In my last blog I discussed some general opinions about encouragement. I hope they have challenged you to find folks to encourage. Maybe you could compile a list of people and each week send a card of encouragement to one of them. Or call one a week and just tell them that you are praying for them. What an impact you could have on them and on their ministry.
Now I mentioned that seldom do most of us receive any encouragement from others. But, by God's great grace, He provides us with encouragement in several different ways. There are two ways that I find that He provides that for me.
The first is through Scripture. Now it may be just an excuse, but I find it harder to memorize the older that I get. But growing up I memorized many verses and hid them in my heart. And it is amazing how often the Lord brings those back to me when I need them.
We taught children for many years and we borrowed an idea from my uncle and aunt, Pastor Bob and Thelma Smock. For their VBS programs they put a verse to music for each letter of the alphabet. They rotated them over several years and the children really learned them. I have probably now composed 50 or more of these choruses myself that we have used with both adults and children. And so often these melodies still come back to me and I can sing them and often even remember the reference.
Reading, memorizing, and meditating upon Scripture can be a great source of encouragement. Here are a few examples of encouraging verses.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah."
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
Psalm 16:8 "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 55:22 "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." "
1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."
Psalm 120:1 "I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me."
Jeremiah 33:3 "Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not."
Psalm 139:3 "Thou compasseth my path and my lying down and art acquainteth with, all my ways."
Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me."
Philippians 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye."
1 John 4:4 "The one who is in you is greater that the one who is in the world."
Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
1 Peter 4:10 "When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade."
So are you discouraged or in need of encouragement? Then spend some time in the Scripture and be reminded of God's promises. He never fails. Be encouraged, God is still on the throne and in control.