Summary: How does encouragement come? God is the source; the Holy Spirit is the encourager. Let us look at five ways the Holy Spirit gives encouragement.

The How of Encouragement

2 Timothy 1:3-12


The “when” of encouragement is the many times we need it. The “who” of encouragement is the Holy Spirit, who continues the ministry of Jesus Christ among us. Now let us examine the “how” of encouragement.

Timothy had been shedding tears over the difficulties he faced in his ministry, so Paul encouraged him. He did this by referring to Timothy’s godly heritage in his mother and grandmother and in the spiritual gift of God had given him. He encouraged him by saying that fear is not from God, but that God gives power, love, and a disciplined life. What encouragement that must have been to Timothy!

Have you encouraged someone lately? Are you waiting for someone to encourage you? Yield up that expectation to the Lord and be encouraged in him. Put your trust in him. There is great power in encouragement.

How does encouragement come? God is the source; the Holy Spirit is the encourager. Let us look at five ways the Holy Spirit gives encouragement.

I. He encourages us through a personal friend (1 Samuel 23:15-16)

a. David and Jonathan were intimate friends.

i. They were covenant friends who had exchanged robes and weapons, sealing their covenant with blood.

ii. When Saul was pursuing David to kill him, Jonathan came to David and encouraged him in God.

iii. He gave David a word of faith: “Do not be afraid”

b. God always signs his letters of encouragement

i. HE sends no anonymous letters.

ii. He always personalizes his encouragement!

iii. He may send someone to us, for he prompts one Christian to help another.

II. He encourages us through God’s Word (Romans 15:4)

a. God’s written Word has power to encourage

i. God’s Word has hope!

ii. If you have a problem or a need for direction, just believe there is a message for you in the Word of God and seek it!

b. You can look elsewhere for encouragement, but it will be only temporary.

i. There is powerful literature outside the Bible, but only God’s Word is eternal.

ii. Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God stands forever.”

III. He encourages us through our spiritual position (Philippians 2:1)

a. Our spiritual position is that we are in Christ.

i. “If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ…”

ii. “In Christ”, is used approximately 150 times in the New Testament.

iii. It refers to our union with Christ.

iv. We are “in him,” in that we have been crucified with Christ, raised up wit him, and allowed to sit with him in heavenly places.

v. We are to take advantage of that relationship.

vi. Colossians 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

b. His power is made available to us.

i. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen”

ii. Philippians 4:13 says we are totally adequate in Christ: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

iii. As he is, so are we in the world: “By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because HE is, so also are we in this world”

iv. This is encouragement!

IV. He encourages us through divine intervention (Acts 16:22-26)

a. God can deeply encourage us through his miracles.

i. Paul and Silas were beaten by prison guards and thrown into the inner prison where they were guarded securely.

ii. It is safe to say that they needed encouragement.

iii. But they were not feeling sorry for themselves.

iv. They were praying and singing hymns of praise to God.

v. Their hearts were encouraged.

vi. Then suddenly here came a great earthquake and the foundation of the prison was shaken.

vii. God intervened!

b. Divine intervention proves God’s encouragement.

i. Jesus was asleep during a storm on the Sea of Galilee.

ii. The disciples cried out to him, “Do you not care?”

iii. Yes, he did care!

iv. He commanded the storm to cease and their hearts to be stilled.

v. Jesus really does care.

1. He is the Good shepherd, not a hireling merely tending the sheep in a perfunctory way.

2. In fact, he gives the ultimate of encouragement in John 10: “I lay down my life for the sheep.”


We all are a part of the ministry of encouragement. We receive encouragement, and we give it. Believe it and share it every day of your life!

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