How important is encouragement to you? If everything is going your way, you may not give it much thought. What about when things don’t go your way?
What about those around you? Encouragement can actually make quite a difference for the folks in your life. It can motivate them on beyond what they may have otherwise thought they were able to do.
How encouraging are you to them?
Inspiration and encouragement can keep folks going way beyond what they may think they can do. I want to inspire you today to give someone hope and encouragement.
Chris Carey mentions in his book, The Price & The Prize, that he had listened to a motivational tape by Jan Culkins. The tape was entitled “A Peep Over the Pail.” She told a story about an experiment done with rats. A rat could tread water for 30 minutes without encouragement. After that, it must be rescued, or it would drown. With a momentary glimpse over the pail each time it became exhausted, it would swim for 36 hours.
There is a lot of difference between 30 minutes and 36 hours. The knowledge that the world was not all water was all the encouragement it needed to swim on a lot longer.
We are obviously not rats, but encouragement can make all the difference.
I read a story recently about Thomas Edison. He surely must have been encouraged when his mother gave him books about chemistry and electronics – two of his favorite things. He must have been encouraged when she let him set up his first lab. He must have been encouraged when he had initial successes in his experiments. He must have been encouraged when folks taught him new things. I read that he had over 1000 patents when he died.
How do you encourage someone?
First, if they are not saved, introduce them to Jesus.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
After that, watch for what God has placed in their hearts to pursue. Observe how the Master gifts them. See what dream they are chasing. Then encourage them in it.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Remind them that God has a plan, and it’s all in His timing. They need to be patient.
When you can, provide opportunities for those with dreams to explore their dreams. Share a book with them or an encouraging word. Talk with them about their dreams, and encourage them to pursue them. See if you can help them with any obstacles in their path. Maybe they need a space to work, and maybe you have a room that will meet that need. Teach them new things. Be there should they struggle.
Remember, the most important thing you can do for anyone is to pray with them and for them. Assure them that God is faithful, and He will provide for what He wants them to do.