I keep thinking and some days, even praying, about finding a better rhythm to my writing. As in, writing more than just my once-a-month Share Four Somethings blog. I do miss the Thursday evening Twitter parties we had a few years ago, with other Five Minute Friday writers, and could "blame" it on that, but I won't. Some weeks I feel like I've given so much at work, I don't have enough brain space to write. I also know that I have not been journaling as consistently, and for me, that seems to be where God likes to speak.
Kate's "word of the week" is "sunshine".
Sunday morning, I sat down to read my devotional and I knew that God wanted me to share because this is what I read. "Encouragement is not flattery or empty praise; it is like verbal sunshine." (emphasis mine) I almost started laughing as I read the words of Nicky Gumbel in the Bible in One Year 2023 in my YouVersion Bible app. Don't tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor; I most certainly think He does and I love it!
Nicky goes on to explain, "It costs nothing and warms other people's hearts and inspires them with hope and confidence in their faith." Sunshine and encouragement make us smile and can lift our spirits. Encouragement from a friend, or even a stranger, can turn our downcast moods around in an instant. It can also release some, if not all, of the load of a heavy burden we feel we've been carrying around for a lifetime.
Barnabas was a great encourager; in Acts 11:22-24 it says that the Church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to see what was happening in Antioch. "As soon as he arrived, he saw that God was behind and in it all. He threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master." (The Message)
I love that Barnabas didn't just go partway or held back. It says that he threw himself in with them, urged them to stay with it, and that he was enthusiastic and confident in the ways of Holy Spirit. In the Passion Translation, it says that Barnabas "exuded a life of faith. Because of his ministry even more crowds of people were brought to the Lord!"
I want to be more confident in Jesus and the ways of Holy Spirit! I want to watch Him move in ways I can't even imagine.
Who has God brought across your path to encourage? Is it someone at work, in your family, someone at church, or a stranger? You don't need to use many words, even a smile goes a long way these days. Be open to the leading of Holy Spirit during this next week to see who He would have you come alongside for a season, or a brief moment to offer God's love in a desperate situation in this hurting world.
I'd love to hear how you encouraged someone!