It fits various purposes and seasons in life and there’s no specific size or form for it.
We needed encouragement when the training wheels came off our first bicycle.
We needed encouragement when we started a new school year.
We needed encouragement when we walked into our first job interview.
We need encouragement when we face monumental life changes – from wedding celebrations to surgery and illness to saying goodbye to a loved one.
Sometimes encouragement comes in the form of a kind word and sometimes it takes the shape of tough love.
While encouragement comes in different shapes for different reasons, and some encouragement is negative (which is a different topic), the common denominator for authentic encouragement is rooted in love.
The simple act of being a Christian requires encouragement both TO our fellow Christians and FROM them.
It’s not easy to live a life for Christ.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
He said “you WILL” have trouble.
But we aren’t worried about today’s troubles or even tomorrows.
Because Jesus modeled encouragement for us in this verse.
“Take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Even though our world today is full of evil, including evil that is celebrated as good, Jesus is in control.
And that’s the best encouragement I can give you today.
But let’s continue.
Who has encouraged you?
How did they do it?
Turn the tables around.
Who have you encouraged?
I’m going to wager a guess that the act of giving encouragement didn’t feel like a difficult assignment.
But it meant a lot to the recipient.
Encouragement costs us nothing and in a world where it’s harder and harder to be a Christian and hold Christian values sacred, we need to uplift and encourage one another.
It’s part of our fellowship with the church of Jesus Christ.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for modeling encouragement.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you opportunities to be an encourager to those who need it.