Encouraging the Encourager

Heart in Hand II - Photopin

Have you ever been starved for encouragement?

I think I see a global version of “the wave” passing across my computer screen. You too, huh?

If anything, there is encouragement in the fact that none of us are alone in the need for encouragement.

No man or woman is an island. We’ve all climbed that palm tree at some point, scanned the horizon for a boat named Hope, written S.O.S. on the sands that resemble a desert more than a beach, and whacked off a coconut or two to drink the milk and dropkick our troubles off into the sunset.

At times, Hope floats to us on the incoming tide. We begin to feel better and with a boost of courage hike our way back over the dunes to rejoin society and carry on, till next time.

When David exhorted in Psalm 34:8 to “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man (Heb. valiant, warrior, person, every one) who takes refuge in Him,” he was encouraging his own heart. It struck me that David could not have known how the praises, laments and musings he wrote from the voice of his one heart would be a voice of encouragement to so many other hearts through the ages.

Thank God that David liked to sing, write, think and pray out loud.

How many of you have turned to the Psalms when hungering for some encouragement for your soul? (There goes “the wave” again.) The Word is flavorful at those times with substance like that of a healthy snack or a divine meal. He never fails to feed and nourish the hungry one who comes to Him. With more available, always.

Heart in Hand - Photopin

Are you an ‘encourager’?

Preach the Word;
be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage—
with great patience and careful instruction.
II Timothy 4:2 [1]

You likely are if in reading that passage the Word resounded within you, for Deep calls to deep. (Psalm 42:7)

Paul in his second letter to Timothy (whom he regarded as a son) listed an encourager’s job description:

  • Preach the Word
  • Be prepared any time; in season and out of season pretty much covers it
  • Correct
  • Rebuke
  • Encourage
  • Do those three things in your preaching (proclaiming) of the Word with great patience
  • Do it with careful instruction from a heart inclined to learn and teach sound doctrine
  • The above will flow as you prepare and stay prepared yourself

There is nothing inactive or dull in what Paul instructed Timothy. For those called to wear the mantle of an encourager (in whatever form, setting or circumstance that may be), the action necessary for being made and stayed ready is a gift in itself. It’s a preparation of the heart, not the to-do list.

However, I think Paul was not only instructing Timothy; he was encouraging him with a needed word.

Encouragers thrive on encouragement.

Paul knew this for he was an encourager himself. If anyone had a clear view of reality it was Paul. He had done a 180 in his turn from the kingdom of darkness. He saw in the light what was hidden in the dark.

So he poured into encourager-to-be Timothy the necessary instruction bathed in a river of encouragement.

If you read the preceding chapters of II Timothy you will find Paul’s encouraging statements penned throughout. Then the grand finale of ‘here’s what to do’ in chapter four, verse 2 (above) because

… the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires,
they will gather around them a great number of teachers

 to say what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
verses 3-4 [2]

As with David’s writings, no doubt Paul too was unaware of the impact his letters would later have.

Preserved, they offer the gift of encouragement and instruction for our lives and time. I am immensely grateful because it appears we are living in ‘the time’ of which Paul spoke. God-called encouragers (who must speak the word of truth and life) can’t not encourage and yet need to be encouraged themselves.

Heart in Hand - Photopin

Do you know that not everyone wants or likes to be encouraged? That’s some bad pizza for the one who is called to be an encourager! Driven to encourage with the word of truth while many turn away.

What’s an encourager to do then? Give up encouraging?

Thank God that Paul called for his parchments and pen. What he said to Timothy then remains a quickened word of instructive encouragement now

But you [insert your own name here]–keep your eye on what you’re doing;
accept the hard times along with the good;

keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
verse 5 [3]

Stay focused on the few things that matter – a watchful and single eye on that to which you’ve been called; endurance in hardship and affliction; keeping the gospel Message alive; and carrying out fully, in evidence, your service to the King. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. Hebrews 6:10 [4]

And all God’s encouragers said Amen. ▪

[1][2] NIV84
[3] MSG
[4] NASB
Photo credit: IMG_2625 via photopin (license)
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  2 comments for “Encouraging the Encourager

  1. Lisa
    May 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    God graciously gives you words to encourage others. May He send words of encouragement to you today. Thank you for sharing your heart and His Word

    Like

    • May 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Thank you, Lisa. You have long been one of my encouragers. I love sharing the Word of Life. I can’t not 🙂

      Like

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