Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), a British historian and essayist, once said, “Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so.” His words amplify the word encourage which means to impart courage, to fill with hope, and instill confidence. George Adams wrote, “Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.” I remember coming around the track in the mile relay and hearing the cheers of the crowd. Their voices and the steady clapping of their hands inspired me to run my fastest to win. It is no secret why the home team has the advantage. Adoring fans provide motivational energy athletes harness to succeed.
God is the author of encouragement. He saw us stumble in the garden. He listened as we grumbled in the desert. He felt the sting of our unfaithfulness in every promised land He gave us. Every hour He watches us across the globe fully aware of our sin and yet patiently He waits for us to respond to His bottomless love. For this reason, the Apostle Paul could write to the Thessalonians the words written below.
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17--May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.
God spells encouragement with five letters—GRACE! Jesus made grace to rescue us from eternal separation from His Father. His love is bigger than our failures. His patience exceeds our shortcomings. His desire to be with us should thrill our souls and generate unceasing hope. Encouragement is like tasting sherbet for the first time, like jumping into a cold pool on a hot day, like going down a steep roller coaster or receiving a standing ovation for faithful service. The fact that we need encouragement is the proof that we need God. Inside we yearn for more and Jesus is the One capable of delivering that life we crave.
If God is in you and you are paying attention to His words, you will be encouraged! Do you feel like giving up? God loves you! Are you in pain? God loves you! Are you backsliding? God loves you! Are you rebellious? Go with the world and you will find the holy peace eaten out of you by every maggot of deception, doubt and fear. But God still loves you! Are you complacent and tired of serving your Lord? God loves you! Are you self-absorbed? His love beckons! What you pay attention to determines your direction. Follow God and you cannot help but soar—He lifts you up! And for His sake and glory find someone today and encourage them to be strong in Him! Encouragement was never meant to sit alone. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
How many people stop because so few say, “Go!”–Charles R. Swindoll
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)