For years, (in)courage has been known as a place to “find yourself among friends.” We’ve spent a good amount of time focusing on friendship. You’ve shared your stories and we’ve shared ours. We’ve mostly laughed together but also shed a few tears. You’ve told us about your friendship successes and your friendship break-ups. We’ve tackled this hard, messy, wonderful topic of friendship through the lens of Jesus.
No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 (CSB)
Without a doubt, the ultimate example of friendship is Jesus Christ. He gave His life to save His friends. He cared for His friends, challenged His friends, encouraged His friends, and enjoyed His friends. While Christ is the ultimate example of friendship, Scripture is full of many other beautiful examples of purposeful friendship that encourage, build up, care for, and give life to others.
Starting on Monday, March 4th, you’re invited to join us as we kick-off the second reading plan (Friendship on Purpose) of our Online Bible Study of the (in)courage Devotional Bible! Through reflection questions, weekly videos, and just diving into God’s word together, we will spend the next four weeks exploring the theme of friendship through the lens of the most faithful friend who ever lived — Jesus.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Each person will need a copy of the (in)courage Devotional Bible.
2. You’ll need to sign up to officially join the study — just click here to register. (If you’ve already been studying with us during the month of February, there is no need to sign up again.)
2. The next section of the study starts on March 4.
3. From February to April, we are going through three of the Bible’s reading plans together — Better Together (this is just finished up now), Friendship on Purpose (begins March 4), and Imperfect Hospitality (begins April 1).
4. The study will take place through email and in a Facebook group and will consist of discussion, weekly videos, women of courage deep dives, and fun surprises along the way. When you sign up, you’ll receive a link to the Facebook group in your welcome email.
5. There will also be a weekly email recap sent out, so if someone does not have Facebook, they will still be able to access the videos. Share this page with your Facebook-less friends so they can join the study with you!
To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a preview from one of the devotions in the Friendship on Purpose reading plan written by (in)courage Contributor, Anna Rendell:
Encouraging one another doesn’t sound so hard. A fist bump here; an “atta girl” there; a quick text to say, “Hang in there, you can do this!”; a hug when you see a friend in person.
Encouraging one another sounds pretty easy, until you realize it’s not.
What happens when she gets the opportunity that passed you by? What about when your co-worker gets the credit for a job well done that couldn’t have happened without you? When that mom in your moms’ group already has everything figured out? When it’s your spouse, and if he’d followed your suggestions in the first place, things wouldn’t be so messy? When it’s a weary-looking shopper in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, and you may embarrass yourself — or them?
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (CSB)
Encouragement sounds simple, but if our own emotions get in the way, it can be difficult to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Thoughts barge in and interfere with our actions, such as: She doesn’t need me to tell her she’s doing a good job; she must know already, or I don’t even know that lady — she’ll think I’m a weirdo! Don’t we want to be encouraged ourselves? Don’t we deserve to be built up too?
We do. You do. But the Lord doesn’t give us a free pass to withhold encouragement because of jealousy or fear. He does ask us to speak life into the hearts of others no matter what because that’s what He does for us. I know it can be hard. I know that for many reasons you may not always feel like building someone else up. Encouraging words don’t always come naturally, and there can be a fear of those words — of our hearts — being rejected.
Anytime we put our hearts on the line, we take a leap of faith. But in the leaping, we allow the Lord to hold our hand.
Go ahead, offer the encouraging word nearly spilling from your lips, held back only by fear. Grab the hand of God and let Him guide you. Following His lead will never let you down. “Encourage one another and build each other up.” It’s as simple — and sometimes as difficult — as that.
We love those words by Anna! If you sign up for the online Bible study, you’ll also receive a video next week featuring a conversation between Anna and Becky Keife!
To celebrate the kick-off of the Friendship on Purpose Reading plan, we are giving away a five copies of the (in)courage Devotional Bible! To be entered into the giveaway, leave a comment telling us how you can boldly encourage and build up someone in your life this week.
And don’t forget to sign up for the Online Bible Study by clicking here. We hope you’ll join us!
