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From a Mother's Heart

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By Bea Wallen

The Power of Encouragement

 

The writer of Hebrews said, “Encourage one another daily” (3:13, NIV). The apostle Paul said, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4, NIV. The word encourage means “to inspire with hope or confidence.” We should all find ways to exercise the power of encouragement.

Jesus was constantly urging people on. To a paralytic, he said “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” John 5:8. To a man with a useless shriveled hand, Jesus said “Stretch out you hand” Mark 3:5. He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. To the woman who came to Jesus because she suffered a very humiliating illness for twelve years, He said, “Take heart daughter, your faith has healed you” Matthew 9:22. And the woman was healed from that moment.

We need to be more like Jesus, who constantly urged people on. He always encouraged His disciples and those around him. Encouragement is one of the highest Christian responsibilities.

The world is full of discouragers who laugh at men’s ideals, or pour cold water on their enthusiasm, so to speak. Some would rather be a stumbling block instead of a stepping stone. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a person on his feet and gave him strength to go on.

Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties but of little things, in which smiles and kindness and small obligations can win and preserve the heart.

Be a conduit of kindness- Be kind to everyone you encounter during the course of your day. Try to see them as people just like you, individuals who have joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, ups and downs. Then, treat each person with consummate kindness and courtesy in both your words and actions towards them. Before long, you will find that inner peace in doing so. When others are running on empty or low, be the one who fills their cup with gladness or a ray of hope.

Barnabas is known as the “great encourager” in the Bible. Barnabas’s encouragement of John Mark helped him become a great leader in the church. Encouragement is more than hollow praise; it is urging others to hold fast to the principles of faith.

Acts 11:23 [Barnabas] encouraged the believers of Antioch to stay true to the Lord with all their hearts. Verse 24 says He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

When strength fails and we grow weary and discouraged, we need someone to come alongside us, show understanding, cheer us up, and inspire us to have the strength and commitment to move on. When friends of family turn against us, we need an encourager. Encouragers help us stir renewed commitment, renewed resolve. They inspire us with courage and hope. Encouragers bring a beautiful gift, often a spiritual gift, when they bring renewal through encouragement.

God is our greatest encouragers James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.

God does not encourage the proud, but the humble. From my heart.