Blog Posts on Encouragement

Hope for the Despairing Heart

Christina Fox

The gospel saved me.

“That’s elementary,” you might be thinking. Yes, the gospel, the truths of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, appropriated by faith, have saved me for all eternity. But that’s not the salvation about which I am thinking.

The gospel saved me from my pit of despair.

I have battled depression on and off since adolescence. It began the year my grandmother died, I switched schools, and…

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You Can Take Heart in Uncertainty

Jon Bloom

Uncertainty is a difficult thing to bear. We want to know where the provision is going to come from or if we’re going to die of this disease or how this child is going to turn out or if our job will still be there next month.

But as we see in Luke 9:57–58, Jesus makes it clear that his disciples must be able to bear uncertainty if they are…

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Lay Aside the Weight of Sluggishness

Jon Bloom

“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11–12)

Sluggishness in a runner signals danger to a coach. Something isn’t right. Something is causing ambivalence, draining confidence. The runner is losing heart. Half-hearted running is…

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Embracing Weakness Will Change Your Life

Jonathan Parnell

Achilles was a vicious warrior with a complicated history. In Homer’s Iliad we see him rise to the top as the preeminent player at the end of the Trojan War. His full backstory is melodramatic enough to make Downton Abbey blush, but suffice it to say that no one was quite like him. Achilles was simultaneously drunk in rage and meticulous in skill as he led the Greeks in battle.…

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Don’t Feel Qualified for Your Calling?

Jon Bloom

For the first forty years of his life, Moses lived in a place of strength. As a member of Pharaoh’s household he had social prestige, wealth (Hebrews 11:26), and youthful strength. When he became aware of and troubled by his peoples’ oppression he used this strength to exact vigilante justice on an oppressive Egyptian. That wasn’t God’s plan for deliverance. He had to flee for his life and ended up…

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What God Is Building Through All the "Inefficiencies" of Life

Jon Bloom

Time and energy is money. And money is money. So when we want to get something done we typically want it done as efficiently as possible.

That’s why we are often bewildered when God gives us work to do and then allows the “inefficiencies” of trouble and opposition to consume so much time, energy, and money. Why does he do this? We see a clue in the book of Nehemiah.…

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Don’t Let Discouragement Choke You

Jon Bloom

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (John 14:1)

Discouragement is a temptation “common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13). And in dealing with it sometimes we need tenderness and other times we need toughness. But either way discouragement is not to be tolerated or wallowed in. It’s to be fought.

If we linger in discouragement it can be costly. Its sense of defeat and…

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Jesus: Lord of Feast and Famine, Homeruns and Strikeouts

David Mathis

. . . I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11–13)

Smash a homer. Climb a mountain. Blast through the pile for a…

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Joe Encouragement: Let’s Be Like Him

Jon Bloom

“Encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

His name was Joseph. But he “was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)” (Acts 4:36). Joe Encouragement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be such an encouraging person that your friends simply call you Encouragement?

Courage is the resolve to face a fearful threat. And courage comes from hope — a hope in something stronger…

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Praising Others is Not Optional

Sam Crabtree

God-centered praise of those who are not God is not optional. A fire not stoked goes out. A refrigerator unplugged rots the eggs. A garden not tended erupts with weeds. Affirmation is the fire-stoking, refrigerator-electrifying, garden-tending side of relationships. Relationships in which commendable things are not commended, but overlooked, take on a flavor. The relationship is marked, and we take on a reputation to those around us.

Barnabas is called…

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