When I came home from East Asia after living there for four years, this sign was on my bed. Mom had written these words on a poster board to welcome me home. It made me smile and cry at the same time, in a good way. I felt loved and valued. I took a picture of it so I could keep it with me as a sweet reminder.

How do you feel when you hear these words from someone?

I believe in you.

I’m praying for you.

You’re doing a great job.

You can do this!

Thank you.

I love you.

When I hear those words, I am encouraged. They make me smile and spur me on to keep going.

Has someone encouraged you this week? Have you encouraged someone lately?

Paul was a great encourager to his disciples and children in the faith, as evidenced in his epistles. It is fitting that he began his final letter to Timothy with words of encouragement.

In 2 Timothy 1:1-7, Paul expressed encouragement to Timothy in five ways. What a great example to follow as we encourage others.

  1. Love them (vs. 2, 4). Don’t just tell them, but show them by your actions.
  2. Pray for them (v. 3). Ask God to keep reminding you to pray for them.
  3. Affirm them (v. 5). We all get discouraged or begin to doubt ourselves, and sometimes all it takes is for someone to affirm us to get us out of our “funk.”
  4. Exhort them (v. 6). Sometimes we have to give others a gentle shove to get them moving in the right direction or moving at all.
  5. Remind them (v. 7). Remind them of all the resources available to them in Christ.

Is there someone you can encourage today? Maybe you need to tell someone, I believe in you. I love you. You can do this.

Or perhaps you need to exhort someone who is not being all that God intended for them to be.

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

Whom can you encourage today? I’d love to hear what encourages you.