“Remember you are destined for greater things than even in the past.”
Those were the words of Lady Randolph Churchill to her son, Winston — when he was forty-one years old! At the time she wrote this note Churchill was hunkered down in a trench on the front-lines of World War I. His future was bleak. Enemy bullets whined and whirred over his head. Back home, Churchill was facing adversaries in Parliament.
Times were tough. No matter, Lady Randolph still believed the best in her son. She was right. Churchill’s finest days—and Britain’s too—were still ahead!
Moms give their kids many gifts: life, nighttime vigils, bedside prayers, peanut butter sandwiches, enough rides in the car to circumvent the globe, hugs, chocolate-chip cookies and milk, homework help, and perhaps most importantly, words of affirmation and encouragement. Kids never outgrow their need to be encouraged. That is a lesson Lady Randolph teaches me. It is one God teaches me too.
- Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24 ESV
- And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV
- And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV
- There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
- Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25
As I read those verses I understand what I am supposed to do. God wants me to bring encouragement to others. But let's dig a little deeper. There are days when I don't feel like encouraging others. I suspect there may be days when you feel the same. So why should I or maybe more importantly whycan I encourage others? We find the answer to both questions if we return to Hebrews 10. The writer says,
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV
The answer to my whys is Jesus. He is my great priest. Having paid for my sin on the cross, having opened a way for me to come to God, he now invites me to draw near . . . to bring every challenge and every difficulty to him. He is faithful to help. And since He calls me to encourage others I shoulddo it, and with him on my side I can do it. I have Someone and something to offer my friends in need.
Little kids and grown-ups both need affirmation and encouragement. You are God's agent to bring it -- because you have received it in Christ.
Who can you encourage today?
"Remember you are destined ..." from Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life, page 334.