Listen and Encourage

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 25:11, 12: 25, 13:12, 15:23, King James Version

Something very exciting and wonderful happened to me last night and I felt like I was going to explode with happiness but there was nobody around that I could share it with so I lost some of the joy and excitement that I was feeling. It was like someone had taken a pin and pricked a balloon and some of the air went out of the balloon.

While it is important that we listen to people when they are hurting, I believe it is just as important, if not more important to listen to them when they are excited. If we stay on the mountain tops of happiness, excitement and joy, we will spend far less time down in the valleys of despair, hopelessness, depression and discouragement.

Don't let anyone tell you that it is impossible to stay on the mountain tops because that is a lie straight from the pits of hell! Yes, we will have times of discouragement, loneliness and despair due to difficult circumstances, heartaches, criticism, ridicule, scorn and sarcasm. However if Jesus lives in our hearts, He will be faithful to once again refresh our hearts with His understanding, joy, unconditional love, happiness, mercy, grace and kindness. Indeed, Jesus is able to keep us on the mountain tops.

Two years ago, I received an email from a pastor who was very discouraged and hurting. He told me "I preach my heart out and nobody says "Amen," smiles or laughs at the humorous points in my sermons." He said that he had been the pastor at this church for five years and no one had ever invited him and his wife to dinner. The pastor told me "I love God and it is my desire to serve Him, but I am human and sometimes I get very discouraged. Would you please pray for me?" How my heart went out to Him!

Joyce Landorf, an author and speaker, says on one of her teaching tapes "Men and women are leaving full time service in droves because we have not encouraged them." We have impressed them with our "spirituality" and just knocked a hole in their relationship with others and with God. May God forgive us for not encouraging our pastors, missionaries and evangelists as He has commanded us to do. One day we will stand before a Holy God and give an account of why we neglected to do what He told us to do.

God has told us over and over that we are to be encouragers to one another. It is vital and urgent that we listen when the person is happy and excited because if we don't listen to them while they are happy, satan will deflate their balloon of happiness and joy! This needs to be emphasized so let me repeat this, It is vital and urgent that we listen when the person is happy and excited because if we don't listen to them while they are happy, satan will deflate their balloon of happiness and joy.

If you want to encourage others and thereby make Jesus happy, start listening to them when they are excited and happy. I believe with all of my heart that if we were to do this on a consistent basis, there would be a lot less people who would become so discouraged and lonely that they would contemplate suicide, or worse, actually kill themselves. O that we would have a heart full of compassion for others as Jesus has for us and become the encouragers that God has commanded us to be!

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Copyright by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. http://www.heavenwardbound.com

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