I wish to encourage you to be an encourager of others
Most of us go through periods when it seems there is no-one at our side to encourage us. No-one to sympathetically listen, no-one assisting in directing or inspiring, no-one to sooth our souls with wise council and prayer, no-one aiding us to persevere for Jesus Christ. In a world where there is so much negativity, pain, and disheartening, God’s children should stand out by their words and deeds of encouragement of others.
When the Lord was instructing Moses regarding Israel entering the Promised Land, Moses was to “charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him” (Deuteronomy 3:28). The Lord’s words were to be used by older Moses to uplift, equip, and inspire young Joshua for the life of leadership and difficulty that lay before him.
In the New Testament, the Greek word used for ‘encourage’ means to call near to comfort. Tychicus was a man known for just this. The apostle Paul used him on at least two occasions to deliver letters with the purpose of informing, comforting, and uplifting the saints. “So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts” (Ephesians 6:21-22. cf: Colossians 4:7-8).
The nature of encouragement
The wonder of encouragement is that it comes in packages as diverse as the human characters delivering it. It’s a sweetness, a lightness of spirit that uplifts and rejuvenates the other. It’s a character quality that God desires all his children to be good at; “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The better we become at it, the more we are to aid our recipients at passing it on, discipleship through encouragement.
There is to be a sense of divine liveliness in our encouraging words and body language, as we “admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). There is a great sense of purpose as we give to others the realisation of hope and support that we find in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our efforts to encourage are not wasted when fueled by faith in the working of the Holy Spirit to nourish and rejuvenate the recipients we get along side of.
When watered with prayer, encouragement becomes far more than frivolous words said in jest. Christ centered prayer as we encourage, aligns our intentions with the heart of God. We don’t encourage others merely for selfish purposes, rather we do it to implant and foster a growing relationship with the Lord of Lords.
For the Christian, encouragement is expressive of God’s love from within (Rom 5:5). A love that’s quick to welcome, even quicker to pardon offense (Col 3:12-13), but never tolerant of evil that corrupts and brings disgrace to God’s name (Jas 1:19-20). God’s love grows out of His mercy, then, through us, His grace is carried to others directing them to holiness (Jas 3:17). What a privilege is ours, to be enabled by God to encourage others on behalf of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:17).
Today, be an encourager of others for the sake of Jesus Christ, and for the blessing of your recipients. Sow the seeds of selfless love in Jesus place. Call others with the words of Jesus, to follow Him at any cost. Pray the life changing power of the gospel with those who have no hope of eternal life apart from personal faith in the Saviour of all mankind – Jesus Christ.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz