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The Awesome Power of Encouragement

Stuart Briscoe

Our world is filled with people who are deeply discouraged, for all sorts of reasons. Often negative experiences have overshadowed their lives and pushed out the positive experiences. But as Christians, we can be a mighty source of encouragement—in fact, we are called to be! So how do we encourage people who desperately need it, and how do we personally remain encouraged in our own lives?

Stuart Briscoe takes us into the book of 1 Thessalonians, where the apostle Paul’s ministry of encouragement unfolds before us. And we see how much can be achieved for the Kingdom when people are encouraged. Even through their own trials, Paul and his companions remained a constant source of encouragement to others.

In this series, you’ll learn specific ways to build up those around you—to carry on, aim high, stand firm, please God, look ahead, stay alert, and encourage others. Everyone can have a ministry of encouragement, and Paul gives us a wonderful model to follow.

Messages From This Series:

Paul described his work among the Thessalonians as, "encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God." But Paul and his colleagues also needed encouragement. In fact, everyone needs encouragement!

So how do we encourage people who desperately need it, and how do we remain encouraged and hopeful in our own lives? Stuart, citing Scripture as always, shows us the way.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-1:10

The stated objective of Paul and his co-workers for the Thessalonians was to encourage them to aim high, to “live lives worthy of God.” We need to know, not only what they meant by this, but also what means they used to attain their objectives.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2:16

Paul was so concerned about the Thessalonian believers that he sent Timothy to “strengthen and encourage (them) in (their) faith.” When he received word that they were indeed “standing firm in the Lord” he was greatly encouraged himself. 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13

In the brief period that they had been in Thessalonica the missionaries had been careful to teach the believers “how to live in order to please God.” The fact that they also emphasized this in their letter shows that they attached great importance to encouraging this objective. 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-4:12

The Thessalonians had learned a lot about the future but there was still some confusion about death and what happens after death. So the missionaries gave further instruction so the believers would look ahead with joy.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-4:18

The teaching the Thessalonians had received concerning “the coming of the Lord” had very practical ramifications. The Church has always needed encouragement to stay alert to them.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5:11

As we have seen, it is too easy for people to become spiritually sleepy and sloppy. To counteract these tendencies, we are to “encourage” and “build each other up.” Here we look at practical ways of doing this.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-5:28

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