5 Ways to Encourage Someone Who is DownJune 10, 2013
The closer we get to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the more discouraging the world around us becomes. As believers we are subject, like never before, to assaults and attacks by the enemy. One of the greatest tools in his arsenal is the weapon of discouragement. I see it more and more, people are overwhelmed with decisions, mistakes, regrets, and failures. It is hard to endure such turmoil; it is harder still to endure it alone.
Perhaps you know someone who is discouraged at this very hour. You can be the difference maker in them getting victory in their lives. Here is a list of 5 practices that can lift up someone who is down:
1. Pray for Them.
A.J. Gordan said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed; but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.” Begin calling their name to the Lord in prayer, and let them know it. There is great strength and consolation in knowing that someone is interceding on your behalf. Ask the Lord to help them in specific areas of their life. Pray for them the way you would want them to pray for you if the situation was reversed.
2. Send Correspondence.
There are many ways to stay connected with friends and family these days; but there is something very special about a hand-written letter. It shows that you have taken the time to come unplugged from the nuances of life. I cannot tell you how many times my spirit has been lifted at the mailbox. I know it is an ancient practice, but grab a sheet of paper and pen and jot down an encouraging note to someone in need.
3. Listen to Them.
Having been in the ministry now for almost 20 years, there is one thing I have learned about people and their problems- they are not always looking for a fix- they are just looking for a friend. I have discovered in most of my counseling that a majority of people simply want to be heard and understood.
4. Take Them to Lunch.
Nothing encourages the soul like food! Especially when it is shared with a good friend. Take an extra 30 minutes out of the day and take someone to their favorite restaurant and pick up the tab. You may get a nice meal; but they may find some healing.
5. Share Your Own Experiences.
C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another, “What? You too. I thought I was the only one.” People need to know they are not alone and that others have walked down the same road. Open up and share an experience where God has brought you through a difficult time. Be sure to share with them the victory and assurance of the peace of God.