Tuesday, October 16

Inspire, Encourage and Lift Up!

What wonders a bit of encouragement can do! It’s one of the most awesome treasures God has given us – the ability to inspire, motivate, and reassure others.
~Barbara Johnson~

Life and ministry can be challenging and it is vital to our survival that we are intentional about making sure there are people in our lives who encourage and pray for us. To much time spent with those who are negative will soon begin to seep into our spirit.  God expects us to be an encouragement to those around us.

As you near the end of a long and intense race, your legs ache, your throat burns, and your entire body screams for you to stop. This is when friends are most valuable. Their words of encouragement helps you push through the pain and agony to the finish line. Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right time can be the difference between finishing well or totally falling apart along the way. As Christians, we need to be intentional and sensitive about the needs of others. We need to be an encouragement to others offering support by not only our words but our actions.

Each of us has experienced timely encouragement from someone that truly made the difference between sinking and swimming. “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Encouragement is one of the most incredible things we can offer our friends!

The two most common Greek words that convey the idea of encouragement is paraklesis and parakaleo. The first, paraklesis, means “a calling to one’s side,” and is translated “consolation” or “comfort” 20 of the 29 times the word is used in the King James Version of the New Testament. The second, parakaleo, means “to call to one’s side or to one’s aid”. In the New American Standard Bible, “paraklesis” and parakaleo” are used 10 times in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.

We are to encourage one another. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17NIV). Each of us has experienced times in our lives when life throws obstacles in our paths. It is during these times that we need true friends. True friends will encourage and support each other in the midst of storms. True friends offer emotional strength. True friends will encourage and help us do what we have to do by supporting us in the midst of it all.

Encouragement means coming alongside to impart courage to another. This is what a true friend does for us when we find ourselves facing things that we have to go through. They come alongside us to lend support. A true friend encourages you. A true friend exhorts you. A true friend will help you do what you ought to do. A true friend seeks to bring you strength.

People are hurting in our society and they are lonely. A card, note, phone call, email or text message can be such a blessing to someone who is walking through a very dark time in their life. When God places someone on our hearts we need to step up to the plate and take action.

Isolation brings discouragement and is a platform for the enemy to destroy us. Encouragement empowers. It builds confidence and gives hope. Encouragement also builds leaders.

Look around you today. Do you see someone who is struggling? I encourage you to pray about how you can speak into their lives. Ask God to show you what you can do to demonstrate love and support to them. Encourage them. You will be a blessing to them and God will also bless you!

Blessings friends!