Are there people in your life that encourage you? Do you take time to intentionally encourage others? Never underestimate the power of building and creating an encouraging atmosphere around you. The way we speak is a choice and sadly, many people undervalue the power of their words. To put it plainly, we live in a world that can be very discouraging.
While encouragement builds people up, discouragement withers people down. I wonder if the environment in your home or at your work is one of encouragement or discouragement?
Greatness is a language mediocrity does not speak. God has great plans for your life, plans to give you a future and a hope – decide to be a person that sees and speaks life into the potential and greatness not only within yourself, but also within others.
The dictionary describes encouragement with phrases like ‘to hearten’, ‘to inspire with hope’ and ‘to put courage in’. When I think about God’s potential and purpose in our lives, I know His will for you and me is to live in God-ordained appointment, to be heartened and to know the power of courage.
When I was a young boy, a teacher named Mrs Anderson pointed to me and prophesied that God would use me in a big way. I still remember that moment because it greatly impacted me. These days, I am blessed to be surrounded by very encouraging people; the greatest of whom is my remarkable wife, Bobbie Houston.
Proverbs 10:21 (NKJV) reads, “The lips of the righteous feed many”. In other words, there is nourishment in encouragement! If you feel malnourished when it comes to affirmation, comfort and endorsement, don’t lose heart – encouragement will nourish you and enliven potential within you.
In the Bible, comfort and encouragement are words that can be used interchangeably. A biblical definition of encouragement is depicted as enabling someone to take a deep breath, a calling alongside, to be refreshed and embraced, and to brighten up. Do you need to be refreshed? Take a look at what these verses say about pleasant words and good news:
“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)
“As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.”
Proverbs 25:25 (NKJV)
Encouragement breaks the binds of limitations and loosens the cords of possibility.
Encouragement is a language that negativity does not understand.
Encouragement is an investment into someone else’s future.
Encouragement changes the premise and rewrites the narrative; your life story can be written to a different theme.
My prayer for Hillsong Church has always been that it would be an environment where people are built up and encouraged; a place where you leave feeling better than when you arrived. To be honest, that kind of atmosphere is not difficult to create because of the Word of God and all that Jesus Christ accomplished for humanity. His gospel is Good News. Every person is made in the image of God. YOU are made in the image of God. God is the ultimate encourager and we are called to be imitators of Him.
Surely then, encouragement should be the language we speak. Take it upon yourself to practice encouraging others and determine in your heart that you will help others see what a blessing they truly are.
Proverbs 3:27 exhorts us to “not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Encouragement is good and to be honest, we all have encouragement in our hands. Do not underestimate the power in your hand to reverse the condition of someone else’s spirit – to build them up and speak words of life, to encourage them to be all God has created them to be.
My prayer is that you would know the wonder of encouragement in all areas of your life – may you experience the power of being encouraged, and the power of extending encouragement to others.
The best is yet to come!