Left to ourselves, we would settle for far less than we are capable of achieving. That’s why we all need encouragement. Encouragement helps us; stretches us; motivates us. Simply put, encouragement is the ability to inspire others to fulfill their God-given potential.
Isn’t that a magnificent animal pictured on the screens? And what a great picture of encouragement as its rider leans in and calls forth every ounce of strength from this four-legged, half-ton bundle of muscle to launch from earth and clear obstacles five feet tall. I’ve never seen a horse go through the passes in a jumping arena without a rider. The skilled horseman doesn’t manhandle his jumping partner, but he does guide, direct, assure and nudge in the right direction.
It’s like that when you are fully engaged with a church family. We help each other reach our God-given potential. We really are stronger together!
There was a fellow in the Jerusalem church named Joseph who so consistently and effectively encouraged others that the apostles nicknamed him “booster boy” or Barnabas in Greek, evidently because of his propensity to encourage and lift others up.
While there are those who are especially gifted in the area of encouragement, and blessed is the family and the church who possess such gifted ones, all followers of Christ are empowered and expected to encourage one another.
In fact, did you know that one of the names for the Holy Spirit is parakletos, literally meaning the one called alongside, or the encourager! If you are a true follower of Christ, you have the Ultimate Encourager living inside you, the Holy Spirit of God.
Are you in need of encouragement today? You’ll find it in church as you connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes they can see in you what your insecurities conceal from yourself. Sometimes they can say just what your heart needs to hear.
And you know one of the best ways to be encouraged? It is to encourage someone else. That very act of thoughtfulness to boost others to fulfill their potential can often be the breakthrough you need to receive the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
Isolation is the den of discouragement. Why not make a deep and consistent connection with your church family? You can find the encouragement you need to rise above the obstacles of life and reach your potential. You may also find that your ministry of presence is just what someone else needs to clear the hurdles they’re facing in life.
As we continue our new series:
Stronger Together: Exploring the power of one-another