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Be Encouraged and Encourage Others

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
Acts 18:27

We draw inner strength from words of encouragement, but how can we be effective encouragers?

I feel unqualified—truthfully, disqualified—to encourage others. In the past, I believed I had been disqualified because I had failed to consistently honor God’s Word. has been sharing daily devotions for women since 1999. It has the distinction of being the first Christian women’s daily devotional website. The contributors, through diverse writings, express biblical truths with one common calling. It is our hearts’ desire to encourage all women through faith in Jesus Christ.

The word “encourage”, when used as a verb, means to urge forward or persuade (Acts 18:27), or to stimulate to the discharge of the ordinary duties of life (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 5:14). It can also mean to comfort (John 11:19, 31). As a noun, “encouragement” is a calling to one’s aid, or consoling. The Greek word is paraklesis (para, by the side and kaleo, to call).

Honestly, I never grasped this facet of encouragement—that it can be interchanged with the word comfort.

During a difficult period in my life, I shared my failures with a few girlfriends. Much to my relief none of them judged or condemned me. Instead, they spoke words of comfort and walked with me through my despair. My spirit grew in courage until I was able to live out one of my favorite scripture passages, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.

In essence, these verses state that our compassionate God comforts (encourages) us in all our troubles, and through Christ, our comfort (encouragement) overflows to others! Let’s comfort and urge each other forward into the new year.

I praise You, God, for being the Father of compassion and God of all comfort. Holy Spirit, I thank You for coming alongside us to our aid. All praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ through Whom our comfort overflows to others for their encouragement.

Karen Sims

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