by Sylvia Thorn
Encouraging one another is an aspect of our faith that is emphasized in many Scripture passages. It can be a powerful tool for spreading the love and grace of Christ. As Christians we are urged to be channels of encouragement, supporting one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reads, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
PRAYER…..Praying for others can provide spiritual strength, comfort, peace and hope, showing that you care about their well-being. Often, the Holy Spirit will give us a nudge concerning an individual’s need, so that we can pray at that moment and help to share a burden or struggle that someone is going through, thus helping to build each other up.
SCRIPTURE…..Sharing a relevant Scripture can help someone to keep their eyes on Jesus in their circumstances. Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
WORDS…..Words may come in a text or e-mail, via a phone call or voicemail, or in a hand-written special note. Those words may convey many different kinds of encouragement. They may be words of thanks or appreciation, of praise or blessing, of care or concern, words that express thinking of or missing someone, words that inspire confidence and support, words to help a weary soul find hope. Words that testify of God’s power and faithfulness in one’s own experience are always encouraging!
YOUR PRESENCE, your touch, your hug…..Acts of service are another very tangible way of demonstrating love and encouragement. With your presence, great encouragement comes from simply being there, to listen and empathize with others, allowing them to share their concerns or joys. Sometimes your greatest witness is your WITHness. Proverbs 11:25b “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
One personal example of encouragement I have received was a Rest and Restore (Psalm 23:3) box filled with a collection of comforting Scriptures and helpful quotes written on index cards. ‘Recipes’ with food for the soul! Most every day I find moments when it is necessary to re-center my heart and mind on Jesus, and it is so helpful to have some nuggets of truth on hand to refresh and encourage me.
A South Dakota farmer’s daughter, married to Caryl Thorn (who passed away on their 62nd anniversary in 2021). Two children, Steven and his family, living in OH. And Kristen, living in Austin, MN. They lived in N.Y. state until moving to Rochester in 1983. Teaching Bible Studies has always been her focus and joy.