To celebrate the kick-off of the Friendship on Purpose reading plan, @incourage is giving away a five copies of the (in)courage Devotional Bible! Get details and enter here: Click To Tweet
Nikeia Miller says
This devotion and new upcoming study on friendship is so timely and I know it’s the Holy Spirit reminding me of the grace of encouragement that I shall continue to walk in. This past week was my birthday and I turned 39 and the Holy Spirit dropped an idea of implementing 39 days of creating a healthy habit which will yield results of a lifestyle change and it starts today. I have several women who have partnered with me on this journey and I’m super excited because I know the impact that shall leave on each of those who have said “Yes and Amen”. I am thankful for this word because it has encouraged me to keep building a community of woman who desire to grown in becoming the best version of themselves. For those who shall read this comment and want to join along, please check out my IG business page called Fitnessnsideout
Nikeia Miller says
I just typed up this long comment and apparently it didn’t saved. ♀️ However, I was sharing that this message was so timely and another reminder and encouragement for me because the lord has graced me to encourage. I love encouraging people and especially women. This devotion is also in alignment with what the Holy Spirit dropped in my spirit to do starting today. This past week, I turned 39 on my bday and I am joining other women who have committed to partner me for the next 39 days by creating a healthy habit and sticking to it which would hopefully lead to a lifestyle change. During this time, I will be encouraging them along the way to stay consistent and committed.
Michele Morin says
Not sure how “bold” it is, but my favorite way of encouraging others is handwritten notes.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Good morning ladies,
Sounds like a great study that I will sign up for! Having moved around the country a lot, my friends have become my family away from home. I don’t know what I’d do without the awesome friends I have. Also, so thankful for the friendships I’ve formed here at (in)courage. This week, I plan to keep encouraging writers and readers here. I also have a friend who just lost her daughter and I am making a point to let her know she is loved and lifted in prayer and I will be there for her to just listen, be a shoulder to cry on, and to give her gentle hugs. Thanks (in)courage for investing in the cause of friendship.
Trish Fields says
I plan on fellowship with my journaling committees and co- workers. I want to be encouraging to them as well as my family. Encouraging others can be so rewarding. It is very nice to be encouraged as well!✝️
Beth Williams says
Encouragement is my spiritual gift. It comes naturally to me. The other day a family lost a loved one in the hospital. As I walked by I put my hand on their back & told them I was sorry. Not much, but I didn’t know them or the person who died. Never ever take for granted someone doesn’t need encouragement. We all do. I even encourage my pastor’s wife. She is leading the choir now & getting ready for their Easter cantata. I tell what a good job she has done & let choir know I enjoyed them. One way I encourage people is through emails, texts, or written cards. Just a simple hello I’m thinking of you today. I say prayers for others often. Let the person know I’ve been praying for them in this situation. Love giving out pats on the back or hugs. Just letting some know someone cares.
Jennifer H says
I want to encourage my third grade students today.
Mary Logan says
My best friend is leaving on a short bucket list trip with her daughter this morning. Fear has tried to creep in and change her mind. I just sent her a text encouraging her to enjoy this trip and honor the girl in her and live. I know God will show up and her trip will be a blessing.
Faith Simsick says
I plan to encourage others by sending cards, sharing a compliment with strangers, simply smiling – even while driving! Encouragement from friends -and strangers – has been carrying me through my cancer healing journey the past 7 months and am so grateful for the healing balm it has been. I’ve built unexpected friendships During this time as a result of theses encouragements. The “little things” make a huge difference. A quick text, a funny card, kind voice mail, smile from a stranger – all perfectly timed and welcomed gifts of love from our Father.
Looking forward to the study – friendship as a mom (of 3 littles) takes on a new structure and it’s not easy! Not easy to carve out time for myself much less for my friendships. Building new friendships? Whaaaa? We all have too much on our Mama plates and not enough time!
I was blessed to be given a copy of this bible, so if I win then I will encourage someone by giving it away.
Maureen Gaeke says
I can send cards to my kids elementary school,teachers telling them thank you for doing a hard job. They deserve thanks and recognition for all the time they put in to make school fun. We are without a principal right now do it has been hard for them to focus.
