“One who inspires with courage, spirit or hope; attempts to persuade or urge; spurs on or stimulates; and gives help or patronage to another.”
according to Webster’s Dictionary
I have several friends who have been encouragers in my life, and this story is about one of them. We served together on the church board, where many times he would admonish those in the room to “Stand behind the elders, as they have a tough job and need our support.” In addition, he would quite often take me aside to tell me what a good job I was doing, admonishing me to stand strong and continue on. There were many times when those short bursts of encouragement came at just the right time, helping me through a difficult stretch. His concern for the church and the elders was genuine and completely founded on instructions found in God’s Word. He was carrying out the task God gave him to do in the most effective way he could find.
So, I simply ask,
“To whom has God sent you and I to be an encourager?”
We each have a group of friends and family for whom we have the opportunity to be an encourager. It’s not always easy – especially the first time we try it, but the potential for positive results are tremendous. We never know when the simplest words, shared in love, and in God’s timing – i.e. when He puts it in on our hearts – will have a profound effect in the life of another. It doesn’t even need to have a lot of prior thought, we simply need to respond as God prods us and He will take care of the rest. If we are willing to be used, He will place us in the exact setting for that to happen with the greatest effect.
Who was this friend? His name is Calvin and I don’t get to have those chats very often anymore. He has not been able to attend church as often as he would like and is now battling cancer. Barring direct intervention by God, he will likely soon pass from this life and what a time that will be. Scripture promises that his faith will then become sight, he will see his Savior face to face, and hear those tremendous words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I will miss my friend, and frankly, I already do. However, I am encouraged once again by the knowledge that our parting will be only temporary and we will once again have the pleasure of each other’s company for eternity.
Each of us has the opportunity to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. Will we allow God to use us? It only takes a little effort to make a big difference as we encourage others in their walk with Christ. Let it be said of us that we are encouragers.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing,