Encouragement Some people know just what to say and be an encouragement when others are going though tough times. These individuals are not self-absorbed, are sensitive to others struggles, and seek to be a shoulder to lean on during these times. God's word tells us that Moses, who was overwhelmed with the children of Israel, had his father-in-law, Jethro, encourage him (Ex. 18:1-27). When Paul was in prison a man named Epaphroditus came to help even though his life and his health was in jeopardy (Phil. 2:25). Later Timothy came and was an encouragement (2 Tim. 4:9). Paul asked Timothy to bring Mark also because he was the kind of friend that Paul needed when he was enduring hardships (2 Tim. 4:1: Philem 24). Paul also relied on Luke for encouragement. When everyone else was busy, Luke could be found with Paul (2 Tim. 4:11). Paul experienced trials thoughout his ministry and the Lord used ordinary people to provide support in practical ways. Like wise, all of us go throgh difficult days. We need others in those times when it seems as though no one else cares. The lesson to learn is that God wants to make you and me into a friend who can be a strength and resource of the Holy Spirit to help others in time of their need. The words that you share and the things that you do can and will be used by the Holy Spirit to get them through a very dark time in their life. What about the people that the Lord puts in our lives who are a source of encouragement? Why do we fail to tell them while we have the opportunity? Many times we wait until they have experienced a tragedy or even die before we say those kind of words about their influence in our life. Imagine with me an individual who has had an impact on your life. Perhaps it is a coworker, parent, pastor, spouse, teacher, neighbor, or friend. Now, imagine being at the funeral home or attending their funeral. What would you say about them? You would express how they had helped you during a difficult times in your life. You would recount stories and anecdotes about them. You would express the positive traits of their life and the difference they made in your own life. Why not say those things to them while they can benefit from your encouragement? As we approach a new day, consider making a list of five of these individuals and plan to sit down with them, and face to face be an encouragement to them and tell them how they have impacted your life. It may be impossible for you to see them face to face and you need to write them a hand written note expressing encouraging words to them. It is possible that they are now going though a difficult time and need to be uplifted and encouraged. I have a dear friend who is currently in a nursing home and does not know anyone and cannot speak. I think back to the many things she taught me through her life style, the way she treated others, the commitment she had to the Lord and His work and her response to crisis and trials. I have been to see her and told her what she meant to me but I am not sure that she comprehended. Don't wait until it's too late!
From the MACEDONIAN CALL MINISTRIES PO BOX 4135 Greenville, SC 29608 Phone 864-292-0092 Fax 864-292-8844 E-mail Macedonian Call Ministries
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