One way I want to encourage others: When I want to say I’m praying for someone, I want to instead pray with them there and then. Right on the spot!
GAIL Hinson says
What would I be without a few good friend sisters who mutually care for, challenge, encourage and enjoy each other. God didn’t give me biological sisters, but my Christian sisters are family. So thankful for each of the friends in my life as well as the sisters in this (In)Courage community. Looking forward to this study together. I’m getting ready to retire from the workplace and looking forward to having more opportunities to encourage others in my community.
I have a friend who is going through a discernment process regarding stepping into formal ministry. If so, how, when and where… My encouragement to her is listening and praying with and for her. I’m heading out now to meet, walk and talk. Plus do that listen and pray thing. 🙂
I try to encourage my teen daughter every day. I have a desire to help teen girls. I remember how hard it was for me and how much I wished I had somewhere or someone to turn to.
Joan Moore says
I have a dear friend going through some very serious issues with her adult daughter. Daily I try to encourage her by “ just listening”. While I share scripture with her, love her and offer tangible acts of love, my best encouragement is to “just listen” and PRAY Without Ceasing!!!
Ann Hubbard says
This sounds like a great study for me. I’ve always been an encourager, it I find it more difficult as I deal with my own feelings of loneliness and discouragement as a widow. I’m looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me
I try to be encouraging whenever I see someone; right now it’s mostly my darling hubby and one son who lives at home, because I can’t go out in public very often since I have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). My son said to me the other day that he really appreciates my prayers for him, and he especially remembers how I prayed for him growing up “that he would grow into a godly Christian man” ~ that was so encouraging to me!
The other thing I try to do is to keep in touch by e-mail with friends and I’ve been able to give them encouraging words at times.
I signed up for the study initially and bought the Kindle version of the Bible (for a variety of reasons, one of which is I have cataracts and I can make the print large enough, which isn’t always possible with actual books), but I must say it’s been difficult to keep up because I’m very technologically challenged and trying to find the right pages each time has been so time consuming that I’m discouraged. I may be mostly home bound, but I do have responsibilities and I guess I should have bought the physical book. 🙁 Hope I can find someone to help me figure out how to flip back and forth on the Kindle version (reading straight through a regular book never posed a problem so I didn’t even think about it when I ordered).
In His grace, Kay
Martha Troxel says
Hi! I have figured out some things about navigating the Kindle version of the InCourage Bible that I hope will help you. If you click anywhere on a page , a spread of 3 pages shows. The page in the middle is the one you are on and the other 2 are the one before and after it. At the bottom there’s a line with one or more dots with numbers along it. The numbers are page numbers and the dots show where that page is in relationship to the entire Bible. Also along that line is a white circle outlined in black. It is used to scroll in either direction. It’s like zooming /zipping to a new page . There’s also a couple of tables of contents on the front of the Bible. One is for each book and the second is for each verse. They both are linked to the book or verse. I usually go to the contents listing the individual books and when I get there,I flip pages to where I want to read.
Linda Purcel says
I’ve been using the kindle version with mixed results. But lately I findvthe page number for the devotion then go there first cause the Scripture is usually there too
When you’re in the screen with the 3 pages look up top and to the left is 3 horizontal lines on top of each other. Click on that and when the options drop down click on Page then enter the page number in the box and click Go. It will take you to the devotional then just scroll left or right to find the scriptures. Hope this helps.
Oooops just realized that’s for kindle on my phone. The option is on the regular kindle too. In the settings at top click on Go To and the option is there too.
I have a friend who lost her husband and needs courage and encouragement every day to continue, as she is raising her son.
Mary Worzel says
I try to send a note of encouragment to people every day. We are all going through our own trials and i pass along little notes of encouragement to people who live far away or offer a smile to the person in the grocery store. Its a gift i can give ( and receive) that costs me, only?, the love in my heart . The sun is shining. Its a cold winter day, but the love of God will keep us warm. Keep smiling.
