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Encouragement in Suffering (Our Mission)

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Believers are encouraged by the loving care and faithful promises of God and by the example, support and prayers of fellow believers. The prospect of heaven helps them to endure.

Notes & Transcripts


Isaiah 61:1–3 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

The encouragement of God’s love

The care of the Father

Psalm 103:13 ESV
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
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Psalm 86:17 ESV
Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Isaiah 50:10 ESV
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
Isaiah 64:8–9 ESV
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.
Luke 18:6–7 ESV
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
John 16:27 ESV
for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
John 17:11 ESV
And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
John 17:15 ESV
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Romans 8:32 ESV
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
2 Corinthians 1:3 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

The sympathetic understanding of Jesus Christ

Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
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Isaiah 40:11 ESV
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Isaiah 42:3 ESV
a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
Isaiah 53:5 ESV
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Luke 4:18 ESV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
Isaiah 61:1 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
John 14:27 ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 16:22 ESV
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Romans 8:35–39 ESV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 4:15 ESV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 7:25 ESV
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 12:3 ESV
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Recovery & What That Looks Like

Invigorating Faith

The comfort of the Spirit

John 14:16–17 ESV
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
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Luke 11:13 ESV
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Romans 5:5 ESV
and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:26 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Ephesians 3:16 ESV
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
1 Peter 4:14 ESV
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

When is the last time we comforted those we see suffering?

Do we stop to take notice?
Do we sometimes get caught up in how we are doing to notice those around us?

The promises of God

; ;
Psalm 119:50 ESV
This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Do we remind others of these promises?
Do we memorize these promises for ourselves?
Are we worried about the example we set for others?
See also ; ; ; ; ;
Isaiah 41:10 ESV
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 43:2–3 ESV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Matthew 6:31–33 ESV
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Romans 15:4 ESV
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Philippians 4:7 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:10 ESV
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

The encouragement of the fellowship of believers

Examples from the past

Hebrews 12:1 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Do we tell our stories?
Samaritan Woman from
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Psalm 102:17–18 ESV
he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer. Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
Jeremiah 20:11 ESV
But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
Philippians 4:11 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Hebrews 11:25–26 ESV
choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
James 5:10–11 ESV
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Support from other believers

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
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Ruth 2:13 ESV
Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”
Job 42:11 ESV
Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold.
Acts 28:15 ESV
And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.
Romans 16:4 ESV
who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
2 Corinthians 7:6–7 ESV
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
Philippians 4:14 ESV
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
Colossians 4:11 ESV
and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
1 Thessalonians 2:11–12 ESV
For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 ESV
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
2 Timothy 4:9 ESV
Do your best to come to me soon.
2 Timothy 4:11 ESV
Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
Philemon 13 ESV
I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel,
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The encouragement of looking ahead

The assurance of victory

Romans 8:37 ESV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
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Romans 16:20 ESV
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 Corinthians 15:20 ESV
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:25 ESV
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 ESV
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 ESV
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

The prospect of glory

Romans 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
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Job 19:25–26 ESV
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,
Isaiah 65:17 ESV
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
2 Corinthians 4:17–5:1 ESV
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 Thessalonians 1:6–7 ESV
since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
2 Peter 3:13 ESV
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Jude 24–25 ESV
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Revelation 7:16–17 ESV
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Revelation 21:1–4 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Ultimately, Who’s Glory are we wanting to be seen?
Who’s Glory do we portray?
Who’s Glory is most satisfying?
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