The Art of Encouragement- Spiritual Guide for Depression

In a society of information overload it can be very difficult to keep our thoughts and discussions positive. Like most people, I listen to the radio when I’m driving my vehicle, I have a news homepage on my computer and I watch cable news on TV. So, with what amounts to a deluge of mostly negative information, is it possible to be positive and encourage others? Yes, I believe it is possible, though it takes practice, patience and a desire to reach out. These approaches can be mastered by anyone, which is why I call them an “art”: I don’t think they happen by accident.
Joshua 1:1-8:
“After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you: do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Joshua was called upon to lead a large group of people into a new territory. His first obstacle was to cross the Jordan River when it was in flood stage. Back then they did not have bridges or ferries to provide a means to cross. They had one option available and that was to walk, so that’s exactly what they did. They were told to follow the priest “since you have never been this way before,” which is the same place many people are finding themselves in today. Joshua was worried, scared and overwhelmed, which is why God tells him several times to “BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS.”
In the last month, we have witnessed three of the largest and most devastating hurricanes ever to strike the city of Houston and the communities and cities of Florida and Puerto Rico. Thousands of people experienced these hurricanes first hand. Some stayed in their homes while others were forced to evacuate and spend days and weeks in shelters, hotels and volunteers’ homes. The devastation has been catastrophic, with lost lives, homes and personal belongings. As hard as it might be to live through these events, all the buildings and personal belongings can be replaced. Homes can be rebuilt and personal belongings can be replenished. It has been heartwarming to see such a large number of volunteers and huge donations to help the many thousands of people affected.
Worried, scared and overwhelmed is not a place anyone aspires to find themselves. That’s why it’s so important to support and encourage the people working hard to be of help. To support and encourage takes effort, a desire to listen and an attitude to want to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Encouragement usually comes from listening to someone and lifting their spirits by verbal and physical actions that demonstrate that you care. Encouragement can also be expressed through notes, cards, flowers, donations or gifts.
The “art of encouragement” can become second nature if you’re willing to invest your daily energies to make someone else’s life better. Open your eyes and your heart and you will understand what I’m talking about. If you want to make a difference in this world, start in your family, church and neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *