Today’s Scripture: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.  Proverbs 25:11

One of my most prized possessions is a short, little email. It says: “I know that your situation isn’t easy and that times are hard. But God’s going to give you the grace to get through it and use you to reach people with the Gospel.”

The message was a word of encouragement during a very difficult time in my life. My wife and I were going through financial difficulties, and we’d recently had to make several decisions that proved unpopular with immediate acquaintances. When it seemed like everyone was against us, one person thought to send us a gracious note. God used that small message to bless and comfort us in a mighty way, and it made going through that hard time much easier than it otherwise would have been.

This experience demonstrates that if you want a great return on an investment, it’s hard to do better than encouragement. A few kind words at the right moment can provide an immense blessing to the recipient. In fact, one of the most precious things in life is when someone says the right thing at the right time. It’s more precious than an apple of gold in a picture of silver.

Suppose, however, that in my situation the word of encouragement had never come? We would have remained in a hard situation without any relief or ease of burden. My wife and I are hardly unique in this aspect of life. There are other people in difficult situations all over the country, and all of them need a loving word of grace just as badly as we did.

Encouragement is a universal need and, unfortunately, one that often goes unmet. How often does God want to use us to bless someone else, but we fail to do so? I know that I’ve often been found lacking in encouraging others. Encouragement doesn’t have to be a big or expensive gift. Often all that is needed is simply a gracious note or a kind word.

Let’s all resolve to do better in the future and to keep watch for those who are hurt and struggling. When we see someone in a trial or heartache, let’s give them some grace and encouragement. Those words will mean more than any treasure because God has used our words in wonderful ways.

Devotional by Pastor C.J Armstrong