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Giving and receiving encouragement

To encourage someone is to give support, confidence or hope to them so they may continue to do something or start to do something (maybe something that is difficult).  Nowhere is this more necessary than in the Christian Life.

A quick search of the New Testament shows the importance of encouragement in the early church (click here for a listing from biblegateway).

This list shows that encouragement comes through people's words, presence and example as well as through the Scriptures, the presence of the Holy Spirit and prophetic words.

I particularly like how Joseph was renamed Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement.

So this is a gentle reminder for us to both give and receive encouragement.

When someone affirms you, supports you, thanks you or gives you hope - don't just gloss over it out of habit or fear of becoming proud.  But in that moment, ask God to deposit the strength that comes from that encouragement deep in your soul.

In the same way in the next few days be on the lookout for an opportunity to give encouragement and pray that the Spirit of Encouragement will work through you to bring great blessing to that person.

David Wanstall, 20/10/2010