“…as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children…“
The word “comforted” is literally to speak soothingly to. The word “comforted” carried the idea of stimulating to the earnest discharge of duties. It comes from two Greek words: with and counsel or advice. Paul and his companions supported, comforted and cheered the Thessalonians in their duress with advice, with consolation, in order to move them beyond a victim mentality.
It is not enough to “exhort,” leaders must also speak soothingly to their followers. They need counsel and advice, as well as challenge. Encouragement points to progress: “I see your growth. I am watching your steps of faith beyond your comfort zone. You are moving toward your potential.”
Followers need encouragement and cheer.
Every ministry faces problems, setbacks and trials. The Devil will do his best to discourage people in God’s work. So believers need godly people to come to encourage them.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).