It had been a long, hard day and by now the toll of it was beginning to show on my face. I tried to hide it but my silence said more than I was willing. I figured if I didn’t say anything, she wouldn’t notice. I was deep in the battle and worse for the wear. I wasn’t ready to talk and I certainly wouldn’t know where to start.
We Need Support
Satan loves when we walk around feeling discouraged. He knows that we need the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us stay faithful. So he would do whatever it takes to see to it that we stay isolated. He’d love to have us think that we can go it alone.
The truth is there’s no such thing as a ‘lone-ranger Christian’. When troubles come we need others who will encourage us and help lift our spirits. As a matter of fact, it is the encouragement we receive from others that often empowers us to stay in the fight.
Kind Words Can Win a Battle
I think about the Israelites in Judges 20, who decided to go into battle against the Benjamites. The Israelites had 400,000 men ready to fight, compared to the 26,000 Benjamites. It should have been an easy victory. Yet, just as they entered the battle, they experienced a terrible defeat. They lost 22,000 men on the very first day!
I don’t know about you, but I might have been tempted to give up at that point and I’m sure it crossed the Israelites’ minds as well. Chances are they second-guessed God, thinking that maybe they didn’t hear him right when He told them to enter the battle. Even though they knew they were fighting for a good cause, they might have wondered if it was worth it. In the face of defeat we wouldn’t blame the Israelites if they decided to throw in the towel.
Still, regardless of what seemed like failure at first, the Israelites did not give up.
What was it that caused the Israelites to get back in the battle in spite of their loss?
They received the encouragement they needed to go on!
But the Israelites encouraged one another and again took up their positions where they had stationed themselves the first day.
We learn that the Israelites went on to, not just defeat the Benjamite army, but to wipe out their entire town (save for the 400 men who ran into hiding).
I believe that God made them victorious in large part due to the encouragement they received from their friends. They encouraged one another and found the courage and strength they needed to get back in the fight.
We’re Fighting a Hard Battle
Like the Israelites, we are in a battle. Getting through the day itself can feel like a battle. That day when I was feeling battle-weary my sister knew that I needed a listening ear. She didn’t push or insist that I deal with my problems right then and there. She simply reminded me that she was there for me.
Let’s face it, sometimes, it’s not just a day. There are times we are in a difficult season. We need all the encouragement we can get to help us through those rough patches. We can help each other overcome the darkness and move on to victory by encouraging each other.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
The Power of Encouragement
You might be wondering, ‘what’s so magical about encouragement anyway?’ It might seem like a simple thing – almost too easy. But there is a certain power that is unlocked when we encourage one another.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
When we encourage each other, Satan loses his grip on us. The sin that he intended to trip us up, no longer has any power.
We Can Win the Battle Together
Consider some of these practical ways to encourage someone else today:
- Pray for your friend (and let her know that you did)
- Send her an encouraging hand-written note, card, email or text
- Call just to say hello and ask how she’s doing
- Say a kind word. Think about what you like about her or what she’s good at and tell her.
- Offer to help, maybe by watching her kids for a few hours so that she can get away for a much-needed personal retreat.
I also encourage you to look at some other examples in the Bible where one person encouraged another. Allow these biblical examples to inspire you:
- Ruth and Naomi – (the book of Ruth)
- David and Jonathan – (1 Samuel 20)
- John the Baptist and Jesus – (John 1:1-34, John 3:22-36)
As you read, take note of how they encouraged one another and think about what you can learn from their relationships.
Encourage one another today.
We don’t have to wait until we have life all figured out to encourage someone else. Start by recognizing that you can’t win the battle alone. Then surround yourself with some battle-ready friends who will go the distance with you.
Allow the power of encouragement to break sin’s hold on your life. With the encouragement you receive, turn around and encourage someone else. Watch God’s power multiply over and over again as we fight the battles together and WIN!
- What can you imitate from some of the biblical examples mentioned above?
- Are you on active duty, doing battle with your friends?
- How can you encourage someone else today?
Marva is a Christian, wife and mother of two school-aged kiddos. She’s lucky to live in one of the sunniest parts of the world, where most days feel like heaven on earth. For the other days, she finds comfort in a nice tall latte. You can find her on sunSPARKLEshine.com where she writes about celebrating everyday brilliance and living a life that sparkles. You can also visit her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Get the latest sparkle by signing up for her newsletter Sparkle Highlights here.