God calls us to encourage one another, “building one another up” (I Thess. 5:11) in Him. In today’s busy times, this is no easy task. How many us of feel that we are struggling to find time just get by, let alone to build someone else up? It needn’t be time consuming if we ask God to help us transform our way of thinking. In fact, encouragement is usually a source of blessing and strength to those who are doing the encouraging!
What does God say about encouragement in the bible?
· [God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (Corinthians 1:4).
· And we urge you brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone (I Thessalonians 5:14).
· Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
Being a good encourager, includes the following attributes: thinking positively, choosing to speak positively, allowing God to heal areas of your life that may prevent you from encouraging others, and acting on God’s prompts to encourage others.
When we are faithfully acting on God’s prompts to encourage others, God is able to work His miracles through us to transform lives and deliver hope. The only qualification that we need to possess is a willing heart. Even in the most challenging situations, God already has the answer… we just need to faithfully submit to Him.
I have an unsaved neighbor that I have been praying for and asking God how best to encourage. She doesn’t seem to listen to me when I share God’s word and always has stories of worldly, unmoral character to share with me. For some time, I cringed each time she dropped by my house. However, I felt the Lord nudging me, asking me to trust Him and be obedient. I realized that it is not always easy to be obedient, but when we are, God blesses us. God has used my neighbor to show me that He is in control, and all He wants me to do is, share by example. Simply giving my neighbor time, inviting her into my home, and sharing personal stories of what God is doing in my family, is how God will have me encourage her.
I sometimes wonder how many times I will have to learn this same lesson during my lifetime. I am so glad that God is patient with us and obviously has a sense of humor. He repackages the same lessons for us throughout life so that we can re-learn them over and over, so that His love can be made perfect in us and through us. Now that is encouraging!
God transforms lives through encouraging words. Follow God’s example, be an encourager!
In His Grace~ JoNeen Ohlåker
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5)