It was hot and I was standing in the shade watching my good friend deal with some metal I’d asked him to cut. He was doing me a favor with two huge benefits: 1. It was going to get done well and 2. I was going to have all of my limbs intact when it was over.
When he was finished we started chatting about a few things and I took the opportunity to talk about an area of my life where some fear had crept back in. I told him how God has exposed it and helped me deal with it. I talked about how grateful I am that God shines His light on areas we might not know are hurting us but also my frustration that we can experience captivity in areas we’ve already experienced freedom.
I was frustrated at all of the different things God exposes in order to heal that we have to keep track of. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that a particular lie is, in fact, a lie and remain separated from its influence. Sometimes it feels like we are consistently behind the eight ball and at any moment our heads can dip back under the water. Sometimes it feels like our freedom is a white-knuckled grip and we watch helplessly as each finger threatens to slip off one by one.
He listened to my rant, scrunched his forehead and said, “But think off all the lies Satan tells us every single day that are immediately defeated.”
I straightened at that as my next complaint lodged in my throat. It was an optimistic perspective that I really needed. But it was more than that. It was encouragement and it instantly broke the straps of frustration. I felt my view on the matter flip flop as if someone turned my brain upside down.
As we seek to live the life that Jesus lived, to take the love of God and reflect it to those around us, may we never forget the power of encouragement. It can be 1 word, 1 sentence or longer. It doesn’t matter as the word, any word, of God is alive and full of power!
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14 that prophecy is for edifying, comforting and encouraging the body and Proverbs 15 tells us that a word in season can change a life! Encouragement shakes off the bonds of oppression. It heals brokenness and restores hope.
I remember being invited one weekend to speak at a conference and facilitating an exercise in which two people stood in the front and the audience listened for just one word God might be speaking for them. The guidelines were that whatever was spoken must be comforting and encouraging.
All were touched but one young man in particular was undone. His eyes were wide and held emotion he hadn’t expected to feel. He’d said he’d been going to church his whole life and had never had anyone encourage him like that. He told me he’d been waiting for something like what he’d experienced that night.
So, in closing…encourage each other!
Jesse and Kara Birkey
Jesse and Kara Birkey are committed lovers of Jesus who seek to show others the extraordinary life of Jesus is available for everyone. They have authored two books, been featured in films and seek to serve the Lord in whatever ways they can. Follow their blog here.
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Life Resurrected, Extraordinary Miracles through Ordinary People has been endorsed by Sid Roth and Mark Virkler and is a collection of inspiring stories making it clear that the extraordinary life of Jesus is available to all who love Him. It’s also the testimony of Jesse’s life, the road he travelled bringing him into the arms of Jesus. Get the paperback here. Get the Kindle Version Here. View the trailer here.
Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess is the story of their marriage—The tragedy and the restoration. They bear their hearts in an attempt to get others to bear theirs and finally receive the freedom they’ve longed for. Get the paperback here. Get the Kindle Version Here.