The Gift of Encouragement
I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus—my brother,
co-worker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to
my need. . . —Philippians 2:25"
people know just what to say and do to encourage others who are going
through difficult times. Their words give strength to those who are
discouraged and comfort to those who are grieving. These people are
sensitive to God's voice. They are not self-centered or unaware of the
struggles of those around them. They are the ones we immediately seek
when we enter a crisis. They are welcome visitors when we are in
distress, for their presence sustains us.
testifies of many whom God enabled to encourage others. When Moses was
overwhelmed by his work, Jethro went to him and encouraged him. Jethro
gave Moses wise counsel that eased his strain (Exod. 18:1–27). When Paul
was imprisoned far from those who loved him, Epaphroditus risked his
health and safety in order to go to Paul and minister to him (Phil.
2:25–30). Later, Paul urged Timothy to come and visit him, for Paul
found strength and encouragement in Timothy (2 Tim. 4:9; Phil. 2:19–20).
Paul asked Timothy to bring Mark also. Mark was the kind of friend Paul
needed when he was enduring hardship (2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24). Paul
also relied on Luke for encouragement. When everyone else was absent or
preoccupied, Luke could be found with Paul (2 Tim. 4:11). Paul
experienced trials throughout his life, but God sustained him by placing
godly friends around him who provided support in practical and
God wants to
develop you into the kind of friend who can strengthen others. The words
you share and the things you do can bring comfort and encouragement to
your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your coworkers.
—Experiencing God Day by Day