I recently was the recipient of a rare privilege. My sisters in Christ held a special celebration and honored me through their spoken words of affirmation. Testimonies (with a lot of tears) were shared and encouragement was given in abundance. It was a day I will cherish for the rest of my life! I came away with a keen awareness that God is able to take the little bit we have to offer and multiply it unto a fruitful abundance. I was fueled with the courage to believe God for even greater things. What an amazing God we serve!! I also was reminded of how crucial grace and encouragement are in our journey of faith.
Consider these examples:
Barnabas, who’s name means “Son of encouragement”, (a title given by the Apostles Acts 4:36) was the one who brought Paul out of obscurity and encouraged him into fruitful ministry.(Galatians 2:1) He also was the one who believed in giving John-Mark another opportunity after he abandoned his first missionary journey (Mark 15:37-38). The grace and encouragement extended by Barnabas proved to be very fruitful since John-Mark was God’s instrument in giving us the “Gospel of Mark”.
Moses was directly instructed by the Lord on two occasions to encourage Joshua whom God was preparing to lead the Israelites across the Jordan into the promise land. (Duet 1:38 & 3:28)
Consider these admonitions to us:
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” 1 Thessalonians 5: 11
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today”, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13
The world can be harsh and depleting! (Can I get an Amen?) At times we can loose heart, get discouraged and even begin to think we may be running the race in vain. But when someone comes along and breathes some wind in our sails, through encouraging words and actions, focus can be regained and strength renewed to continue toward the finish line.
So, my precious sisters, how about we determine (in a kind of crazy, unhindered way) to be super-generous with Holy Spirit directed encouragement. You never know when your words will be like a drink of water to a parched soul. Giving that person the fuel they need to get back up, take the next step, and move forward into even greater fruitfulness for the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom!