A Message of Encouragement
Chuck Swindoll, in his book Growing Deep in the Christian Life, tells about a man getting ready to make an around-the-world voyage in his homemade boat. Without exception everyone on the pier was vocally pessimistic. Everyone was telling him everything that could possibly go wrong. “The sun will broil you.” “You won’t have enough food.” “That boat of yours won’t withstand any storms.” “You’ll never make it.”
A man standing nearby heard all these discouraging words and decided instead to offer some encouraging words. As the little boat began pulling away from shore, he went to the end of the pier and began waving both his arms wildly and shouted, “BON VOYAGE! YOU’RE REALLY SOMETHING! WE’RE WITH YOU! WE’RE PROUD OF YOU! GOOD LUCK, BROTHER!”
This story is so similar to our lives. In a sense, all of us are in a little boat. We are on a long journey, not knowing if we are going to make it or not. And as we push out to sea, there are very few people who stand there giving us encouragement. Most are only critical or negative.
That’s a pretty sad commentary on life, but often, it’s very true for most of us. THERE ARE MANY DISCOURAGERS IN LIFE BUT FEW ENCOURAGERS! Many people are better at discouraging others than encouraging them.
We need a word of encouragement! The world needs a word of encouragement!
ENCOURAGEMENT MUST BE SPOKEN – We all need to learn to speak words that encourage others. It’s easy to discourage someone or put them down but what about lifting them up? If you have a message of encouragement, please speak! Col. 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” We should work at speaking gracious words to others.
ENCOURAGEMENT DEALS WTIH GOOD NEWS – Prov. 11:25-26 “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain (or good news), but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.” (or speak good). God is good. He was and is good enough to give us the good news of Jesus so that we can be saved from our sins and go to heaven forever. That’s the best news there is and we need to share it with others! Whatever you talk about, please end up talking about Christ. Tell a story and somehow point to Christ.
ENCOURAGEMENT ULTIMATELY LEADS PEOPLE TO GOD – Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I am more convinced than ever that life’s major pursuit is not knowing self, but knowing God. As a matter of fact, unless God is the major pursuit of our lives, all other pursuits are dead-end streets, including trying to know ourselves. They won’t work. They won’t satisfy. They won’t result in fulfillment. They won’t do for us what we think they’re going to do. “You never really begin the process of coming to know yourself until you begin the process of coming to know God.” Everything revolves around knowing God. Nothing in life makes real sense unless it is connected to knowing God who created us. And true encouragement points people to knowing God. Someone said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” We need to be in the encouragement business! If you have any message of encouragement for others, please speak it!