A foray into Encouragement

My issues topic is on Encouragement, especially as a church or pastoral activity.

The direction I’m going to head is based on the idea that encouragement is all about strengthening the ‘inside’ – ie. heart, mind, will, whatever composes the inner person. The reason I’m going this way is because where the ESV translates ‘encourage’ in the OT, most of the time it’s translating hazaq – to strengthen.

Thus where I’m going to go is:
1) God is strong (with some reference on intra-trinitarian strengthening? ie. Jesus receive strengthening from the Father and the Spirit?), and hence, is the source of all strength
2) God strengthens – and the usual means by which he strengthens
3) Encouragement first of all comes from God
4) Encouraging people in the church is not about making people feel better, but giving people the inner strength that God provides.

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