Was it the lack of Chick-fil-A?! 🐣

Growing up in upstate New York, I thought most people were naturally grumpy all the time. Maybe it’s the long cold winters or the lack of Chick-fil-A (how is that even POSSIBLE?!?). It just seemed as though folks walked around discontent and maybe even discouraged. I’m not saying they actually were, but the outward demeanor didn’t seem to reflect joy. When I moved to North Carolina and began interacting with the people of newhope, I experienced what Paul was talking about in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 when he said, “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” They were different…more content, outwardly happy…and encouraging!

During those seasons of our lives when discouragement creeps in, we have lessless joy, less of an attention span, less courage, less strength, less motivation, etc. It’s like our soul is collectively tired. It’s telling us we are running out of “gas”. When faced with this problem, how do we refill? We need encouragement!

Encouragement is empowering. It changes perception. It causes a person to see their struggles and their abilities differently. Encouragement is the act of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. It’s something we all need.

I love this quote by Worship Pastor Jeremy Riddle…

“Encouragement is like oxygen to the human spirit. Don’t forget you’re carrying someone else’s air. Encourage them; help them breathe.”

So, who has encouraged you in your life? I bet there’s a name or a situation that comes to mind for all of us. They’re the ones who were there when you thought you’d never laugh again. They were the ones who listened to you when others just talked at you. They were the “life-breathers” into your situation and the ones who refueled our tanks.

Which begs the question, if you have had those people in your own life, then when was the last time YOU encouraged someone? Let’s go encourage someone today. It’s a way of living out what Paul tells the church in 1 Thessalonians and I promise you, it will not only refuel their tank, but it will bless the heart of God!

I hope you’ll join us this Sunday at any newhope campus as we praise the name above all names and the greatest encourager of our souls. You belong here – and I promise you will leave encouraged and uplifted!

Dave Bookhout
Executive Director of Creative Arts & Worship


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