After church, I decided to go to the military parade at Carter's school. The rest of my family was busy with other activities but, feeling the need to support my son, I went alone. I was so glad I did. A beautiful friend greeted me, and her hug and kind words gave me an actual sense of courage. She reminded me of the definition I once found for the word "encouragement".
This is an excerpt from my Encouragement Study:
As Christians, we are commanded in God’s Word to encourage one another. I am deeply called to encouragement, and I even feel it is my calling to encourage you to encourage others! In order to be an effective encourager, though, I think we need to understand what encouragement actually means. Webster defines the word encouragement in this way – to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope. Let’s break this down and look at each part of this definition.
Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere,
And withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
Liveliness or enthusiasm, the soul
The desire for something which a person
Believes can be obtained
God calls us to inspire others to find strength to persevere, live with fullness and enthusiasm, and to desire and believe that He will come through! Wow - What a job we have before us! How can we, in the midst of our own discouragements, have what we need to provide this kind of encouragement to others? The only way is to rely on the one source of true power. In Ephesians 13:21, God tells us that He will equip us to do His will.
One of the ways that God equips us is through our experiences. According to 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, we are to comfort others with the same comfort we have received. Any time we share a story of how God has inspired us with courage, spirit, or hope, in turn, we inspire others as well. People need to hear that God is at work in your life. They need to see the evidence of the hope that God provides.
How will you encourage someone else this month? What stories will you share, what comfort will you give? What will you do to inspire courage, spirit, or hope?
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.