My favorite way to encourage is a handwritten note. There is something special about receiving personal mail these days, although a well timed text is also a blessing. I just sent an “encouraging” word to a friend who is wading through an unwanted divorce and a friend who is in the thick of tax season; very busy both at work and home. The other way I try to encourage is to speak truth into my niece’s life as there is so much negativity for kids these days.
Kimberly C Thompson says
I am continuing to Encourage my Daughters Friend . Her mother is Mentally Ill and she has lost her way with a Lifetime of feeling Unloved . She is seeing a Christian Therapist and in this Bible Study . We have had alot of “following the Holy Spirit ” moments that has coincided with her Therapy…..this Study and other things ….please pray for her
Tiffany Johnson says
If I know my friend is going through something I send her verse that has helped me. I like to find pictures of the verse on Pinterest and send that with some encouraging words.
Lori Vega Kachowski says
Having just experienced IF Gathering in my little town of Fort St John, BC, I am now more than ever aware of the almost epidemic of loneliness that is so prevalent these days. Hearing the stories of woman sharing how much they just need healthy community and talking with other IF ladies who just needed the connection of being together, learning together, growing together and sharing a meal together. It was so great and I am more purposed that ever go reach out to others with encouragement, friendship, and discipleship. ❤️
Cassady Schulte says
I always love sending little gifts that make me think of specific people, and this week I mailed a thank-you gift of some specialty coffee that’s roasted here in Arkansas to some friends-of-a-friends who let me stay with them when I visited San Diego in January. There was a twinge of fear that they might find it silly or awkward or too much or not enough to warrant mailing a box all the way to California…we’re not even Facebook friends! But the Lord reminded me (as this post has also done!), that it is always right to do the most loving thing. And chances are, people won’t be nearly as embarrassed or made uncomfortable by our simple gestures of love as the enemy would have us think. Thanks for the encouragement! I don’t have an (in)courage study Bible yet, but I’d love to join the study!
Lori Vega Kachowski says
I just typed a long comment but apparently it didn’t go through.
The gist of it was that so many woman out there are so very lonely. They need connection, encouragement and friendship. After attending an IF local in my little town of FSJ, BC Canada I am now more purposed then ever to reach out to the woman of my community in any way that I can to be a light and an encouragement. To not only befriend but disciple the women who God places in my path. This devotional bible is such a great tool in connecting with others and for sharing the Good News!!
I can boldly encourage others when I remember to think like a child. A child never question if it’s a safe appropriate time or if the environment is safe. Nope, they just ask away with an innocent genuine heart. I know I had mentioned this story a while ago but this is truly what we all as adult and as Christ followers should inspire to do. My daughter was in the 4th grade and she had grabbed a ton of business like cards to school and distributed them out to whomever she felt needed the love of Christ. Well unbeknownst to me that she was distributing these at her school, I received a call from the principle that she was caught doing this and was firmly reminded from the principle that she needs to stop. I apologized to him but in my heart, I was filled with joy as I knew she was doing exactly what I was afraid of doing. She was stepping out in her faith and being a little evangelist. When she came home that afternoon, I asked her why did she do that, she simply stated that she distributed those cards to those who she felt in her heart that could use a little bit of God in their life, to see the light. Made me so happy…
This is what following His lead and boldly stepping out in faith means…. Let us be reminded to have the boldness of a child and be able to step out to encourage one another anytime and anywhere needed. One word of encouragement could mean all the difference in the life of someone else.
It was the header: “Following His Lead Will Never Let You Down” that caught my eye and my heart jumped for joy because it was just what I needed to read today. You’ve encouraged me and I pray I can pass that encouragement along to whomever God puts in my path.
Mari-Anna Stålnacke says
Encouragement is such a huge thing to uplift each other. This week I sent a postcard to a person who is retiring, so nothing wild but I hope the postcard will bring joy to the recipient. Thanks for the fun contest. Blessings to you!
Ana Belen says
Hi ive been participating in the OBS, it has been amazing, how all those women encourage each other, praying, reading beautiful and powerful testimonies of life and being part of their joyful, sadness, suffering, etc. I like to journaling and id like than.more and more women s been part of this. Thanks you all.
