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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

July 28, 2017

Words of encouragement

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

For most people, life has its share of disappointments. Fatigue from a demanding schedule, financial difficulties, a failed endeavor at work or school, health problems, difficulty getting along with a family member or friend—these are times when a person can feel frustrated and discouraged.

Consider for a moment the example of Jesus encouraging others at the end of His ministry and human life. The night before His death, He told His disciples: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). He warned them that turbulence was coming but encouraged them not to permanently scatter. They could go the distance as He would if they truly believed.

Each of us needs encouragement. It is oxygen to the soul. Life’s chapters and lonely moments demand it from our first baby steps into a parent’s open arms to later steps in life—to our first bike ride down a steep driveway; to becoming teens; to our first encounter with challenges on the job or in our marriages; to a health crisis; to becoming senior citizens in the so-called golden years of life; to step out in faith to embrace biblically based Christianity when no one else seems to support you.

Our words can be a valuable tool to cheer up and encourage a person who is down. Proverbs 25:11 tells us: "Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken in right circumstances" (NASB). By offering some words of encouragement, we can help discouraged people face their present and future with courage and a positive outlook.

We need to grow in encouraging others even when it does not come naturally. And in fact the type of encouragement we should be giving does not come naturally. The encouragement exuded by our example Jesus Christ comes from elsewhere. It is rooted in God and understanding what He has done for us.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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