What is encouragement to you and how do you encourage?
Seeing my husband go through a difficult journey that involves daily battling a sickness that has greatly affected his mobility and walking side by side, hand in hand with him on this journey this is something I have often thought of.
You see many people, most likely with a great heart and the greatest intention, have done what they maybe thought was encouragement with the words, “Make sure you do this….”, ”Confess this…”, ”Speak this….” OR ANOTHER “Maybe it’s this, perhaps you should do this.”
Encouragement is not standing there telling someone what to do. Encouragement is not a list of orders, requirements or daily regimes.
Have you ever been in a place in your life where you feel like giving up? It feels like the end but then you hear that still small voice whisper something like, “You can do this!”, ”You’re not alone!” Have you ever been in a place where nothing seems to help and then a person full of the presence of God just hugs you, just holds your hand, just smiles at you and does what words can not. Have you ever felt the prayers of the body of Christ holding you up as you encounter what seemed to be the battle of your life. Encouragement is loving people, standing with people, praying for people, holding people up in prayer!
I’ve learnt through my own walk and watching other peoples journeys that a person in a desperate situation know they need to call out to God, to believe Him for the answer, to not quit, to speak to their mountain daily and tell it to move but they also need encouragement of others to persevere and to keep doing this on a daily basis.
If someone you know is in a difficult situation or a battle with health, don’t try to find the answer or even be the answer – Only GOD IS THE ANSWER!
Hebrews 12 speaks of us being in a race
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
At times when it has been difficult, the things that have encouraged us the most are not those that have tried to find an answer as to why we’re in this situation or why we’re sick, or what we can do to make us better or what could the answer be. The ones that have encouraged us the most are the ones that have cheered us on to keep going, to keep running our race and fulfilling the call of God in our lives, the ones that have continued to pray throughout the race we run and have not given up if they haven’t seen the answer they want after one or two prayers. We have been encouraged by the times we have been patted on the back and heard the word “Keep going for it!” and the times when people have gone out of their way to see us fulfil our call, sacrificing themselves to get us where we need to be.
If someone is in a trial, pray for them, cheer them on, help them get to the finish line!