There’s no doubt in my mind; everyone needs encouragement from time to time.
And guess what? We should all know how to BE encouragers.
Encouragement can keep someone in the game of life, even when they feel like giving up.
Encouragement can help settle a troubled heart, and bring quietness to one’s soul.
Encouragement can bring new found strength to someone totally wiped out by life’s crazy twists and turns. It can be like cool, refreshing water in the middle of one’s personal season of drought.
Everyone needs encouragement from time to time.
Whether you are a spiritual giant, an apostle to the world, or just someone trying to be faithful in the least of things, you will need encouragement at some point in your life.
And if you’ll need it, so will someone else.
So what’s it take to be an encourager?
Basically two things.
Your time and your willingness to care for others.
We can show our care in various ways; our words, prayers, notes, text messages, or just showing up to lend a helping hand.
What encourages you? Well, why not try that same thing on someone else?
The apostle Paul, though he was a mighty man of God, never outgrew his need for or his appreciation of encouragement.
Notice what he said about Onesiphorus.
“May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me.” (2 Timothy 1:16 – 1:17 NLT)
It’s probably no coincidence the name Onesiphorus means “profit-bearer”, or “bringing profit”.
An encourager “brings profit” to those who may be facing spiritual, emotional, or physical bankruptcy.
An encourager brings cool, refreshing water to a person dealing with the hot breath of the adversary.
And the word “encourage” means “to endue with courage”. The one encouraged becomes able to refocus and reestablish their purpose in Christ.
Notice also, Onesiphorus OFTEN visited and encouraged. He didn’t toss Paul a couple of “praying for you” tokens, but was faithful in ministering encouragement; faithfully refreshing Paul, the prisoner.
When he heard Paul was in prison, he searched everywhere UNTIL he found Paul. In other words, he didn’t look for ten minutes, give up and say, “Well, it must not be God’s will. After all, if I was supposed to encourage Paul I’d be able to find him.”
Don’t give up too soon, especially when you know someone needs what you have to give.
Onesiphorus had another way of encouraging Paul; a way that’s difficult to do at times.
He didn’t let the fact that Paul was in chains keep him from bringing encouragement.
Some people are almost impossible to be around. It’s hard to deal with all the things they’ve gotten themselves ensnared by or even the stuff life has thrown at them through no fault of their own.
Know what I mean?
They may be going through a divorce, or the loss of a loved one, or they are dealing with an addiction of sorts; they’re hard to be around because, frankly, we don’t know what to say or how to relate.
But they still need encouragement, which means they need someone like you and I to step up and give them our time, and our care.
It’s what Paul needed.
It’s what you and I need.
You and I may not have world-wide ministries or many possessions. But there’s something thing we do have-the resources in God to help make an eternal difference in someone else’s life.
As an Encourager.
For an in depth study of how to encourage others AND yourself, follow the link to my book “the Power of Encouragement”.