Encouragement – A Gift

Pastoral Reflections

When a person receives an expression of support, verbal or otherwise, they feel this internal boost in the heart that counters their fears and raises their spirits. An English speaker will say they have been encouraged.
There is so much around us that tries to drain our enthusiasm and sink our spirits. One of those is the feeling of disruption. In recent weeks, the normalcy of life has been disturbed and not without chain effects. We are kicking and screaming as we struggle to do things differently all around. Easily, discouragement lays ambush.
The word, encourage, originally came from merging two ideas; to put in and heart (en and courage) Heart here is in the sense of inner strength. For example, when you say, “Don’t lose heart,” you mean something like inner strength.
We do not always remember that encouragement is a special gift which the Lord provides His people during times of trial and discouragement.
Paul used this word so many times to describe God’s grace directly and through fellow believers during life’s murky days. For example, he writes in a letter from jail to Philemon, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Phil. 1:7)
In another letter to the Colossian church, he passes it on, “I am sending [Tychicus] to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.” (Col. 4:8)
In these murky days of disruption, it is likely that discouragement lays ambush. But over against that, The Spirit is present with us and provides encouragement as a gift, directly and through each other. May your heart receive it, giving you inner strength for such times as these.
Donald Nwankwo
The Light of Christ Anglican Church
4000 W. Yale Ave.
Denver, CO 80219