The Directing Force of Encouragement
Encouragement Principle: The directing force behind encouragement is God’s Word.
By Sharon W. Betters
In the months following Mark’s death, encouragement from the body of Christ helped to keep me from drowning in sorrow. But I soon realized that my own time spent in God’s Word would be what would keep me afloat long term. My time in His Word also gave me messages of love and truth to use later, when difficult circumstances threatened to overwhelm others.
When we turn to Scripture, we enter the presence of God. And that is where we learn to face the life and circumstances He has given us. It is God who sanctifies: our job is to participate with Him in the process. If we respond purely on the basis of how we feel rather than on what we know, we may tend to look for ways to eliminate someone’s pain rather than searching for ways to uphold that person while God accomplishes His purposes through adversity. The more we know about God’s character through our study of Scripture, the better equipped we are to help turn another person’ heart toward Hm. It is only through knowledge of His Word and the power of His Spirit that we can become His promise keepers.
Believing that God uses Scripture to encourage us in our circumstances and to equip us to encourage others, I viewed every Scripture offered to my family – through cards, conversations and sermons – as a lifeline to God. I continue to trust that one day my heart will be set free frrm grief and loss because I have sought Him and found Him in His Word (Psalm 119).
The power of Scripture to direct our lives along paths of peace and righteousness has been proven in my own life and in the lives of many godly women I know Prayerfully consider your day, lay before God your need for time alone with Him ,and wait in expectation for His guidance. As you daily come into His presence, revel in His gift of salvation and the promise of His presence, and carefully consider how to spur others toward love and good deeds through the practice of biblical encouragement. Your time with Him will direct your actions.
Reprinted with Permission from Treasures of Encouragement Planner by Sharon W. Betters, P & R Publishing
In His grip,
Sharon W. Betters
Digging Deeper: Hebrews 10:19 – 25, Judges 4, 5
Treasures of Encouragement
For personal or small group Bible Study, check out Treasures of Encouragement, Women Helping Women (Leader’s Guide Also Available) by Sharon W. Betters