Encouragement feels like a welcome sprinkle of love. To me, it is like having someone hold up a light that shines hope to your heart.
I am praying that we all learn to be generous encouragers of one another, to see that it is a loving gift to give to one another.
The word encouragement means “encourage, embolden, abet, countenance, hearten, cheer”, from its Greek root.
The Bible defines courage as the bravery of the heart.
How can we inspire this kind of brave hope into the hearts of one another?
Giving the Gift of Encouragement:
Be Encouraged in God’s Love and Word with Prayer.
To give encouragement, we need to come from its source which is God. It is His gift to give. We partake in its blessing. It is Love, Hope, Joy, Strength, Wisdom, and more. He can inspire it into our hearts. It gives us bravery and boldness. We become inspired through prayer, soaking in His Word, through praise, worship and all of the wonders of or our relationship with God. When seeing to come alongside someone as an encourager though it is vital to pray and to ask to be refreshed in His Spirit. Life must be led by God. When we are thankful for the encouragement (and a bounty of evidence that we have faithfully received) that we have received from God, we are able to carry that Loving Gift to others. When we have hope, we can give hope.
John 16:11 –When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Romans 12:12 -Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
See the Hearts of others with Love.
Long to Listen Lovingly. Become aware of all the people in your life and community, not just the ones that are easy and familiar to you- seek the periphery lovingly and with far-sightedness, you will be amazed at the “heart” world that God has made you the caretaker of. Become a listener and let in what is around you with softness and receptivity. Send Love out. Silently imagine God’s Hand Lovingly upon each one that you witness. When we feel the Hand of God upon our own hearts we are able to see it upon the hearts of others.
1 Corinthians 16:14 –Do everything in love.
1 Peter 4:8 –Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Ask that your actions and interactions be pleasing to God.
In relationships, we often do what pleases ourselves as a ‘first response’. But when we are seeking to encourage, there is a responsibility to the spiritual heart of the other. It is important to pray and to ask that your words and actions be pleasing to God because in those moments you are seeking to serve His purpose, not your own. It is important that your ego and personal will is put aside. When conversations are preceded by prayer, we asked that our words and heart motivations are given wisdom and discernment. We need to pray that wisdom and discernment precede every interaction, that our hearts and words are pleasing to God.
1 Thessalonian 2:4 –But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:9 –So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Do it with joy, strengthened by a love that sees us all from a higher perspective.
When we keep our own hearts connected to the kingdom perspective we will live with joy. We see that this life and this world is but a brief time before an eternal peace with the Glory of Our Lord. Perspective also gives us bold hearts. We realize that trials and challenges are temporal, often to help us grow and become closer to God. We see the larger picture and our place in it. The moment is not overwhelming, it is like a dot on a magnificent journey. We see that nothing happens outside of the sovereignty of God’s will. His Goodness and Love are more miraculous than our hearts can behold. But what we do see fills us with a Joy that cannot be touched by life’s circumstances.
Ephesians 2:19-20 –So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.
We are reminded to stay humble.
If we have the chance to inspire hope in the heart of another, we have been very fortunate. It is a great gift to us. It is a humbling experience because we were allowed to be God’s servant. We carried something that belongs to God. Hope. Hope is God’s Love. It is His message of Life moving forwards towards Himself. In that one moment, we had the privilege of being the ‘carrier’ of God’s treasure. We gave something of His, to someone else. Hope, Love, Courage, Joy – all are gifts from God, shared to us from His Almighty Heart. We need to pray constantly that God show us our own hearts because our mortal flaws will always get in the way, our conceit will try to rule. Consider ourselves less, others more. Take the Higher Perspective. Love. Love. Love.
Phillippians 2:1-3 –So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Pray for our hearts that we receive your gift of Loving Encouragement
Of such a Hope, the one that Loves without end,
that Forgives and Heals with unfathomable mercy,
We look to You with Thankfulness and Gratitude.
Help us to be generous givers of Encouragement to one another,
Let us be Servants, Your own-
that transfer the beauty of who You Are
with kindness, awe, and humility
Thank you for being our Eternal Hope.
Embolden our Hearts Lord; Bless us with Bravery.
Link us together lovingly as One with You,
walking forward in Your Purpose with hearts of Joy!
In Christ’s Name.
© 2019 Linda Willows