being involved in her community and local church, leads Bible study, and serves as a youth leader for teen girls.

Originally published Tuesday, 07 April 2020.