Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”  NKJV

We have all had times when we either received an encouraging word or gave one.  Through the years, I have had people tell me, “You just don’t know how much what you said meant to me.”  I have often been utterly unaware that I said anything of particular significance. Still, somehow the Holy Spirit directed my words to be the right word at the right time for the right situation to produce the correct result.  I have received words of encouragement in the same manner.  Through those situations, I have come to appreciate the power of a word of encouragement.

When a person begins to succumb to anxiety, fear, frustration, or worry, it brings depression and weighs down the heart.  It is like carrying a load you cannot see but can feel and exhausts you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  It will sap your strength and propel you into the darkness and, if not checked, can lead to incredibly destructive self-pity. 

David said in Psalm 94:19, “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.”  Jesus urged us in John 14 to reject a troubled heart by focusing on His promise and provision.  Encouragement is incredibly powerful because it enables a person to combat discouragement and renews a sense of worth and significance in the heart.  Encouragement helps fuel or empower a person to move out of the shadows into the light of God’s promises and purposes.  Paul instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” NIV

Always remember the times when you needed someone to give you an encouraging word and how much it uplifted your heart and spirit.  Instead of looking down on someone suffering from depression because of anxiety, remember that except for the Grace of God, which could be you, and you have been discouraged and depressed.  I never want to receive or give flattery, but I want to give and receive encouragement. 

I have had times when simply giving me a word of cheer was insufficient and needed to be slapped in the face (figuratively) with the reality of my situation.  I needed to be challenged to shake off the depression and look to the Word of God for my hope and help.  I remember once battling discouragement having a friend who would begin singing when he saw me.  It irritated me initially, but after a few times, it began to stir something inside, and as the chains of despair began to break, I could see what he was doing and rejoice with him. 

You never know the power a kind and encouraging word will have in and on a person’s life.  Therefore, remember what God has brought you out of and always have a word of encouragement for a brother or sister battling anxiety.  Your encouragement may be the catalyst that lifts them from the darkness into a new walk of victory.

Blessings as you go through this day!

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