“On Christian Encouragement”, from L.Willows; Scripture and Quotes (Courage, comforted, Walk of Faith)

When we encourage, it is taught that we are literally putting courage into someone. In scripture, the Encourager is someone who comes alongside of another and gives them comfort as well as strength. Encouragement itself nurtures patience and kindness as in as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 –Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Encouragement is like water to our thirsty spirits as we walk in the journey of faith. We need the companionship of one another; to be lifted up by kind words, a listening heart and the gifts of time, patience and most especially gospel love. When we are compassionate during difficult times with one another it builds “muscles of courage” in one another that will strengthen the bonds of love. What are the muscles of courage? They are acts of bravery.

The Biblical definition of courage is defined as being motivated by the heart to do something brave. The Biblical definition of Encouragement is the act of giving hope. An Encourager, then is one that motivates others to have hope so that they are motivated from their hearts to be brave.

Got Questions.com describes that without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes. The prophet Elijah struggled with discouragement (1 Kings 19:3-10), and so do we. It is important to remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This truth makes encouragement all the more important. It is not just that we face the world’s displeasure; we are caught in the crosshairs of a spiritual battle. When we are encouraged in Christ, we have strength to put on our spiritual armor and remain steadfast (see Ephesians 6:10-18).

Even in places where Christians do not experience overt persecution or hatred, we all know that life can be difficult. Discouragement is not an uncommon human experience. At times, recognizing that there is meaning in the seemingly inconsequential things we do seems next to impossible. We may want to give up. Yet He who calls us is faithful, and He gives us the power to be faithful, too (1 Corinthians 1:9).

Christian Quotes on Encouragement

 “So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” —Florence Nightingale

“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”–Corrie Ten Bloom

“I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.”–Charles Spurgeon

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” —Helen Keller

“Believers, look up. Take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.” Billy Graham

“Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty.” Hosea Ballou

“There was a castle called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair.” John Bunyan

“The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them.” Thomas Aquinas

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” —C.S. Lewis

“Christian Quotes, Scripture & Prayer on Gratitude”, from L.Willows (God’s Mercy, Grace, Thanksgiving)

Christian Quotes on Gratitude

 “We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.” –J.I. Packer

“God doesn’t want us to just feel gratitude, but for us to show it by giving thanks to God with our lives.” –Tim Keller

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” –Charles Spurgeon

 “We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” –C.S. Lewis

“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.” –Thomas Merton

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” –A.W. Tozer

“If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace.” – Max Lucado

 “Yes, give thanks for ‘all things’ for, as it has been well said ‘Our  disappointments are but His appointments.’” –A.W. Pink

” A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.” — John Bunyan

“Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” –Tim Keller

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”–Elizabeth Elliot

” The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” — Henry Ward Beecher

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Bonhoeffer

“There should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Thanksgiving with the mouth stirs up thankfulness in the heart.” – John Piper

Scripture on Gratitude

2 Corinthians 4:15 — All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Colossians 1:12 — And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Hebrews 12:28 — Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Psalm 7:17 —  I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

Psalm 28:7 —The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

James 1:17 —  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows

Here are five Psalms that Praise God for His Goodness and Faithfulness:

1. Psalm 136. God’s beautiful love for you never changes, never falters, and never ends. Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.(136:1)

2. Psalm 117. God’s faithfulness toward you goes on forever. Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations!
 Extol him, all peoples!
 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
 and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord! (117:1-2)

3. Psalm 100. God is God: worthy of praise, awesome in creative power, and full of goodness.  Psalm 100

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his (100:3)

4. Psalm 139. God purposefully created you as an intricate work of art, and He cares about every little piece of you.   Psalm 139

For you formed my inward parts;
 you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
 Wonderful are your works;
     my soul knows it very well. 

My frame was not hidden from you,
 when I was being made in secret,
     intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
 in your book were written, every one of them,
 the days that were formed for me,
     when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! (139:13-17)

5. Psalm 42. God is the greatest hope and encouragement for a worn-out soul. Psalm 42

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
 and why are you in turmoil within me?
 Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
     my salvation and my God. 

Gratitude’s Prayer, “Falling before YOur Throne”

Father God,

We come before you with hearts of humility and love- we fall before Your Throne with awe, our hearts are full. In thankfulness we come before The Altar of Your Grace.

Lord of Lords, Christ Almighty, You hear the calling of all who speak your Holy Name. We are grateful Your Eternal Presence and abiding faithfulness.

You are Our Shepherd, Our Protector and the One that Secures each step. Your Spirit anoints the way for Your Beloveds. We give thanks for such Holy Presence and for the power of Your Name.

We bow before you aching to love more, to learn to be more obedient to your will, your word and your truth. Do you need to break our hearts so that we might wake to You? Lord, then we submit to You. Have mercy upon us and give us teachable and soft hearts. Give us patience and endurance as we learn to walk in the Light of Your Holy Spirit.

Your tent is merciful and wide. Stretch our hearts as we shelter in your grace. Help us be graceful to one another and be people of mercy. Help us to learn to forgive as we have been forgiven. Lord, as You draw us into the great Reconciliation, teach us to reconcile with one another and more to love as we have been loved by You.

Thank you for such generous mercy as You have given to us. Thank you, Lord, for the sacrifice of sufferings unspeakable that you have known so that we may be saved by Grace.

My most personal Savior, Lord Jesus- I fall upon your Throne, the most majestic altar in all of Heaven. High and mighty, above and beyond all that my heart can imagine yet so near and close that Your Kingdom touches me, even me- like the Hand of a Shepherd that will never leave, whose kindness, love and mercy is so enduring and generous that it cannot not be spent in time as my heart can fathom.

So, I fall upon Your Kingdom Throne like a child in a wonderland, filled with hope and gratitude because Lord, Jesus Christ Your Love Pours miracles. I pray them on behalf of all who read and believe in You!

In the precious Name of Jesus

Amen

©2020 L.Willows