I would like to encourage my husband. I have Crohn’s Disease and am currently having other health issues. He works two full time jobs and now is taking care of me and the house. He rarely ever complains. Sometimes I don’t know how he does it all. Hopefully, I can do this through expressing thankfulness and appreciation. I also like to leave notes in his lunch. But, I also would like to encourage anyone around me in need of encouragement. We all need to be lifted up from time to time.
We have a group of 15 women who all graduated from high school together that keep up a messenger page, ..we are 66 yrs old in 2019, that’s 48 years since graduation! We encourage each other daily and pray for each other and our families ! We meet once a month for lunch and each November we rent a beach house and spend a long weekend together, talking, laughing, sometimes crying but always just enjoying each others company! I can’t imagine not having this group of “girls” in my life
My mom has always told me that I have a gift of encouraging others even when I’m needing encouragement. I find strength in encouraging other women who find themselves in situations they least expected to be in, and by encouraging them and bringing hope from His word, I find peace within my soul. His very real and reassuring presence allows me to see Him in everything I’m going through personally as I minister to others. This devotional would help me journey through my faith in a whole new way from other devotionals and studies I’ve participated in. I am always looking for ways to strengthen my faith while helping other women both come to Christ and remain in His arms.
Rhonda Briggs says
I nave been enjoying this study! It has challenged me to examine my thoughts and feelings.
One of the ways I encourage my friends is with handwritten notes. I’m also challenged to open my heart and pray for each person I write to.
Kimberly Burch says
This past week after having a basal cell carcinoma removed from my back I was told my insurance would not cover a safe & minimally invasive procedure to remove a basal cell carcinoma from my face. Instead I was told I will need to have a large section of my right cheek removed which will compromise the structure of my face requiring plastic surgery under my eye to correct the damage, leaving a large scar & possibly a follow up surgery if they don’t get all the cancer. Filed an appeal. Still I spent the week volunteering in my son’s school teaching with Arise2Read, lead my Wednesday night Bible study, taught my class in community Bible study. My trust in God does not waver & my spirits are high & many friends have told me this has encouraged them to see how I have handled going through this trial. I pray if it is in God’s will He will heal me & be glorified!
I plan to send a card of encouragement and prayers to a friend who has had a rough week.
I like to pick a friend or family member each day and text them my prayer for them based on whatever I know they are going through or whatever the Lord lays on my heart for them.
I can encourage someone by praying for something that they need prayers for or just by listening to them.
I try to be encouraging to my friends and family simply by being there to lend a helping hand or a listening ear.
Alana Morgan says
Hmmm, well this may not be typically bold but I encourage by being an excellent listener. Also, I share beautiful quotes and or daily Bible verses personally and on different media’s. Thank you (in)courage for your ‘boldness’
Rhonda Smith says
I call it “living alert.” Be more aware of those God puts in my path and pray for them / pray with them.
Julie B says
Encouraging someone who has been feeling emotionally low lately.
Sarah Pinault says
This week it would have to be my husband. He has a big Scouting event this weekend that fell into his lap and he is SUPER stressed. Sometimes he gets the worst of me, because I know I can be real with him, but I need to let him have the best this weekend to support his super stressed out days.
Jamie Decker says
My sister has been unemployed for a few months today I plan to encourage her with some of God’s truth about who she is in him and his plan for her!
I want to encourage others through prayers and scripture. Sending daily bible verses is a great way (:
Lilah Diggs says
I love that encouragement can be expressed in so many different ways. After 6 years of praying and hoping my friend would know Jesus, she gave her life to Christ at the end of 2018 (Praise God)! It’s so exciting to see her ask me questions about how being a Jesus follower works. I see her with this longing to love others but like any other person, struggles to love those who don’t deserve it. I’m encouraging her by talking to her about the way God loves us. We didn’t deserve to have Jesus take our place on the cross but because of who He is, we’re alive and free. I like to send her messages about the different ways God has shown us love and because of that, we’re able to love anyone with His power. If nothing else, I want her to know that she doesn’t have to do anything on her own strength, even love. She is on her way to becoming a well-watered woman and I’m so excited to encourage her for life! Friends that pray, worship, laugh, serve and cry together, stay together!
