Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On Being Encouragers

     In addition to reading a portion of the New Testament in chronological order every day,  I sometimes try to read through Psalms & Proverbs each month.  Years ago someone suggested an interesting method of doing this by beginning with the Psalm that corresponds to today's date and to read every 30th Psalm after that for a total of 5 per day and then to read the day's date chapter of Proverbs.  Since today is the 12th, I read Psalm 12, 42, 72, 102 & 132, and then chapter 12 of Proverbs.  As I was reading Proverbs 12, verse 25 seemed to stand out:
         "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up".  
     I began to think about how true this is!  I can become so anxious about something that I begin to get depressed.  The New King James translation actually uses those words "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad."  Then someone will speak a word of encouragement that causes my whole perspective to change!
     Have you seen the studies that say depression is an epidemic in this country?  It seems to me the Lord has given us the remedy in this verse.  I desire to make it my responsibility and privilege to become encouragers of those around me, bringing a kind word, a word of hope, a new perspective, a new way of seeing themselves and their purpose on earth, a word to make them glad, so that I can help to lift them out of their depression. 
    Our minds are daily bombarded with negative thoughts from the devil, bad reports from the news media, unkind words from associates.  Everywhere we turn we hear of things that can make us anxious.  We need an army of encouragers to rise up and say what God says about the situation.  He loves us.  He has a plan & purpose for our lives.  He gives only good gifts to His children.  He works all things together for our good, if we love Him.  He knows the end from the beginning.  
     Can you imagine how much better we would all feel if wherever we went we were bombarded with words of encouragement?  

    Lord, remind me constantly of the great privilege you've given me to partner with You in encouraging Your people.  Help me to be a messenger of Your grace with a kind, uplifting word for everyone I meet.  Let me contribute hope to a despairing world.  Amen

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