I am excited to kick off this new blog series because it is on a subject that is close to my heart. In recent years God has been talking to me about how we all desperately need encouragement. I’m sure part of the reason was because I have a tendency towards negativity and He really wanted me to grow out of it, but He has been very gracious to me in the way He has dealt with that. (Being married to someone whose primary love language is words of affirmation has certainly taught me a lot too!)
I took over the running of our women’s ministry in church a few years ago, and the subject of encouragement was the big thing I felt God ask me to focus on. There was in fact just one verse that really seemed to sum up what God was calling us to as a group:
‘So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11, The Message).
That has been my hope and prayer ever since: that we would show love, support, encouragement and unity through the way we interact with one another. That when we meet up we learn to intentionally build one another up as well as supporting each other in the day-to-day routines of life. It is my prayer for all of you that are reading this too – that you will have those around you that you can do the same with.
In our busy, time-starved society I believe encouragement can be sadly lacking but it is so vital for the well-being of our souls. There are so many things that can dampen our enthusiasm for life or knock the wind out of our sails, but encouragement is one of the gifts God has given us in order to set the balance right again in our lives. So, during this weekly series, I want us together to delve deeper into the Source of all encouragement and look at how He gently teaches us to be greater encouragers of not only ourselves but those around us too.
(If you’d like to leave a comment or two during the series, that would really encourage me too 😉 )