Monday, March 22, 2010

Encourage - Putting the courage "in" someone!

Thanks to a sweet friend's encouraging words and posting my blog on her facebook page, I decided that after a year's sabbatical from blogging, it might be time to try and start again. Thank you, Ande!
As I thought about her words, I thought about the word "encourage." The dictionary defines encourage like this, "to give support, confidence, or hope to someone; to give support and advice to someone so that they will do or continue to do something; to help." In other words, when we encourage others, we put courage into them! What a gift and a blessing! Of course, the opposite is true: when we discourage someone, we take the courage right out of them. Ouch.
I don't know about you, but I love to receive words of encouragement. I don't care if they are face to face, facebooked, emailed, snail mailed, or written on sticky notes! They give me courage to keep on keeping on. They give me courage to do things I might not otherwise do. They give me courage to blog when I haven't in a year! They put courage into me!
The Bible uses the Greek word paraklesis for the word encouragement. The Complete Word Study New Testament says, "the entire Scripture is actually a paraklesis, an exhortation, admonition or encouragement for the purpose of strengthening and establishing the believer's possession of redemption." So...the Bible is living, breathing, encouragement meant to remind me that I have been redeemed! My freedom from the bondage of death and sin has been paid for by the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Thank you Jesus!
I challenge us all to do two things:
1. The next time you feel led to write a note of encouragement -- do it! You just might be putting courage into someone!
2. The next time you pick up the Word of God, know that He is speaking words of encouragement over you reminding you that you have been redeemed. You are free!

"For I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth." Job 19:25
"David was greatly distressed...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." 1 Samuel 30:6
Now, go...put courage into someone!