Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

Friend to Friend

You have heard the old saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Truer words were never spoken than when we are talking about encouragement. We all need encouragement – especially during the tough times. Those “tough” times can come in all shapes, sizes and forms and can vary from person to person.

We have one child who has been known to run an extremely high fever, walk around on a broken foot, and have a headache that would put me in bed … all without a word of complaint. The doctors have always been amazed at this child’s high level of pain tolerance.

We have another child who has been known to dissolve into hysterics at the sight of a splinter embedded in a finger and turn ghastly pale and almost faint at the mere smell of the doctor’s office. The doctors have been amazed at this child’s low level of pain tolerance.

The difference between these two children does not reflect a right or wrong reaction. It is what it is. When each child was in pain, they both needed understanding, compassion, and encouragement.

When I went through my first major battle with clinical depression, one of the most precious groups of encouragers was the elders of the church where my husband was the pastor. With my permission, Dan shared with them what I was going through and asked them to pray. They did pray. But these men didn’t think prayer was enough. These amazing angels wanted to do more by putting feet and hands to those prayers and did not stop until they came up with a rescue plan for me.

Our church had five services each weekend and because I was so emotionally frail, I never knew which service I would be able to attend until I was on the way. Dan would relay the message that I was coming, and the elders went into action.

One would meet me at the car and escort me inside. Many times, an elder would press a note of encouragement into my hand as he passed the offering plate. If he sensed I was in trouble or caught in a draining conversation, he would swoop in, take me by the arm and say, “Excuse us, please. Mary is needed elsewhere.” I was then ushered to my car, hugged and told, “We are praying for you. We love you. Go home.”

I know. It was amazing! It was also a main factor in my recovery. Those men lived out the truth Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 when he said, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).

I was not alone in my struggle. There are those who suffer alone and in silence, unable to scrape up the courage to share their pain and have no advocate to sound the alarm on their behalf. I believe God will show us how to encourage and build them up. He will show us how to help the weak and be patient with the broken lambs who cross our path … if we ask Him to do so.

Are you willing to share your pain with others and allow God to use them in your life as a source of encouragement? Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the circle of encouragement.

Let’s Pray

Father, I am amazed at how You love me through others. Thank You for the gift of encouragement. Help me receive that gift and then give it away to someone else in need. I want to be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting around me. Give me eyes to see them and love them, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now it’s Your Turn

Have you ever experienced encouragement that was life-giving?
Leave a comment and note the person’s name who encouraged you.
Remember that experience and commit to giving that encouragement away to someone else today.

More from the Girlfriends

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11 Responses to “The Circle of Encouragement”

  1. McCoy Maura says:

    A wonderful Angel who spent 2 hours combing, washing and cutting my daughters hair when she was very ill and in the ICU. And refused any payment (she makes her living as a stylist). Her name is Christin ❤️😇

  2. Jen G says:

    I recently received some disturbing news related to my health. I had to wait 3 weeks for an appointment with my nuerologist, and it seemed like I was waiting for eternity. I found myself in some very dark places. Thankful for a few friends who constantly checked up in and sent encouraging messages. My sweet friend Angela would come over and massage my neck and head. I can’t even put into words how much that meant and how humbling that was. I also have a small prayer group that would check in and constantly speak life into my situation. Without these ladies I would not have had the energy to keep moving forward. Praise the Lord I received a good report yesterday and will not need to have the major surgery that was in question. God is so good❤️

  3. Edith says:

    My precious dear friend, Judy, who gives words of encouragement when my past comes roaring back at me and almost cripples me at times to move forward with Jesus where I can trust Him more each day and that He has forgiven me totally for all my sins and I need to forgive myself. I am a work in progress but thank God for friends like Judy that comes along and encourages you to keep walking towards Jesus and following Him. Thank you Mary for your ministry! Many blessing to all you GiGs!

  4. Carol says:

    I was the “woman at the well”. I didn’t feel I was able to be forgiven,and accepted back to God.
    A young leader, from the church I now call “home”; gently invited me to come and attend. His invitation was so easy,”I think you’ll like our services. We’re not stuffy…We love everybody!”
    His name is Alex.

  5. Jeanne says:

    My dear friend Shirley is a prayer warrior The power of prayers.
    God wants to hear from us he wants us to pray for each other together or by ourselves in a quiet place.
    Through her prayers for me and my family I have seen God’s work.
    I know without a shadow of a doubt that there’s a God our father in heaven who loves us greatly and wants us to show his love through us and help others and care for others and love them no matter who they are.
    if we all had love and compassion for each other what a better place this earth would be.

    Dear heavenly father meet us in that place of loneliness and pain give us strength , wisdom and people around us who love ,care, and have compassion
    let us pray for those all around us left them up in prayer in the name of our son Jesus Christ amen

  6. cathy says:

    The evening I found out that I had breast cancer, my friend Judy came to my house to hug and cry with me! How I needed that hug! I won’t ever forget her compassion in my hour of need.

  7. Judi says:

    My dear friend Ginette who has the love of God in her and shares with compassion and generosity. She is an example of our living God thru her kindness, actions and encouragement. Thank you for uplifting me in my time of need. Thank you Jesus for your love, and the love of family and friends.

  8. Pam B says:


    These last six months have been challenging and I am the go to person for everyone but I can never me when I am hurting,I close off from everyone

    So I have a best friend from church who I asked to come over and he did.I hugged him and cried and told him I am hurting so bad and he let me cry and told me get it out
    And no matter what keep faith and trust in God.That was two weeks ago a cry and encouraging words helped.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Mary, thank you for using the words “emotionally fragile.” That really gives me language for what I feel I’m going through right now. I ask for prayer in becoming emotionally resilient and fit.

  10. Pamela says:

    My dear friends Bill and Kay have not ceased to pray for me and s check in on me every single day since my husband died 18 months ago.

  11. Pamela says:

    I thank God for my dear friend Lisa. She offers me encouragement when I need it the most and she always remembers important dates, that I would never expect her to remember, like my late daughter’s birthday and the time of year when God took my daughter. She knows that I will always be devastated by my daughter’s sudden passing and offers her support and encouraging words from scripture. She goes through bad times herself, but always has time to comfort a friend. She is an angel. She is also the reason why I read
    G.I.G. She introduced me to these wonderful devotionals.

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