Be An Encourager

“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP)

Let’s face it – life can be hard.  We all go through times of difficulty and it is easy to get discouraged.  Sometimes it seems to just be a day here and a day there.  But then other times it feels like we will never see the end of the troubles – the floodgates have opened.

When we have times such as these, it is so nice to have someone speak a word to us that lifts us up and encourages us – it is comforting.  Actually, even unspoken encouragement – a hug, a pat on the back, etc. – can help at times.  But when encouragement comes from someone that has been there, done that, it can mean even more, because we know that they truly understand – and that kind of empathy just feels good.

The Apostle Paul (who wrote many of the books in the Bible, including 2 Corinthians) went through a lot of horrible trials, yet he frequently spoke words of encouragement.  “Paul used a lot of ink to encourage Christians himself, and he also urged them to encourage one another.  It was more than a nice thought to add a smile to one’s day; it was a valid and essential ministry.  In a fallen world, where trials are frequent and pain is intense encouragement matters…..Think about the times another believer has encouraged you.  You can probably recognize that a word or act of encouragement has the power to change your perspective on your situation or at least to help you make it through the day.  If words of encouragement have that kind of power, is there any reason not to use them?*

I have found myself in situations listening to someone talk about circumstances in their life that have them confused, hurt, discouraged.  I will realize that I can totally empathize with them because I have experienced the same kind of thing in my life.  That makes it much easier for me to reach out to them with some action or word that will offer comfort – it allows me to become an encourager.

So, although I don’t enjoy difficulties anymore than the next person, it helps to try to think about it as a learning experience – an opportunity to build up my ability to be an encourager that can offer comfort to others.  “Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.”  (2 Corinthians 2:6 NLT)

A couple of weeks ago I used this platform to confess to you that I was feeling very discouraged because of several things going on in my life.  That very day I visited a church and the pastor spoke some words that truly encouraged me.  He talked about how our words have power and authority and that our ability to speak words is a gift that we need to use responsibly.  He talked about how too many people go around looking for miracles to solve their problems and instead, they should be seeking blessings.  

I realized at that moment that I should never forget all the blessings that I have in my life, I should just have faith to believe God is in control and He can take care of everything else.  Change my focus – change my attitude.  

“Encouragement costs you nothing to give, but it is priceless to receive.”  (Anonymous)

Written by Karran Martin – March 28, 2023  

[Emphasis mine]

*  Quote by Chris Tiegreen   

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