ENCOURAGE: “to inspire with hope, courage, or confidence” (American Heritage Dictionary).
Do you need encouragement today? We all go through periods of time when we need to be “inspired with hope, courage, or confidence” that things will get better, that God IS a faithful God, that His promises ARE true for us today. Where can we go for this encouragement? First of all, we can do as David did.
1 Samuel 30:6 b (KJV) …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
This was at a time when David’s own men spoke of stoning him because they were grieved by the loss of their sons and daughters. David, not yet having been seated on the throne as king, could have looked at the promises of God and determined that obviously they were not going to happen. The men were talking of KILLING him! But instead he turned to God for help.
Strong’s defines the Hebrew word used for “encouraged” (chazaq) as meaning: “to fasten upon, to seize, be strong, to bind, restrain, or conquer”.
I think David did all of these. He fastened upon the promises and the goodness of God; he seized or bound the thoughts the enemy sent his way; he used restraint by not acting on impulse, not striking out at those that wanted to harm him and by not running away from the danger; and most importantly, he was strengthened and then conquered by seeking the counsel of the Lord. The JFB Commentary adds, “His faith supplied him with inward resources of comfort and energy…”.
Secondly, we can plant seeds of encouragement. Do you know of someone else in need of encouragement? Plant a seed in their life. Small acts of kindness and encouragement provide great help to a hurting individual. The enemy is well-practiced at using our physical, mental, or spiritual challenges to grow thoughts of self-pity, discouragement, frustration, doubt, and fear. It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken by the Word.
Read the Word, speak the Word, and then go plant seeds of the Word in someone else’s life that needs encouragement. Someone did this for me recently, and it has really made a difference. Then this weekend the Lord gave me the opportunity to do the same for a friend.
John 17:17 (KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The Word IS the answer! Pass it on… Find a way to be an ENCOURAGEMENT to someone today!