ID-100259534I was once asked to compile a list of ways we can cultivate the gift of encouragement in ourselves and others. I want to share those with you this week during this month of giving thanks and displaying love to those around us.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7 NIV).
Are you the life of the party?  The leader?  The  orderly one?  Or the peaceful individual who brings a balanced outlook to every situation?
Whatever your unique personality style, God can use you to encourage others and be blessed yourself while doing so.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 NIV).
“I miss you.”  “Let’s talk. “ “God loves you and I do too.” “Let’s pray together.”  “Can I help?”  Such words of kindness and encouragement are important to all of us.  Look at what you need.  Then you’ll know there are others with the same needs and wants.  Get together with those God leads you to and share the caring words you both long to hear.

“Give, and it will be given to you….for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).
A small gift, a loving touch, a drop-in visit.  It is amazing how  what we give–whether small or great–can bless others with encouragement and hope.  And as God promises, as we give, so He will give back to us.  What a beautiful remedy for our own needy hearts!

   “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas 5:16  NIV).
My friend and prayer partner Dianna has prayed my children out of trouble, for my husband to find work, for a new home for us when I had thought it would never be a reality. And I have done the same for her over the pressing needs and desires in her life. We have upheld and encouraged one another for over twenty years. I have not read a book, attended a seminar or heard a sermon that has been more encouraging than Dianna’s faithful prayers.  The prayers of a righteous friend truly avails much more than we can imagine or hope for.

 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 5:9 NIV).
Be there when someone needs a friend to lean on, a regret to cry over, a sister or brother in Christ to share with.  And when you’re in need the Lord will bring such a person to you. As we commit to encouraging others, God is committed to encouraging us by yielding a harvest of friendship, love, support, and prayer at just the right time!

I can say, as well, that during this time of trial for Charles and me, we are encouraged by every kind word and sincere prayer we are receiving from so many. Thank you all.



Cultivating the Gift of Encouragement — 10 Comments

  1. Excellent blog Karen but of course, why am I not surprised. I love your blog. It always is uplifting and encouraging, either through wit or humor. Keep up the God work.

    My phones dictionary choice the word God after I topped in the word good. I was going to change it but then, I thought, “Why?” It was a Freudian slip. You are a great writer. So with that, I say, “keep up the God work. (Keep up the good work as well.)

    • Thanks, Jim. You’ve been a loyal reader and I appreciate you. Please read the blog from last week and you’ll see what Charles and I are facing. It’s called “A Sudden Change.”

  2. I love everything you write! Thank you for always sharing things we need to hear. Sometimes encouragement comes from us without our even knowing it!! I like the story of the little boy who loved his elderly neighbors and would go and sit with the man in his swing on the porch. Then the man’s wife died. The boy went over to see the man and his mother saw them sitting on the swing. When he came home she asked him what he had talked about to his friend. The little boy said, “Oh, I didn’t say anything, I just helped him cry” ! Many times, just being with someone in grief is enough. Other times we can help them cry without saying a word.
    Blessings to you and Charles.
    Love, Margaret

    P.S. the story above may or may not be true but it could have happened~it is still a good story.

    • Thank you, Margaret. I love that little story you shared–true or not. The point is well made. You are such an encourager yourself. Charles and I appreciate you each day anew when we read the quotation on the Irish calendar you gave us.

  3. Karen, it’s you who are encouraging us so much — both you and CHarles– through such examples of courage and trust in God no matter what the circumstance. You amaze us. In your greatest hour of need, it’s you who uplift us. And another way you significantly encouraged me was through your wonderful book Basket of Blessings. I think of it especially now during this Thanksgiving season, and I will never forget how you and Charles opened all the little slips of paper you put into the basket, enumerating your blessings over the year, and how you wept together. You weep together now, and how I pray you will hold each other more tightly than ever, as you encourage each other in the Lord.

    • Thank you, Lynni. How sweet of you to stand with us during this most difficult season with your devoted love and prayers. You mean the world to me.

  4. Karen, I was about to write a blog about ways to encourage others–and then your blog appeared in my inbox. I changed my mind. You wrote a wonderful one. Thanks for being such a great encourager. May the Lord encourage you today also!

  5. Dear Karen,

    What an inspiration you’re and have been to me. Like always, I enjoyed your wonderful writing. It inspires me to be a nicer person by being thoughtful and caring to others. It also awed me with your amazing faith in God. The strength you demonstrate by hanging in there strong and continuing to write such wonderful pieces to inspire others during this most difficult trial times of your beloved Charles’ well being, is truly touching and inspiring. I see God’s amazing grace through you. Please take good care of yourself. God bless. Jing

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