Life-Giving Encouragement: The Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever
By Sharon W. Betters
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17
When we experience sudden loss or death, we feel violated and tend to be paranoid about the “next shoe dropping”. After Mark’s death, every nerve tingled with the reality that if our youngest child and his friend could be in a fatal car accident, we were vulnerable to other losses. I concluded the only sure foundation in my life was Scripture. Scripture I memorized as a child whispered hope:
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. -John 1:1
Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8
Psalm 119:50 reminded me: This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word has given me life.
Everything in my life screamed uncertainty, except for the Word of God. Part of me died with Mark. God’s life-giving truth through His Word was (and is) my pathway for life. Certainly, the truth of Today’s Treasure applied to navigating the foreign land of grief. Today I am a credible witness that though grief still resides in a deep corner of my heart, God’s Word gives me life in such a way that I experience purpose and joy.
The promise of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 applies to your life if you belong to Jesus. As God calls you into the darkness either by yourself or with a friend, choose God’s Word as your road map. The only reliable road map I know is His Word. Scriptural encouragement is ongoing, daily, and consistent. It includes the practices of strengthening, motivating, assuring, supporting, exhorting and disciplining. Webster’s dictionary defines encouragement: To give courage, spirit, or hope; to stimulate. Consider how God’s Word satisfies this definition:
ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17
What a promise! Do your own life circumstances seem impossible to navigate? Are you confused about how to help your friend, how to encourage her to turn toward Jesus for help and hope? This Scripture promises God’s Word equips you for “every good work”.
God is your encourager – your life-giving guide! Write out 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in your journal. Then list these words:
- Training in Righteousness
- Equipped for Every Good Work
What kind of equipping in this list do you need? Note how you will pursue specific encouragement from the Lord in your personal life. For instance:
Teaching: I need a better understanding of how God loves me. I will find a Bible study to attend.
Rebuking: I have a judgmental spirit toward my friend. Open my eyes to Scriptures about humility and my own sin.
Correcting: No matter how hard I try, my teenager refuses to communicate with me. Show me if I am doing something wrong and how to change my approach.
Training in Righteousness: I’m tempted to share my friend’s secrets as a means to feel important to others. Nudge me whenever I go in that direction.
Equipped for Every Good Work: My friend’s grief is a mystery to me. Lead me to a good resource that will teach me how to help her.
Dwell in God’s Word and trust Jesus to display His love through you as your love and gratitude for Him grows.
Lord, we need You, oh we need You. You promise we do not walk alone in the pathway of life when we love Jesus. Show us how to read Your Word with a willingness to be transformed by Your truth, ready to act as You direct us, eager to offer life-giving encouragement to those who live in our “villages.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a nonprofit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children, and fourteen grandchildren.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.