A Word of Encouragement1
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
One of the very best things in life - like good wine, coffee on a cold morning, and fall colors – is a word of encouragement. In her song, “Legacy”, Nichole Nordeman begins with the line, “I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me.” And further on, “We all need ‘atta boy’, or ‘atta girl.”
It’s true. Life is hard and even when it’s good a soul can always use a word of encouragement. We tend to focus on our failures. We feel our inadequacies and all the things we lack. And boy, do we lack: a genuine love for others, a joy in self-sacrificial service, a robust devotional life, a cheerful and thankful disposition, (etc., etc., etc.). Our out-of-shape and overweight bodies testify to our failed attempts at personal discipline. It is so EASY to feel like a failure as we think about our…. failures.
But what if there were more than just our weaknesses and inadequacies and failures? What if there were things that were “true and honorable and just and worthy of praise” – about us? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone remind you of those things from time to time? Wouldn’t you feel encouraged? Built-up? A word of encouragement could make your day. A culture of encouragement could radically transform your life!
I had a conversation with a man a few years back (not a member). I knew him fairly well but hadn’t spoken to him for a few years. I was astonished at how much he had changed. He seemed much more confident, thoughtful, wise, etc. The difference was remarkable. What happened?? Well, by the grace of God he had matured. But he had also gotten married to a woman who made a point to encourage him and build him up. And the effect was nearly miraculous!
A culture of encouragement could transform your marriage, your family – and your church!
And here’s the thing – it is precisely because we are in Christ that there are encouragement-worthy realities in our life. Our life isn’t just about our feeble attempts but about God’s mighty working in us and through us and for us – to everlasting glory! Notice how Paul encourages his Thessalonian readers right before he calls them to the ministry of encouragement.
“God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9–11
You see, a word of encouragement reminds us of the things that are true and good about us – because God is working in us and for us. The feeble things are the least important things, the passing things, the things that have already been overcome in Christ and will soon fall away like sunburnt skin. The deepest and truest parts of you and me are the God-wrought things.
Isn’t that encouraging??
Let’s share the joy. Make it a point today to encourage someone with something good you see God working in their life. Let them know how blessed you are by their God-wrought patience and endurance. Let them know the joy their smile brings to your heart and your gratitude for their loving service to others. Your spouse would love to hear that. You kids would, too.
Let’s pursue a ministry of encouraging and building each other up! Write a note. Send an email. Make a point to let others know how blessed you are to have them in your life. May we experience the transforming power of a culture of encouragement!
In His Service,
P.S. A word of encouragement for you! I’ve had several conversations in the past two weeks with people who visited Harvest for the first time and wanted to communicate how blessed they were by the worship service: the robust singing, the warm fellowship, and the evident joy Harvest people have for the gospel. They were deeply blessed. God is doing something in our life together that’s deeply good and worthy of praise. Praise His Name!
What Pastor Dale is reading . . .
The Power of Encouragement
by Tim Allchin
Please read this article by Tim Allchin on the same topic. It’s excellent!
West with Giraffes
by Lynda Rutledge
I don’t read too many novels, but I love to pass along the ones I enjoy. I really liked West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. It’s based on a true story and very well written! Loved it.