Be a Better Encourager

I truly believe encouragement plays a crucial part in our walk of faith (Hebrews 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).

1. Encouragement from friends helps us live in a fallen world. 

Jesus warned we'd have struggles (Matthew 10:22-23; John 15:18-21); but He is the Overcomer (John 16:33b) and He can help us face our trials and troubles.

Our struggles are not simply against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, the "spiritual forces of evil" (Ephesians 6:12). We need encouragement for the battle. We need encouragers who will remind us to wear our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and stand strong against the wiles of the Devil. God will empower us to be faithful in the toughest battles.

2. Encouragement from wise counselors helps us see mistakes and make better choices. 
Barnabas, the "son of consolation," was a wise counselor/friend who came alongside to encourage the apostle Paul (Acts 9:27) after his conversion. We can be grateful for faithful servants of God - for teachers, preachers, counselors and mentors - who gift us with not only instruction, but also encouragement. 

My favorite encouraging counselors were those who sandwiched words of caution or correction between slices of praise

Encouragers help us see that, 
though we sometimes fail, 
in Christ we will never be failures!

3. Encouragement from the Word gives us the big picture. 

I cannot begin to list the times I've felt defeated, hopeless or anxious, and I found hope and encouragement in the scriptures. 

The Word teaches me how to have abundant life (John 10:10) and to see life from God's point of view. The Word of God brings healing to my soul (Proverbs 16:24).

In the Word I discover:

And because He encourages me, I can encourage others.

I want to be a better encourager, don't you?

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pixabay.