Our discipleship group has been sending out personal cards and not explaining ourselves. Just to say I’m thinking about you or whatever it may be.
Honestly, I’m wrapping up a full day of moving and will have another one tomorrow, so I’ve been overwhelmed this past month trying to get everything done.
I’ve been trying to offer encouraging words when I notice someone doing something well. An encouraging word goes a long way on a rough day!
Thanks for an opportunity to win! I keep trying to get this Bible.:)
This is so timely for me, as I want to isolate myself in a crazy time of life. I need to be more intentional about finding and maintaining Christian friendships so I have people to lean on and support at the same time.
Kim Guined says
I have asked God to let me see Him in every situation this year and I have recently been put in a situation that has led me outside of my comfort zone and I have definitely seen God in places I didn’t think I would and I want to reach out to others. Lord willing I want to start some nursing home visits and sending out hand written notes to others. I love encouraging people.
Kayla Billings says
One of the things I am seeking to do this year is live into my word of tolerance. There are times where I really struggle to give people the benefit of the doubt and lift them up. Knowing that the week ahead will be busy, I am going to specifically work to build up, in person, two of the people that tend to get the least amount of tolerance from me by sharing the gifts I see at work through them.
My sister is getting remarried. Her first husband cheated on her with one of her best friends. After going through this she swore she would never marry again, I cried that night because I knew that God had a bigger plan for her. Now she is engaged and is planning her second wedding. Although there is so much excitement and redemption in the process there are still very raw emotions attached. I have been trying to encourage her to draw into God’s love and find her value in being a child of God rather than other titles (sister, daughter, ex-wife, fiancé, friend, etc).
Lisa McKee says
Love sending a card or note
Some friends of mine had a hard couple of days. I’m going to try my best to bodly encourage them with words of truth and kindness
Dolores F. says
First of all, thank you for the opportunity to win a bible!!! I have just started a study group with a few friends and I am really looking forward to build our friendship up and what better way than to center it around God!!! In our group we build each other up and encourage each other to build a stronger relationship with Him…as women we need to encourage each other every single day!!! I believe this bible will help me on my journey and it will let me dive deeper into my studies and help me gain more understanding. Thanks again for the opportunity!!!
Lilah D says
I love how many different ways there are to express encouragement to others. After 6 years of praying, one of my dear friends gave her life to Christ at the end of 2018! It is so exciting to see her ask me questions weekly about how being a Jesus follower works. I’m usually more of a listener than a talker because I never want to make it seem like I’m expressing judgement over compassion, but she’s been genuinely curious about the things I’ve learned in my walk. So my way of encouraging her this week is to be vulnerable in the ways God’s helped me so that she might have hope that he’ll do the same for her! There’s power in honest and vulnerable friendships. If nothing else this week, I want her to know that she never has to do anything on her own strength or alone thanks to Jesus.
First of all thank you for such a wonderful opportunity!!! I love to encourage others to be the best they can be. I love to lift others up and to help build them up when they are down on themselves. I just started to study my bible more and I joined a bible study group to help me along my journey. I believe this bible will help me along the way so that I may be of service to others, the same way these ladies have helped me. Thanks again for the opportunity!!!
Cielo Cournoyer says
The best way I can boldly encourage others is to sit and listen, not trying to fix a problem/situation/or putting a silver lining on anything, but showing empathy by being there, physically and mentally, through the good and the bad.
Cielo Cournoyer says
The best way I can boldly encourage others is to sit and listen. Not waiting to reply, solve the problem or put a silver lining on it, but, as uncomfortable as it might feel, it’s braver to sit with others, through the good and the bad, and be present.
I just wrote a letter to the five compassion girls that I sponsor (three a sponsored, two I just write letters to and someone else sponsors). They have changed the format to online preferred to make it easier and faster, but I still hand write my letters. I want my girls to know that they are worth the time and effort it takes to write out a letter. That they matter enough to think about what I am going to write and to dedicate the time to do so. I make sure to encourage them in their school work, in their prayer life, and in whatever hobbies/fun/dreams they have shared with me. I love that they share what they are learning at the CDCs and their favorite Bible verses, and I make sure to share mine back with them. For me, it is less about the money and more about the connections.
