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And he (Josiah) set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 35:2, NKJV)

When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade? In times of trouble and despair, do you have friends you can trust and turn to for guidance? Each day I learn of people pummeled by put downs, conquered by criticisms, and egged on by egos. Little encouragement occurs. In contrast I thank God for the people God has sent into my life at various times. Without distorting the situation these individuals encouraged me to not give up after my life-threatening problems, keep on with my writing, and pray for those who mistreated me.

God’s Word reminds me of Caleb who urged the Israelites to enter the Promised Land, of Abigail who prevented her husband from disrupting a nation, and of Barnabas who urged other Christians to accept Paul who had once persecuted Christians. The example I recently focused on was Josiah, King of Judah. His reign saw Canaanite idols destroyed, the Book of the Law discovered, the temple rebuilt, and the long-neglected Passover celebrated. I think one reason for Josiah’s success was the encouragement he gave to those who served in the house of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 35:2) 

As did Josiah king of old,

Encourage others, please be bold.

Listen carefully, choose each word,

Gently point them to the Lord.

Abigail, Barnabas, and Caleb displayed the ABC’s of encouragement. 

Read the stories of encouragement cited in Numbers 14:7-14, 1 Samuel 25, Acts 13-14, and 2 Chronicles 34-35. 

Look up the Hebrew word for encourage in a concordance. 

How have you encouraged others in your life?