“Encourage” means to put courage into. There are many ways to encourage those around you—a sincere word, a kind act, a show of compassion.
In the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, tumbles into the miry bog, the “slough of despond,” and struggles to get free. But the heavy burden on his back pulls him in deeper, and he begins to sink.
This image pictures what it feels like when we’re sinking in difficult circumstances—when our debts outweigh our income, when past hurts won’t heal, when discontentment marks our relationships, and when the light of heaven seems distant and dim. Discouragement, despondency, pain, suffering—these miry pits along life’s journey can pull us down into our own “slough of despond.”
Christian’s rescue came by the hand of a fellow traveller named Help...and the same is true for you today. Use these resources to find encouragement for your own life...or to minister help to those you find along life’s journey.
You can’t avoid aging, but you can avoid getting old. It’s never too late—these later years can be your opportunity to make an impact. The time is now!
We will always find reasons to grumble. But complaining drags us down and can lead to discouragement, depression, and disappointment. A better way is to live in a spirit of co-operation, using our words to encourage and uplift those around us.
Philippians—what a masterpiece of correspondence! With joy as its major theme, Paul challenged his friends to live above the drag of difficult circumstances.
It’s in God’s refining fires that the authenticity of our faith is revealed. The purpose of these fiery ordeals is we come forth as purified gold, a likeness of Jesus.
True friends are priceless. They believe in us, affirm us, and hold our hands up when we’re weary and unable to go on. If we have one true friend, we are rich.
It’s impossible to measure the worth of mutual encouragement. Whether spoken or written, a few encouraging words can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a single event or, in fact, someone’s entire life.
When you offer advice be careful what you assume about the person’s situation. And seek to uplift rather than criticize.
Our confidence is in Christ, not ourselves. He is the One who calms our fears and gives us the courage we need in times of suffering.
There are many reasons for Christians to pull together—we’re brothers and sisters because we have the same heavenly Father.