encouraging words lift our spirit and give us courage or hope to continue
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. Philippians 2:19-24
Encouragement carries a very real blessing. There are times in life when we stumble or don’t do what we set out to do – whether that’s with our family, work, life in general, or in specific friendships. During these times, receiving encouraging words from someone lifts our spirit and gives us courage or hope to continue. You can probably recall a moment of encouragement as you read this short paragraph. As you think about receiving those words, let the feelings and emotions wash over you once again.
Paul’s words to the Philippians describe his wanting to send Timothy to the Philippians. But, if you scan the passage too quickly, you’ll miss an important point. Paul is sending Timothy to bring word to Paul about the news from the Philippians! And, with Paul writing this passage while in prison, it’s easy to understand how Paul desires to be cheered so not to become discouraged and loose hope.
Sometimes the thing we need the most are words of encouragement. We need words to infuse courage in what we’re trying to do or provide comfort in the pain of the present. Just as Paul is seeking to receive encouragement and be cheered from the Philippians, we should be willing and able to deliver encouraging words to those around us, regardless of the situation. As you consider encouragement and what it has meant to you, search your heart for someone you know who could use some encouragement, and then be that encouragement today!
By Rich Obrecht