“I believe in you” are four powerful words.

I am who I am because someone believed in me. When I attended Bible College, I realized I was different when I compared myself to others. I was different—I had no apparent giftings because I was too nervous to sing, play piano, teach, preach, or even read a scripture in front of people. Fear paralyzed me from pressing beyond my insecurities. In the midst of the incredible talent of others, their beauty, and charmed heritages I felt like I had nothing to offer God—other than my love.

The Power of Believing

One of my teachers at Bible College, Sister Ann, saw something in me before I saw anything in myself and she believed in me before anyone else did. Sister Ann created opportunities for me to minister in a safe environment where I could either fail or succeed without the pressure of a penalty or a reward. I was oblivious to the fact she was discipling me because she operated with love and faith, while demonstrating genuine care for my future ministry.

I do not know who I would be without Sis. Ann’s encouragement in my life. She has passed on from this world, but I have picked up her mantle and I strive to believe in people. I have committed my life to invest in other people’s talents and strive to recognize a man or woman’s call before they have fruit of a gifting.

Who has believed in you? Where would you be without their support? Reach out to them today and thank them for their encouragement and then strive to be a word of encouragement in someone’s life.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you would help me invest into other peoples’ lives and ministry. Let me be an individual who builds people up and not one who tears a person down with destructive words. Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I have failed you—and, help me to not give up on others.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us … If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage” (Romans 12:6-8).

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, “I just don’t know what to say.” It’s our excuse for not stepping in when someone is going through a difficult time. A terminal illness, a divorce, a child in trouble, a lost job—these and other situations leave us feeling awkward and without words. So instead of saying the wrong thing, we often say nothing. In the meantime, our friend goes on hurting and feels so alone.

Many years ago I was far from home, alone, and feeling troubled about a situation. Out of the blue, a letter arrived from a friend from college. We hadn’t kept in touch, and I have no idea how she found my address. It was the first—and only—letter I ever received from her. She had no idea I was feeling down; it was just a “hello friend” note. But just the knowledge that someone was thinking of me was all the boost I needed to pick myself up and carry on.

Who hasn’t needed a boost at some point? Life gives us all bumps and knocks along the way, some more difficult than others. At such times, we need someone to care, to give a hug, a pat on the back, or an uplifting word. We need a friend to build us up, to bring hope to our despair.

The gift of encouragement is one of the most valuable qualities one can possess. Anyone can become an encourager simply by allowing God to make her sensitive to the needs of others and then translating that awareness into action.

The ability to build up another is a gift from God, but it’s an ability everyone can develop. Yes, all of us.

Prayer:  Lord, lead me to someone today that needs an encouraging word, a helping hand, or even just a smile. Help me to be an encourager wherever I go.

Devotion by Mary Loudermilk

“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”  (Romans 14:19 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible)

Several years ago the ladies in our state began an intentional effort to encourage one another.  The need to be uplifted is greater than it has ever been.  I named it, “Operation Uplift.”

The object of our devotional verse was to persuade the church at Rome to not insist on their own perspective in matters of disagreement.  The word “edify” means to build up.  We need to purpose in our hearts that we are going to only uplift others as we build up the Kingdom of God.  We do that through encouragement.

Encouragement is what keeps us all going.  The older I get the more I appreciate the cards, texts, kind words and phone calls of someone who thought of me.  It’s one of the simplest ways to lift sagging spirits.

Join Operation Uplift and encourage someone today.  It doesn’t take a lot to do that.  Even a smile is encouraging.  We see enough sad faces on a daily basis to discourage us.  Don’t be part of the demolition team!

Prayer:  Lord, we pray for all those who are struggling.  Let me be one to edify or build up and not tear down.  The family of God is so wonderful!  You have called me to edify them.