We all need encouragement; be someone to offer it


By Rev. Keith Thompson, Living Hope Assembly of God, Little Falls

Inspirational-Message-websiteSome people believe Murphy’s Law is the driving principle of the universe. The law says, “If anything can go wrong, it probably will.” Those who follow this belief will give you examples like:

The other line at the grocery store always moves faster.

There’s always one ingredient for the recipe that’s missing from your cupboard.

Any tool dropped while you’re working on your car rolls underneath to the exact center where it’s the hardest to reach.

Company uniforms come in two sizes; too small and too large.

To get a loan at the bank you have to prove that you don’t need it.

Those who follow Murphy’s Law are often people that find the negative in most of life and bring others down with them.

Some are “glass half full” people. We look for the good in people and situations. Many are “glass half empty” people.  They see only the negative and overlook the possibilities.

God knows we need to be reminded to look for the good. We all need encouragement.

To encourage means to put courage into someone who is weak and vulnerable. The Greek word is paraklesis, “to come alongside.” This is the word that Jesus used when he promised “another counselor.” The Holy Spirit comes alongside to counsel, comfort, inspire, and guide us. As we receive encouragement, we can pour it out into the lives of those who are struggling.

1Th 5:11 (NIV)  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Heb 10:24 (NIV)  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Have you ever had a day where you felt hopeless and you wonder, “What else can go wrong?”

Suddenly someone calls, texts or comes to your house and starts to encourage you. Your hopeless situation starts to feel hopeful. Faith starts to come back and erases your doubts; you start feeling loved instead of unlovable. Even the strongest people need encouragement.

One of the greatest leaders the church has ever known was the apostle Paul. Early in his career, he found himself in a place of vulnerability, weakness, and danger. He desperately needed someone to stand in the gap for him.

The Jews, his former allies now conspired to kill him and the Christians didn’t believe that his conversion experience was genuine. The Jews hated him and the Christians were terrified by him.

Talk about feeling lonely.

At that moment, a man named Barnabas stepped up. He heard Saul’s story about what had happened on the road to Damascus. He went with Saul to the other disciples of Jesus and spoke up for his new friend.

If it hadn’t been for Barnabas, who knows what would have happened to Paul.

Can you say that about someone in your life? If it hadn’t been for so and so, who knows where I would be today. Can someone say that about you? “If it hadn’t been for you I don’t know where I would be today.”

Look for opportunities to be an encourager this week.