When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. 2 Corinthians 7:5-7
I was once chatting to two friends when the subject of encouragement came up. One worked in a bank and the other was an engineer. They both said that they couldn’t remember the last time their bosses had given them any word of encouragement. I was shocked. They were both great people, and I can only imagine that they were diligent and effective workers, but they had been denied the oxygen of encouragement, which is needed by us all.
Paul had clearly been going through a really tough time. He had been working in Macedonia (what we now know as northern Greece). In Acts 17, we read about some of the opposition that Paul had encountered. He felt attacked on all sides. The arrival of Titus was a very welcome encouragement – not least because he brought news that the Corinthians, in southern Greece, had been an encouragement to him. Result! Paul knew that God encourages the discouraged, and that’s exactly what happened.
Everyone needs encouragement. Today, we will all have opportunities to share some with others. It may be in the form of a kind comment, a thoughtful text or a bunch of flowers. These may appear quite small actions in themselves, but they can have life-changing effects. God is at work in our encouragements and can use them to transform people’s lives. There is almost certainly nothing greater that we can achieve today than to be encouragers.
Who are you going to encourage today and how?
Thank you Lord that you are a constant source of encouragement. Increase in me the determination to be an encourager of others. Amen