“So encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)
What words are “these words?”
Words of life (4:14). Jesus died and was raised to life again. He is coming back to bring life eternal, so that we “will be with the Lord forever” (4:17). He is alive, He cares, and He brings new life to us when we put our trust in Him. These are encouraging words.
Last week we sent a team on a mission trip to Paradise, CA, helping with the continued work in the aftermath of the terrible fire that devastated the town. We had the opportunity for a ministry of encouragement in the face of so much death and destruction. As we sifted through the ashes of homes, we were able to find some precious memory treasures that brought joyful moments for homeowners in need of a little more courage to live on.
There was a special belt buckle crafted by a dad for his daughter, the hand prints of kids made by a mom in cement castings, handmade German dolls and pottery filled with memories, many precious items found by digging deeper.
We all have the opportunity, every day, for a ministry of encouragement. That could mean drawing out precious memories, like sifting through the ashes to find treasures that will encourage. Sometimes our friends can only see the ashes and the loss, and we can help sift and dig deeper through prayer, listening, and asking good questions.
We can bring words of life into every situation.
Be encouraged to BE an encouragement to someone today. Give a gift of listening and ask questions to dig deeper. Help someone be encouraged by a precious memory.