Sunday, March 20, 2011

In A Word: Encourage

We live in a world filled with things that rob us of our joy. An unkind word from a friend, rude drivers cutting us off on the road, co-workers making fun of us or putting us down, financial woes, poor health and the list goes on. It's the enemy's way of pulling our eyes and minds off the Father and leading us straight into the pit of despair.

Peter warns us to be on guard of such things. He tells us in I Peter 5:8 to "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"  (I Peter 5:8). When we find ourselves faced with discouraging circumstances, one of the quickest ways to overcome is to be encouraged. I Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..."

Think about a time when hope seemed lost and courage and strength were all but present. How did we ever move away from such a time of self pity and depression? We most likely received a word of encouragement from a friend or family member. Someone made us laugh. Someone reminded us of all that we have accomplished in life and all that God still has in store for us. Someone took the time to sit with us, tell us that life isn't fair, but God is and we can move on in His strength. Someone took the time to encourage us.

Moses had Aaron by his side when speaking to Pharaoh and leading the Israelites out of Egypt. King Saul had David to soothe and encourage with the music from his harp. The disciples had Jesus and one another. When they were sent out into the world after Christ's ascension, they were sent in pairs so that they were never alone. Above all, each and everyone of us have God on our side. He is our "strength and shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me" (Psalm 28:7). The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). He is our encourager!

The next time we feel ourselves coming down with a case of the blues, remember to reach out and ask for help and allow the encouraging words of God and His people to flow through. The same can be said when we see a friend facing a time of sadness and despair. We may not be able to physically remove the suffering or the cause, but we can be available to encourage and walk alongside them. Let us join together as we reach out and encourage one another! "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:13).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the important reminder about being encouraging, Amanda. We do need each other, and encouraging others can be very helpful, as their encouragement is to us. Nice post, keep up the good writing!