Encourage: To inspire with courage, hope or resolution. Encouraging: Giving, or tending to give, courage or confidence.
Devotion for Encouragement
It does the heart good to be encouraged. My family is a blessing to me because they each encourage me in different ways. My husband, who knows me like no one else, is able to encourage me when I’m feeling blue and reminds me how important I am to him and others. My oldest daughter is fearless and is able to cause me to be fearless when needed. My middle daughter encourages me in all my projects and usually helps me with them, until we are finished! My youngest daughter is very frank and honest. She helps me to see things unemotionally, which is very important sometimes. My sister is my confidante and my friend. She helps me to remember that God is my source and my help. I can count on her to refresh my spirit. My mother is one of the sweetest souls I know. If I need encouragement and a smiling heart, I know where to go….I call my mommy! What or who encourages your heart and spirit?
Even though all these people encourage me and lift my spirits, there is still nothing more encouraging than my quiet time with God. I start by reading the bible and I usually read a verse or two that put me in a thankful mood, which in turn causes me to want to worship God in song. After that comes the precious time for prayer. I begin by praising him, then I make any requests I may have, but the most important part of prayer is the listening. When I am finished talking, I listen for God’s precious Holy Spirit to speak to my heart. That is where the real encouragement comes from. He may reveal a bad attitude I have and give me the opportunity to repent. He may need to lift my heart from sadness, which no one can do like the Lord. He may simply encourage me to continue a particular task that is difficult. I have never finished my quiet time with a discouraged attitude, because God’s sweet Holy Spirit will never cause you to be discouraged, but will always lift your heart.
So, what can you do if you find yourself discouraged? Recognize it as an attack from the devil. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he will discourage anyone, anytime, anywhere, if allowed. Discouragement is designed to separate us from God. It causes us to stop doing the things that please God. It causes us to stop being the people who please God. It causes us to focus on ourselves, feeling wounded, we no longer want to do the things we are supposed to be doing. Instead of living life to its fullest, we just want to curl up in bed and stay there! Discouragement is designed to draw and pull us out of relationship with God. You need to make a conscious decision to defeat discouragement. Decide to do the things of God, no matter how you feel. Live and walk according to God’s word no matter how you feel. Eventually, the way you feel will change from discouragement to being encouraged. Discouragement can become deeply rooted if you isolate yourself from people. Talk to a family member, a friend or your pastor. One of them may have just the right words you need to lift your spirits.
Jesus said, “I am never alone because I always do what pleases the Father.” John 8:29. It is nearly impossible for us to “always” do what pleases the Father, but we can stay connected to God through his word, through prayer, through the precious blood of Jesus and by praising him. Remember, Hebrews 13:5 promises that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We are the ones who are prone to wander.
I close with this quote by author Loretta Girzartis, “If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.” The world needs people who are encouraging. Take the time to listen more closely to others, don’t hesitate to reach out to take another’s hand, be swift to whisper a kind word of encouragement and attempt to understand other people better. If we put these things into practice, we will become skillful in encouraging others. We will begin to see extraordinary things happen and we can help a disheartened world, one person at a time.
“But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.”
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
I Thessalonians 5:14
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Philemon 4 -7
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
I Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
May God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.