“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” – Paul, the Apostle
“Encouragement is the architect of the soul.” John C. Maxwell said in his running with the giants’ audio program. Without encouragement, hardship becomes unbearable and meaningless. Without encouragement, life would soon feel pointless and burdensome. Without encouragement, we can be overwhelmed by the very real pains of our lives. Without encouragement, we feel unloved. Without encouragement, we begin to think that God is a liar or is unconcerned with our welfare. So, the Bible tells us to encourage one another, to remind each other of the truth that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured, that our struggles are worth it.
Interestingly, we all need one form of encouragement or the other, no matter who you are because we all get discouraged at one time or the other. Encouragement gives us the will to carry on. For example, people speak to me that they get so much encouragement from the #LAST70DAYSOF2013 series. As I hear them say so, I also get encouraged to keep the series going (And as it stands now from the encouragement I have received from readers, a different series will run in 2014. I will let you know as soon as we are ready to go). Encouragement, therefore is one thing that keeps us going when all hopes seems lost. So, every day we encounter people who are passing through tough times in their lives. There are those who are challenged by ill-health, others are called by financial difficulties, so many are faced with broken homes and relationships. Some of these are even at the verge of a decision to take their lives. But all they need is someone who will show them love and give them hope for their lives.
It is not necessarily that these people are not aware of God and His ability to come to their rescue, it is simply that these people are yet to encounter those of us ordained by God to be their source of encouragement. We are here to be a voice to those who cannot speak and a hand to those who need a support to hold on to life. It is part of the general expectation on us to help and encourage everyone who is positioned to receive encouragement from us. However, in most cases, we just bottle up that virtue inside of us and refuse to pour it out on those who are in dare need of it. We must position ourselves in a situation to be a source of encouragement to the people who will need it from us daily.
God has positioned us because we have ourselves gone through what these people are going through daily and God during such times provided us with a sort of encouragement and that is why we are where we are today. He demands therefore, that from the comfort with which you have been comforted that you comfort others. Encouraging other people with your life gives a sense of fulfilment that you are living a meaning life and giving hope to those around you. It is a way of fulfilling purpose here on it as there is nothing more power than the fact that others can point to your life as a source of upliftment for their spirit.
It is not difficult to be a source of encouragement to others if you follow these ideas:
– Say hope giving words to people: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” It is well with you, I thank God for you, God is in control, You can make it, You will be healed, You are beautiful, I admire you, etc. Do these words make sense to you? You can never tell how far words like these can go in changing one’s life and attitude towards his or her day when they hear them from you…….. Of course you can answer that question by thinking about how you feel when you hear such words from a well-meaning friend around you, especially when you are going through.
– Pray for those who are hurting: What a great way to encourage people by praying for them. When you meet people who are passing through tough times, ask them “How can I pray for you?” Knowing that someone cares enough to talk to God about their case can be a relief to someone in a hard situation. And interestingly, everyone can do this.
– Rejoice with those rejoicing and mourn with those mourning: Sometimes, encouraging people may need you to rejoice with them or to mourn with them. Whatever is the situation, people feel good and have a sense of belonging when they know that other people are willing to pass through the same situation with them by being just by their side. When such comes up, do not say, you do not know how to rejoice or mourn with people. Just find a way to make them know they are not alone.
– Do things for other people when they cannot do it for themselves: Doing things for other people when they cannot do it for themselves should give you pleasure while doing so gives them happiness. Serving someone can be affirming of them. I am sure you will feel the same way to if someone else treats you the same way.
– Share what you have with those who do not have: It may be your wisdom, finances, home, food, or other material things but no matter what it is, so long as you know someone around you who does not have what you are having, feel free to share with such person. You are the one who actually gets multiplied when you share what you have with others. Have that at the back of your mind.
Remember daily that you are the light of the world and salt of the earth, never lose your shine nor your taste! Make 2014 year to encourage someone daily if you want to succeed.
Prayer: May your life become daily a sweet fragrance that sweetens and lightens the heart of those who need peace all through 2014 in Jesus name, Amen!