The gift of encouragement
Did you know that there’s such a thing as ‘the gift of encouragement’? The Bible says, ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is…to encourage, then give encouragement.’ And we don’t have to be talented or have a high IQ to demonstrate this gift. Every day we meet people in need of encouragement. They may not show it on the surface, but underneath they’re struggling to keep their head above water. Some of them are at the point of despair, and our words can lift them. Even a smile can do it. Job said, ‘When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them’ (Job 29:24 NLT). Solomon said, ‘Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad’ (Proverbs 12:25 NKJV). We mustn’t assume that people who seem successful and happy don’t need encouragement, because we don’t know what‘s going on behind the scenes. David was a best-selling author whose psalms are still read around the world. He was Israel’s most popular king. His victories in battle are the envy of every military strategist. But he had days when he felt so low and in despair that he wasn’t sure he could carry on: ‘I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain’ (Psalm 38:17 NLT). It doesn’t matter what our past or present successes are, how much money or power we have, or what our social status is, everyone needs encouragement. And that’s good, because when we have the gift of encouragement, we’ll never be without opportunities to use it. So today let’s be sensitive to God’s leading, and when He prompts us to encourage someone, let’s do it.
In the morning, ask God to open your eyes to people who need encouragement. Throughout the day, see how many people you notice that need encouragement, and try to say an encouraging word to them.
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