Encouragement is life-giving words empowering people we journey with to step out into their goals “in courage.” God first encouraged us… “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thes. 2:16-17).” God encourages us to walk “in courage” for Jesus. What has someone spoken into your life that touched you deep down, acknowledging your deepest passions and skills, and gave you a vision of how you can walk in that?
I remember I started speaking and teaching in front of small groups as a student at the University of Oklahoma. A good friend, Brad Brickell, spoke encouragement into me by saying that I was gifted at speaking. I was floored because I have a speech impediment because of cerebral palsy, and it was very prominent during that time.
In my daily quiet time, I was reading about when God gave Moses a God-size mission to be His spokesperson. Moses responded in Exodus 4:10: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’”
I thought, “YES, that’s me!” It was so comforting to know that the great Moses who parted the Red Sea and proclaimed God’s words boldly had a speech impediment too!!! God’s response to Moses was words of life to empower him to speak “in courage”: “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'” (Exodus 4:12)
I have spoken around the world from Pepperdine University to universities in other nations such as Haiti and Brazil sharing about God’s power through my weaknesses, encouraging people to live for Jesus courageously in their weaknesses! More than a speaker, I pray to be known as “an encourager”.
How has someone encouraged you to live out your purpose, encouraging you in your God-given gifts, talents and passions? Please share below. How are you going to encourage someone in your life this week?