Power of Encouragement

I learned about the power of encouragement during one of the lowest times of my life. I was 30 and single, attending Bible college on my meager savings, fighting sickness, facing constant car repairs, and watching my parents battle cancer and heart problems. Then one morning, a professor dared to be vulnerable and ask for our prayers for some overwhelming things in his life. We were stunned to action.

Several of us formed an anonymous “Barnabas Committee,” named for the New Testament’s “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Throughout that semester, we sent him notes (attached to little gifts like candy bars) to remind him that the “Barnabas Committee” was still praying. We did the same for other profs facing personal challenges. As I helped encourage these teachers, I discovered the truth of

Proverbs 11:25: “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Even though my problems didn’t go away (they deepened when both my parents died a short time later), my reaching out to others helped keep my focus on God’s love and power. ~Jeanne

You can practice encouragement in eight simple ways.

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