Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
I don’t always remember, but one of the first questions I like to ask Jesus when I wake up each morning is, “How can I encourage someone today? And who?”
He’s always faithful to answer, often through His Word. One morning after asking that question, I read from Isaiah 35:3–4 (NLT) and found a practical answer. First, “strengthen those who have tired hands.” That might include teachers, hair stylists, moms, writers—and all who use computers, which includes most of us—missionaries, pastors, and parents who spend time “lifting up” the burdens of others.
Next, the passage mentions encouraging those who have “weak knees.” I envisioned grandparents and senior citizens, veterans, and even athletes with wear and tear on their bodies. But the last category, the “fearful,” could probably include everyone. These needed to hear the words, “be strong, and do not fear.”
Sometimes I can offer an encouraging response to a needy e-mail request or blog comment from my Web site. Other times, my phone will ring, and the caller needs a cheerful word. And who can forget neighbors or our family members, who need a hug or a kind word? Even through my prayers, especially as I turn Scriptures such as Ephesians 3:16–19 or Colossians 1:9–12 into heavenly petitions for others, I can pass on His encouraging truths, trusting Jesus to make those prayers a reality.
For me, finding people to encourage is not a problem. Remembering to listen and to follow through with Jesus’s answers is where I need work. And the amazing thing is, when I try to lift up someone else, I’m the one who ends up encouraged.
Faith Step: Ask Jesus to help you encourage someone today. Invite Him to speak through you, and be prepared for His answers.
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