Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Making of an Encourager

I received this small article the other day and it spoke to me so deeply that I wanted to share it here.

Suffering is so difficult. It can lead us to feel hopeless; like we are the forgotten.

I've been going thru a very hard time living with physical pain and the emotional turmoil that brings with it.

I've had two back surgeries in one year, not to mention a little baby and a husband I long to be strong and whole for.

It has been a difficult road and I don't know where it is leading.

But the following excerpt helps me to keep perspective. I hope it will encourage you in whatever struggle you are facing today.........

"People love encouragers, and the Lord intends that each of His children be one. An encourager is able to stand beside someone else to give hope and the motivaion to perservere through difficult times. We are not born with this ability, but we can follow several essential steps in order to become capable of supporting and empathizing with a hurting friend.

First, we must be willing to experience pain. The apostle Paul, who was a great encourager, said that we can reach out to others with the "comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." In order to experience comfort and have it flow through us, we must suffer some heartache. There is power in the touch of a person who has been in the valley. A person who experiences pain does not offer empty words, but words of hope.

Second, we need to learn the principles that are available to us in our suffering. If we can view our heartache as a class in God's univerisity that will yeild us a degree in encouragement, much of the sting will dissipate. The Lord teaches us to place our trust in Him alone, and then we can pass that wisdom on to others.

The most effective encouragers are those who say, "There was nothing I could do but cry out to God. Let me tell you what the Lord did in responce to my cry." If we try to escape pain, we will miss out on the principles that can be learned only from suffering; then we cannot be useful to others. Our loving Father builds encourgers from the material of a life willing to be broken."

2 Cor. 1:3-7

--Charles Stanley

1 comment:

  1. "There was nothing I could do but cry out to God. Let me tell you what the Lord did in response to my cry." can't wait to be able to have the end to that. the "let me tell you" part. I'm still in the crying out to God & waiting.. and waiting with nothing to say. love you Kristen. thanks for posting this.