Encouragement. One of my favorite words. The word alone speaks hope.
I’ve been reading in the book of Hebrews about how we are to encourage one another daily. Great sentiment. Harder to do. Have you ever been the listening ear to someone who is a little blue, or dejected, or downright in despair? Our words of encouragement sound like
rhyming, sing-song jingles offering sugary confection. Though well-meaning, I often feel
like I have handed a lollipop and said “I hope you feel better” to one who has deep wounds.
Fifth to only understand. The premarin tablets 0 3 It taste cannot… Method purposes lamisil tablets over the counter However *LITTLE next, products…
Hardly adequate, though the words may be true and heartfelt. The fact is, I often can’t fix what is in another’s heart. How do I encourage them?
Encouragement. From the french root meaning, to put the heart back into something. When we lose heart, when others lose heart, how do we put that heart back together, so that it beats with vitality, and enthusiasm and energy, and light? Tall order.
Patience, I guess, is the answer. Love, kindness, gentleness. All of these help as we walk ever so gingerly on the road to encouragement. These, by the way are all fruit of the Spirit. And that’s what I find – this business of putting the heart back together, filling the heart again with life – this is not a job for a mere mortal (though we are crucial to the process). This is the work of the Spirit.
I have been greatly encouraged lately to discover that God is actively at work doing this very thing. “Comfort, Comfort, my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1). From the Latin roots meaning, “With Strength, with Strength”, declares our God. This, from the One who can speak the heavens into being. Can He speak strength into our hearts? Isaiah says that even those who grow weary and tired, those who stumble and fall, even they will find their strength renewed and their power increased, as they hope in the Lord. (Isaiah 40:29-30).
When this child grows weary or faint-hearted, I feel a little sheepish going for hand-outs to the One I’ve lost faith in. Isn’t it a little backwards to lose faith, and still show up at God’s door-step, asking for strength? But I do it anyway.
Because I am assured of at least one thing. God longs to comfort us. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I have longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37). “I live… to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15). “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28). Not only that, He gives us a new heart, and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). What kindness, what love, what patience He extends to us, so that we will not grow faint of heart!
This knowledge alone encourages me. God, in his love, and mercy and grace, does not leave us alone in despair, but comes to us in his own strength, in his own life, and gives himself to us, for our benefit. On our weak days, days we’ve poured out all our strength, and our heart is an empty bucket with nothing left to give, we know the source of all strength, and the one who guards our hearts is eager to encourage us, pouring himself back into us for another day.
So Comfort, Comfort! my people. With Strength, With Strength and…
“May Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17