“Encourage the fainthearted.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:14.

BED RIDDEN, house bound most days, for months. Tonight I got a call and my immediate response was to try and plan how I could travel a days journey to see someone to come alongside and love on them. My wife said,”I know what your thinking!” So I can’t go but they can come to me. My heart goes out to them and the verse that comes to mind is,”Encourage the fainthearted, disheartened” and I so want to but can’t. As I write my mind is trying to figure out how I can go. But my body is putting the breaks on with debilitating PAIN. Caught, in between the desire and reality…“But God….” someone is going to make it possible they can come to me…


In 1 Thess 5:14. – “Encourage” is a command that is to be a part of who we are and to be lived out. We are to be “encourager’s.” What are Christians to be? One aspect is we are “The encourager’s.” In 1 Thess 2:11 Paul, Silvanus, Timothy had demonstrated and lived this out. This is something that is to be modeled, for leaders to do, practice for their people and we are all to follow suit. {See 1 Cor 11:1}  Paul does not ask the believers to do what he himself or his team are not practicing themselves. They are 

“THE  ENCOURAGER’S.” It is a command- DO THIS and it is a “present imperative,” which means it is to be the habit of our lives, we all are to be Encourager’s, DO THIS AS THE HABIT OF YOUR LIFE!

“ENCOURAGE,” -(remember that the English word encourage is derived from en = in   + courage = root derivation means related to the heart) – {precept Austin.}

It is a beautiful, tender word which means,

” to speak to someone by coming close to their side.”

In the New Testament it means to Relate Near, encourage to console, relate to someone as as source of comfort when they are disappointed, or at loss, or when in trouble and times of sadness. The idea is to speak kindly, soothingly to  comfort them or pacify. Come alongside them.

There  is no “gift of discouragement’ in the Scriptures but there is the COMMAND to continually be a person who encourages the faint hearted. God help you today to practice encouragement.

 No one ever went to bed in tears of sadness because someone encouraged them too much!

Encourage The  Fainthearted

 The word, “FAINTHEARTED”  comes from two Greek words, oligopsuchos from oligos = puny in extent, degree, number, duration or value  +  psuche soul, mind) means literally “small souled“, the  little-spirited, the faint-hearted, the despondent, the feebleminded (KJV – this is a bit misleading as the Greek word does not carry any hint of mental  deficiency), fretful, discouraged, worried. The idea is that this is a description of the person who feels their resources are too small for a given situation and so they are despondent or discouraged.”-Precept Austin,

“The fainthearted are those who, literally, are small-souled. By nature or experience they tend to be timid and lack courage. These need comfort – in the sense of assisting strength – to be brought to them.”- Guzik

Hiebert adds that…

“They are members who have become  discouraged for some reason, perhaps because of adverse circumstances   or because of their deep consciousness of their own sinfulness,  causing them to despair of being able to live the Christian life. These timid, discouraged individuals needed to be encouraged, cheered up, stimulated, and helped along. They did not need to be rebuked and  warned like the idle, but rather needed to be encouraged  through the use of helpful words to continue the battle for the Lord. Let such souls, who instinctively fear the worst, learn to take courage from the gentle Lord who would not break the bruised reed or  quench the smoking flax (Mt 12:20) (Ibid)

W E Vine writes that…

The “fainthearted” lack the energy and boldness in which the “disorderly” superabound. They require constraint as the others require restraint. Sensitiveness to criticism, 2:3–6, dread of persecution, 3:3, a sense of failure to follow the Lord, 1:6, apprehensiveness concerning the future, 4:13,  are among the causes that produce faintness of heart. (Ibid)

Ray Stedman writes that Paul  is referring to the…

one who feels inadequate and ungifted. We would call them the introverts among us. “Help them find  their place,” says the apostle. This is addressed to everybody. People  who feel out of it, who think they do not belong and cannot contribute  anything, must be helped to find their place because they do have a  place. In the wonderful picture of the body at work, in First  Corinthians 12, the apostle says, “The ear cannot say, ‘Because I am  not an eye I am not part of the body.’ No,” says Paul, “even if it says that, it does not make it any less a part of the body,” {cf, 1Cor 12:16}. There are people who feel that way. They think, “I cannot  do anything. I do not have any gifts.” That is wrong thinking. God has  equipped all His people with gifts. We are to help each other find our  place, give them something to do and encourage them in the work that  they are doing. (Loving Christianty)

 How often are we to encourage? Hmm, when it is convenient, maybe for a season? nope. Heb 3:13 says “Day after day, as long as it is called, “TODAY”… Encourage one another, lest the deceitfulness of sin harden your heart! ” We all need to be encouraged DAILY God’s Word says. Seek to be a Barnabus today- and encourage someone… with a word of kindness, a deed of kindness a text, phone call. For the disheartened God’s remedy includes you. Encourage the fainthearted. We are all in need. Treat them as you desire to be treated.

 Pray for me as I seek to encourage someone who is fainthearted. Pray I have favor and they know I love them and are for them. Pray God meets them in the area of their need and they are encouraged by His Spirit and live condemnation free, reveling in the love of Christ for them that incites love in their heart for Him. I am so so thankful that failure is not final for the Christian. If it was there would no Christians! Our failures DO NOT define us JESUS CHRIST Defines us. We learn from our sin, failures and move on looking to Jesus who is greater. The evil foe would like to beat us down and God calls His people to encourage the fainthearted.

 Be on the look out for those who are despondent and come alongside them and speak to them compassionately, soothingly that they may be strengthened to arise in their MIND and heart to continue on for the LORD.

Praying today someone benefits from your reaching out to encourage in Jesus name!

“Encourage the fainthearted”- 1 Thess 5:14.