Encouraged Hearts

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
    who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
    encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2Thess 2:16,17

Part of what is prayed for here is for God to encourage us to align our desires with His. He's concerned for our emotional state. Our hearts are the seat of our desires. God not only wants us to serve Him, but also wants us to want to serve Him. He wants us to have our hearts desires set on His purposes. And here we see through prayer we can be encouraged along these lines.

We have eternal encouragement in the anticipation of what lies beyond the grave, which will be inherited by grace. But while we're here on earth there are deeds to be done and words to be spoken. There is plenty of opposition from the world, the flesh and the devil to good words and good deeds. And therefore discouragement can easily be had. It is the supernatural working of God by His grace that we nonetheless experience encouragement even under harsh conditions.

One is reminded of the apostles who after being persecuted for preaching the gospel went out "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." Acts 5:41 We trust in  "the God who gives endurance and encouragement" Rom 15:5

Now how may God answer such a prayer for encouragment? There is the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit.

Ac 9:31  Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
But practically speaking, we find that God frequently uses other people to carry this out.
Paul was encouraged by the fruitfulness of his labor in the Christian community
2Co 7:4  I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you.
I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

1Th 3:7  Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution
we were encouraged about you because of your faith.

He was encouraged by his fellow-laborers
2Cor 7:6 But God, who comforts the downcast,
comforted us by the coming of Titus,
And he sent men to encourage the churches
1Th 3:2  We sent Timothy, who is our brother and Godís fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

Col 4:8  I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.

And  by enduring through persecutions,
he encourage the Churches to preach the word with boldness
Php 1:14  Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly
In fact encouraging others through sound doctrine
is a requirement to be an overseer of the church
Tit 1:9  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

And now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,  who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
If you notice significant effects to this end in the future, feel free to glorify God and let me know that I and others may be encouraged to pray further along these lines.

Steve Amato

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 29,2022