What does it take to become a vessel of encouragement to others? Encouragement can enter each of our lives most any day whether we are the recipient or the vessel for someone else. Recently I was visiting with some dear friends and I was truly encouraged by the new ministry opportunities God was bringing into their lives. Sometimes when we desire to be an encouragement to others, we are the ones who come away with the blessing! So, what is encouragement all about?
Webster’s dictionary describes it in the following way: to inspire with courage, spirit or hope or hearten; to spur on or stimulate; to give help or patronage to or foster; to give hope or promise.
Let’s look at some Scripture verses relating to what we are all called to do:
In 1 Thessalonians 4:18 we are to “encourage each other with these words"
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 we are to “encourage one another and build each other up”
In Hebrews 10:25 we are to “encourage one another”
In all three of these verses, the Greek word “parakaleo” is used which means to call near, invite, beseech, be of good comfort, exhort, entreat, pray. It is the idea of walking alongside of another person.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:14 we are to “encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient toward everyone.”
In this particular verse the Greek work “paramutheomai” is used which means to encourage, console, comfort.
So it seems that we are to walk alongside of one another, exhorting, comforting, praying, consoling, beseeching; in other words, practicing the virtues of encouragement with those we come in contact with each day.
Something to pray about: an opportunity to be a minister of encouragement to someone today!