Have you ever found yourself stranded in an ocean of discouragement with seemingly no wind for your sails? If so, you’re not unlike two of the greatest heroes in the Bible.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
In the Message version of Psalm 51:12, King David asks God to put a fresh wind in his sails. Likewise, life’s nearly endless barrage of rudeness, disappointments, embarrassments, and exhaustion make us familiar with the battles on the outside and fear on the inside, described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:5. Just as we identify with their discouragement, we can also identify with their encouragement. We serve the same God who still reaches down to lift us up.
Encouraging is not just something God does; it’s who He is. When we encourage others, we partake in God’s very nature. It’s one of the most spiritual things we can do! God’s Son, Jesus, gave His entire life just to lift us up. Then, Jesus Himself called the Holy Spirit our Paraclete which means comforter, advocate, encourager.Like God and Jesus, the Holy Spirit doesn’t just encourage us, He is the Encourager. When our words encourage others, our words are full of the Holy Spirit. When our actions encourage others, we are acting like Jesus. When our giving encourages someone, we’re giving like God gives.
For the next four days, we’ll discover how to encourage others daily, how to encourage others spiritually, and how to encourage ourselves. We’ll learn that encouragement goes beyond being nice and flattering others. We’ll discover that true encouragement helps others forward by filling their hearts with God’s courage and hope. When we encourage others, we give gifts from heaven. How’s that for some wind in the sails?