Just last week I received a written note of encouragement, and do you know that I have read it over and over again? That person didn’t know that I was facing a particular struggle and needed to hear some words of support so that my faith could be strengthened. As we can read over and over in the Bible, Jesus knew how to speak and sustain those who were weak and struggling in their faith. Invariably people had their faith challenged or strengthened after an encounter with Jesus.
There are times when we are all weak in our faith. We find ourselves stumbling and may even wonder whether following Jesus is worth the struggle. However, Jesus knows you and He knows me. He knows our temperament, our tendencies and our circumstances. He knows the words we need to hear and when we need to hear them. “He knows the way that I take and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 He knows how to sustain us with a word, by opening our heart to the scriptures or to the words of a fellow Christian. Biblical encouragement is telling people that Jesus loves them and wants the very best for them.
Would you be considered an encourager? There is a difference between flattery and encouragement. Flattery is insincere and usually wanting something in return. Encouragement is coming along side someone to give Biblical promises and hope. It may be with gentle words, or it may be with a listening ear.
If you are a good listener, you will usually find plenty of opportunity for encouragement. Listening communicates love and respect—which is encouragement in itself . “Then Job answered, listen carefully to my speech, and let this be your way of consolation. “ Job 21:1 It also helps you to find out what kind of encouragement may be needed for it may increase the possibility that they will be more open to you.
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.” Isaiah 50:4
The command is clear. Be encouragers. Most Christians want to be channels of encouragement to others but often don’t know how. Biblical encouragement is not fixing another person’s broken heart. It’s sharing God’s compassion which helps turn that person’s heart toward God. Below are specific ideas that will help to encourage someone.
Biblical encouragement is not an option for the child of God. It’s a mandate. Out of our willingness, God’s strength will flow and remind others of His presence and love. Just yesterday I texted this note of encouragement to our grandson, Jared who will give testimony of his faith in Jesus and be baptized this weekend. “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4