A Model of Encouragement

Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:18

A bit of Greek will help us understand how to comfort and encourage others. Begin with the word used by Jesus to describe the Holy Spirit: parakaleo. Para means “alongside,” while kaleo means “to call.” So parakaleo means to come alongside another. That’s how Jesus described the ministry of the Holy Spirit (parakletos)—one who would come alongside believers after Jesus departed earth to be with the Father (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). By looking at the way various English versions translate parakletos we get an idea of the ministry of the Spirit: Helper (NKJV, NASB, ESV), Counselor (HCSB), Advocate (NIV, NLT), and Friend (MSG). It can also mean Comforter, Intercessor, Strengthener, or Standby (AMP).

That’s what the Holy Spirit does for us: He helps, counsels, advocates, befriends, comforts, intercedes, strengthens, and stands by us. That’s what it means to be an encourager in all its various forms. And we can do the same for others. We can give them courage the same way the Holy Spirit encourages us.

If you see someone who is discouraged, allow the Holy Spirit to use you to restore their courage and confidence in God. The Holy Spirit is a model of encouragement.

The church should be a community of encouragement. Fred Catherwood

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