Mom’s “Minute Devo”–Monday, April 8th


We all need it. We all want it. We can all give it away!!

The Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary definition of encourage is:

 (v. t.) To inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to raise, or to increase, the confidence of; to animate; enhearten; to incite; to help forward; — the opposite of discourage.

In looking up the word encouragement in Scripture, I found that the first use of the word  “encourage” is in Deuteronomy 1, where Moses was speaking to the nation of Israel. Moses was reminding the people of God’s commandment to go in and take possession of the land that the Lord gave them. Moses reminds the Israelites  about sending spies into the land to see it’s bounty, but everyone was afraid to proceed, except Caleb and Joshua! As a result, those two men lived 40 more years, after spying out the land, and were about to go in a posses their inheritance, though Moses himself would not (due to his sin of striking the rock).

In Deuteronomy 1:38, Moses says, “Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter (the land). ENCOURAGE him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.” Again, Moses tells the people in Deuteronomy 3:28, “But charge Joshua, and ENCOURAGE and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you see.” 

One etymology of the word encourage shows that it comes from the Old French word,  encoragier , meaning to “make strong, hearten,” and is a combination of en- “make, put in” and corage meaning “courage, heart.”

Literally, it means ‘to make the heart strong!’  It is also an active verb, not a passive one, thus it requires action on our for it to be carried out!

The Bible goes on to record what Joshua tells the people before going into the land. Joshua 1:9 (ESV) says, ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

When we encourage someone or ourselves, we are strengthening their courage, lifting their heart, and keeping them from dismay.

In 1 Samuel 30:6  (KJV) we see that David had to encourage himself:

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

Sometimes, we are the ones needing to draw on God’s strength and speak ENCOURAGEMENT to ourselves, declaring what God says about us and our situations!!

Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, wrote an excellent book which took inspiration from this verse called Stengthen Yourself in the Lord. Several translations of I Samuel 30:6 use the word strengthen, while others use encourage.  

The Bible has so many verses on Encouragement! Do a word study in the Hebrew and Greek of the root words for encourage.  It’s eye-opening!  I challenge you and myself to write some verses down or print them out and memorize them. Then, put them into practice! Here is a link to just a few:

Let us be HIGHLY INTENTIONAL to speak BLESSINGS and WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT over each other daily!!

Over spring break, we had the opportunity to visit friends in Orlando and took one day to go to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, finally taking our college age children and our 8th grader! Just a plug, it’s never too late to go to Disney, and we were pleasantly surprised at the experience! It was great going with big kids, because they downloaded the app and booked the fast passes- older adults were just along for the ride (and the credit card)! All that to say, one live show was “Monster’s Inc.” themed and highlighted different people in the audience. The goal to “escape” the room was to fill up the Laugh Canister. It took some time, as it was a live show and jokes were incorporating visitors to the park who were in the room. But, it was a fun experience and I was reminded of it when thinking about ENCOURAGEMENT!  I’m going to picture that in my mind when thinking about encouraging others-trying to speak enough positive words over them to fill up their tank, which in turn, helps fill mine! SO….

Go ahead, fill up your encouragement canister! 

Or at least try to fill someone else’s!!

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