Priceless Treasures of Encouragement
By Sharon W. Betters
Encouragement Principle: God keeps His promises through other believers
The news was like an explosion in our hearts. Our sixteen-year-old son, Mark, and his girlfriend, Kelly had been killed. The darkest night of my soul had begun. God’s promises mocked my sorrow. How could I ever trust Him again?
The answer came through a body of believers who functioned as God’s promise keepers. Feeling betrayed by God, I refused to acknowledge His love for me, but God demonstrated His love through His physical representation on earth – the church.
God’s compassion streaming through us and into others Is His divine solution to the problems of discouragement grief, and sorrow. God holds the members of His body responsible for making sure that other members experience His love (John 13:34-35).
When I was grieving the death of my son, the faithfulness of other believers soothed my hurting heart. When memories of His body were faithful and entered into my pain, God used their sensitive words, hugs, tears, and practical acts of service to demonstrate His presence. Without it, healing would have taken much longer.
The miracle of encouragement is that God can use even simple acts – a smile, a kind word, a touch on the shoulder – to effect dramatic change. When those gestures flow from a heart that truly wants to reflect Christ, the Holy Spirit uses them to instill courage, spirit, and hope – both in the receiver and in the giver.
Authentic Scripture encouragement is a response to God’s work in our lives. Because of what Christ has done in us, we are to encourage others (Hebrews 10:24 – 25).
The miracle of encourage takes place as we develop intimacy with Christ. Intimacy with Him teaches us the importance of connecting with one another, which naturally leads us into deeper and more meaningful relationships. The spiritual needs of people in our circle of influence are made clear as result of time spent with Christ.
The finished work of Christ is our motivation. Through the ministry of encouragement, we offer to others what we have found in Him.