We have been looking at biblical meanings of specific words and our last one was “salvation” and although the Bible says much more on what it means to be saved, I’m going to move on to another word. A group of ladies were going over some prayer requests and were overwhelmed with the amount of suffering. We don’t like to see our friends and family suffering and we pray for healing. We also need to be an encouragement. The question was asked, “What does the Bible say about encouragement and how can we be an encourager?” Throughout the Bible we are told to encourage each other. When we get discouraged, it’s easy to turn away from God and fall into sin. The Bible says: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13 KJV) We live in a world full of trouble and suffering and Jesus warned us that there would be trouble. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 KJV) We will suffer, but our sorrow will turn to joy because Jesus overcame the world. Even when we are suffering physically, we can rejoice knowing God’s love, peace, and final victory. Yet, there will be times when we struggle with discouragement so it is important that we remember what the Bible says about our struggles. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV) The enemy causing the evil we face is not a human force we can defeat in our own power. The enemy is an evil spiritual force led by Satan. Spiritual forces are Satan’s followers who oppose God. We can be encouraged because the Bible assures us of God’s victory. One of my favorite encouragement passages is found in the book of Second Corinthians. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJV) May we be encouraged knowing that our suffering and troubles are only temporary and one day we will spend eternity with God.