“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
- Look for God’s evidence of encouragement in your life through others, nature and reading the Bible.
- Join a house church!
- Praise God for who He is
- Confess your sinfulness and need for cleansing
- Allow His Spirit to draw you near
- Listen as He speaks to you
- Find scripture to meditate on that focuses on love, harmony and peace.
- Ask God to show you one person you could reach out and encourage.
- Practice smiling … It’s “catching.” Others will be uplifted and will smile back.
- Thank God for hearing you.
- Trust that God is at work to accomplish His will.
- Philippians 1:1-11
Encouragement is expressed in different ways. Being joyful is one way. Often over the years when “things” were not going well, I would sing to myself ..“Be joyful… the joy of the Lord is my strength”. Then, not only would I have inspiration but it showed in smiling to others.
Now that I am in my seventies and can reflect on my life, I see God’s guideposts all in a row. God has used the difficult times in my life and has brought good out of them. Times when I was desperate with anger, fear, sadness, I would delve into the Bible to find an answer, and the Word of God has become a great source of guidance and comfort.
One time of depression I was looking out the window and prayed : “God if you are there show me a sign.” Almost immediately not one but two large Blue Jays flew to the fence outside. (Note: I am an avid, amateur birder!!). I was encouraged.
I belong to a house church and the members share, study the Bible, pray with each other and support where and when needed. We often have a good laugh and enjoy social times together. Harmony and peace with others requires prayer, time, and “working it out” with others.
God’s love is evident as we strive to follow His principles and promises and allow Him to “shine” through us to others.
Contributed by: Meg Slater