Words are important. What we say to one another (and how we say it) can have a lasting effect.
Think of the last time you had an argument with someone you cared about. The wrong thing was said and then…BAM! relationship took a downward turn and extended repair was required. Or the time that same person spoke words that provided comfort and hope. Think of the warmth and endearing affection that followed.
Today I want to talk about encouraging words. I know I’ll just be scratching the surface because there is a lot to be said, meaning more “words” than I usually fit into a single post. So today I will start a series on the subject and see where that takes us. Over the next three days I will cover:
- Words that encourage me.
- Words that encourage others.
- Words that encourage God.
So let’s get started.
If your like me, you understand the benefit of personal encouragement through life experiences. The times when someone said the right thing at the right time. When you were down and out and some person came around and spoke you out of your mood. Going from a”life sucks” to “can’t wait for what’s next” frame of mind.
Words That Encourage Me…
For encouragement the Bible has plenty of scripture. Here are three of my favorite verses:
“…In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, that far outweighs them all.” II Corinthians 4:17
“…If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
These verses on their own weight are a powerhouse of encouragement. Think of it, He who we follow has defeated all the hurt, pain and suffering this world has to offer.
Also, whatever pain I suffer will be insignificant compared to the euphoric joy awaiting me. That is proclaimed by a survivor of 3 beatings, 5 lashings, 3 shipwrecks and a stoning. Kind of puts my “Why me?” complaints into perspective.
My favorite is I have the Creator of all things in my corner. He is Almighty and All Knowing. He is Everlasting. He is the Beginning and also the End. He is Eternal Life. And since we are talking about words, He is THE Word!
Is it enough?
This should be enough I know…but sometimes it isn’t. When hurt and trouble hit me, and my attitude is one of self pity, I must admit I need more. When life just seems to pound me in the ground and I feel depressed and down, God’s Word recited often becomes platitude.
Okay, put down your holy pitchfork, I’m not speaking blasphemy, I’m speaking real. Sometimes it takes more than a verse to pull me up. Same could be said of Jesus.
During the worse moments of His life He sought comfort from His closest friends (Matthew 26:36-46). He separated Himself with Peter, Andrew and John. He asked them to stay up with Him in His agony. They slept. He was God but also Man. In His pain He wanted to connect with humanity. Three times He asked for their fellowship because He wanted to share with His friends. He wanted words of comfort. Here was THE Word who was desperate for their words.
Just this last week I experienced a low moment. I was on the phone with my wife and she shared some unexpected news. Bad news. It deflated me. I went from cruising altitude to below sea level. As we continued to discuss the situation I sunk lower and lower. My energy was sapped. When I got off the phone I was in a daze. Until I read the text awaiting me.
A good friend from Church sent me an inspiring message that pulled me out of my emotional hole. He reminded me of God’s plan for my life. It was like the Angel of the Lord before Gideon (in the form of technology). It moved me and inspired me. I immediately sent it to my wife. Same effect with her.
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
My point is this: God’s Words are uplifting, but the words of a Godly friend will increase their effect exponentially! Which leads us into tomorrow…
See you then.