“Anxious fear brings depression, but a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.”Proverbs 12:25 TPT
A Timely Word
King Solomon, often called “the wisest man that ever lived,” recognised not just the awfulness of depression, but one of its main causes. Fear.
There’s a lot of fear mongering going on in the world today. Social media is probably the biggest spreader of fear, through fake news, negativity, and people bickering, arguing and attacking one another. A close second is tabloid newspapers. Fear mongering causes people to lose heart.
A Good Word
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” (Proverbs 12:25 ESV)
An anxious heart can be helped by a simple ‘good word.’ Encouragement doesn’t cost the giver of it anything, but can be invaluable to the one who receives it. Our words can literally change a person’s life, for the better or worse. And it’s our choice how we use our words.
What is a ‘good word’? Without lecturing or being ‘preachy’ we can encourage people with a few choice words; words that remind them of who God is – how great, how faithful, how good, how loving. Good words are filled with insight, and help recipient gain a proper perspective, and renewed hope.
Jesus Taught Us How
Jesus led by example, and frequently spoke a simple ‘good word’ to restore hope, peace and joy to the hearts of His disciples and the people He ministered to. Here are just a few examples:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
“Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2 ESV)
“And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50 ESV)
“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” (Luke 8:48 ESV)
“But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” (Luke 8:50 ESV)
That last one, from Luke’s gospel, is a wonderful example. With a few choice, simple words Jesus counteracted the affects of the negative, unbelieving words on this father’s heart, replacing his fear with faith and hope.
We can’t begin to imagine the power of a few simple words of encouragement, from hearts and lips surrendered to Jesus. Will you speak ‘good words’ of encouragement to someone today?