As the Church, we are sent forth to minister hope to people who otherwise have no hope. This is basic to our calling as a Christian. All of us are called of God to be people who walk in HIS love and continue always in hope.
When we meet those that have been beaten down by life, or discouraged by situations, we share our hope with the hurting and bruised. This is elemental to the life of any born-again believer who has the love of God living inside of them.
Romans 5:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
It is with the assurance of salvation and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that we can offer hope to the hopeless and discouraged when we encounter them. This is not just something we “say” at meetings or brochures, but a practical way of living life. That’s one of the ways people know that we indeed are different. They know by the way we love one another.
One Sunday afternoon we were returning from Church and my wife had to make a stop at the hospital on the way home. A friend had contacted her and asked if she would come and pray for her ailing daughter for divine healing. The number of things that were wrong with the little girl was staggering and clearly a miracle was needed.
While my daughter, son, and I waited patiently in the car, my wife went up and spent about an hour in the hospital room praying for the little girl and encouraging her mother. As I sat there waiting for her to return, the Holy Spirit reminded me that this is what real ministry looks like. It’s out of sight, no one watching. It’s the real place of blessing.
As my wife returned she shared how encouraged and blessed the mother had been just that someone had stopped by. She wasn’t a member of our church or even more than an acquaintance but that didn’t matter because when LOVE calls, we respond in love.
We finally made it home and enjoyed some lunch and I sat down to catch up on emails. As I sat there resting I received a note from a woman whom we both knew and loved. She is a member of a family that is very dear to us and she was not doing well.
She wrote to me and asked if she could end her life. This broke my heart and I started chatting with her and encouraging her right away. I knew that in order for her to reach out to me like that, it had to be serious and it was.
After a few exchanges I looked over at my wife and said, we need to get ahold of the family … she’s in trouble. We need to pray.
It took a few minutes but we did finally reach other members of the woman’s family but they were not within reasonable driving distance to this woman and we knew the situation was a dangerous one.
Without hesitation, my wife grabbed her keys and said, “text me the address where she is” as she walked out the door. As she drove I continued to pour love and encouragement into this woman to reverse the venom that was in her from the enemy. The devil bites people with a poison of despair and it is deadly if it is not treated with lots of love.
After finding out exactly where she was and sending that information to my wife, we finally reached her. The woman was so surprised and began to sob as my wife approached her and sobbed for 5 hours before finally being admitted to a treatment facility for help.
The recovery process is long and filled with perils but LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT are the principle medicines she needed to pull back from the edge of death and start making her way back to her purpose and her life in Christ.
I share this story because this is ministry. This is how it really works. It’s not glamorous. It’s not easy work and there are a lot of tears and prayers that go on behind the scenes that many do not see. This is how real breakthrough happens for God’s people. It takes love.
When we gather together to worship and encourage God’s people, we know that it’s serious business. Many are coming from broken homes, dysfunctional relationships, tragedy and more. Some are victims of abuse and some are contemplating ending it all.
That’s why we do what we do. That’s the work of restoring HOPE to the Hopeless.
That’s what Encouragement Church is all about.