There are times in life when we need an encouraging word. Perhaps we need it because we are anxious or depressed or discouraged; perhaps we need it because we are grieving; or we perhaps we need an encouraging word because we find that we are weakening in our faith or in sin. Regardless, encouragement is essential to our well-being. In fact, Proverbs says, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23 A timely and encouraging word is sometimes the difference between caving in and giving up hope to being renewed and enduring.
I looked up the breakdown of the word “encouragement”, and surprisingly/not surprisingly, its root is found in the word “courage”. When broken down, “encouragement” literally means that we are to take the action of speaking our mind with confidence about what is in our heart and impart that to another person. Encouragement, in essence, is breathing life into another person—from our heart to theirs.
This should not surprise us, though. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” God is the author life. He spoke life into existence, and He can still breathe life into anything and anyone: “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breathenter you, and you will come to life.” Ezekiel 37:4,5
God commands us throughout Scripture to take heart and breathe life into others. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we are told to, “…encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” The author of Hebrews admonishes believers to, “…encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
He also says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24,25
Today, who do you know that needs encouragement? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and then let Him breathe words of life through you. Remember, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
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