The Medicine of Encouragement
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. ~Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety is being overcome with stressful care, undue burdens, and bothersome worries. Much of our anxious care is a result of worries that we have about relationships, finances, illness, employment, and failure. Everyone carries their burdens in a different way, but all of us have burdens which affect our wellbeing. Solomon tells us how we can help those who have anxious cares and worry. Let us see how we can dispense the medicine of encouragement.
We see the mishap.
“Heaviness in the heart of man....” The Hebrew word for heaviness means anxious care. It describes someone carrying heavy burdens that consume his thoughts. He finds himself restless, unable to concentrate, having a loss of appetite, and having difficulty sleeping. Sadness is written all over his face, with creases in the forehead and a look that tells others he is carrying a heavy weight. When we have this heaviness of the heart, we tend to think of the worst that will happen. We think about what we could lose, what setbacks we might incur, what others might think of us, and withdrawing ourselves from the fellowship of family and friends. Perhaps you know someone carrying heavy burdens. While it might sound easy for you to tell him to speak with you, you must remember that a person who carries such heaviness finds it difficult to articulate and share what he is going through.
We see the misery.
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop.” Heaviness, or anxious care, makes a person bend under its weight. Solomon said that the heart stoops. The literal idea is that the burden has you under its control. It is so strong that you are in submission to its power. It can be so strong that you become antisocial. You can descend into serious depression. You can be withdrawn from others or extremely irritable and prone to lashing out. You can be a miserable person who despises what you are going through. Over a period of time, this heaviness leads to elevated blood pressure and serious health risks including ulcers, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
We see the medicine.
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” A good word is a word of encouragement. It is a word fitly spoken. First, the good word is God’s Word. When we are carrying heavy burdens, the Bible should be our source for comfort and guidance. The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Second, God uses us as encouragers to those who have heavy hearts. A good word from us is sharing Scripture that encourages the soul. A good word is praying with and for the other person. A good word is reminding the one who is heavy that God loves and has not forsaken him and to have faith in God. A good word is sending a text message or an email letting him know that you love him and are praying for him. A good word restores confidence, happiness, and faith in God.
We see the ministry.
We tend to overlook it, but all of us can have a vital ministry of encouraging others. An effective minister must be proactive on one hand and responsive on the other. We must be consistent. We must be transparent and very caring. We must make the time and sacrifice, when needed, to be an effective encourager. This morning, find someone who is overcome with heaviness and be an encourager with good words.
Have an encouraging God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Titus-Philemon