Amanda Jobe says
Today, I am delivering a note to encourage our neighbors who just lost a pet. They rescue older dogs and give them a home, so they have lost 3 dogs in 5 years. I want them to know how special we think they are for caring for pets other people might overlook.
I can encourage others by boldly choosing to be present–when it’s easy and when it’s hard, being there for others, physically and mentally, sharing life.
Kelsey Ray says
This past week my church has struggled to figure out how to have discipline in our Wednesday night children’s program. I am a teacher of the 4th-6th graders. Our small town, with only 1500 people, has many kids in poverty. Many of the kids we see on Wednesday nights, have parents that don’t care, parents that can’t provide, and parents that try hard but their child has a disability that causes them to not behave like other child do. This week I want to boldly reach out to the parents of these kids and help them in some way.
I currently have the flu. This is a good reminder to reach out to others as you never know what one is going through. A kind word, a meal, a card. There are so many hurting people that need a friend to come alongside them. May we be the ones who come from behind and help lift the arms of those that need someone to hold their arms up.
I could encourage a friend by making the first move and scheduling a day to meet up. We always say “we should get together soon,” but then months will fly by without it happening. I could be stubborn and say “I reached out last time, it’s her turn” or I could just follow my conviction right then and send a quick text with some calendar options.
God gave me the gift of encouragement. I’ve used it for Him often. People always say “ your so encouraging”. But lately, “Life” kicked me in the guts a few times too many. Instead of seeing the good in others and championing it, I find myself guarding my heart and feel quite disallusioned with people. BUT.., I want to find joy in serving again. I want to be vulnerable and encourage often. I want to “ fan into flames” the gift she has given me. I’ve stumbled onto your group, and I know God has placed me under your wisdom for this time. So I would love your in courage devotional bible, and I do look forward to your teaching I friendship. Thankyou x
Linda somerton says
I do not really have any true friends so this study would really be good for me . .
Hauna Sheppard says
At the start of each day I am selecting an old friend – one i hven’t Spoken to in a while – and sending them a message to say, “Hello” and let them know I am thinking about them and praying for them.
I need more encourage in my life to service God’s word and his will. I want to be the muster seed to my husband and family , also friends.
Moving away from my church has been hard. Having fear in my heart kept me from God’s word and his will. But meeting with a church leaders, help me to have the encourage go to woman bibles and Church service. The best part is finding online bible study group through (in)courage and dayspring. God working in my life and praying for thankful, blessing.
Michelle Vasquez says
I’m going to make a plan to encourage my two daughters-in-law!
Terisha Villarreal says
I can encourage my friends by keeping in contact with them regularly letting them know I am there for them. Sharing with them what I read each day. Just calling them up and inviting them to coffee or lunch.
Living in and appreciating the “now” that we are given is my current means of encouraging… whether it’s celebrating simple joys in my photography or in helping family members and appreciating moments with a dementia-limited parent, or with continuing sweet friendship by phone for a bestie who was considering moving back but will stay out of state to be near grands, or claiming promises in prayer with a heart-heavy friend and trusting God to complete the work He has started in her family.
KRISTIN SMITH says
I serve best with food! 🙂 So I had an opportunity to encourage a family this week by preparing a meal for them. It is a gift to me and a way to use my gift of service to help someone else. I will look for more opportunities to do that this week!
Have been wanting to join your Bible study but don’t have your Bible. It would be amazing if God had you draw my name for one of the five you are giving away.
Abigail Marks says
Text one of my mom friends to encourage them and tell them something beautiful I see in the way they love and train their kids! I love that the bible tells us to encourage each other daily!
Rachel newcomer says
I’ve just joined the in courage community! I love God’s word and the more I read it, the more hungry I am for it and the more I want others to know! To love God is shown by loving others!
Robin in New Jersey says
My plans for this next week are to pray for and send notes to those the Lord brings to mind each day.
Loree Van Gelder says
I was just telling a young woman about this Bible this week. She’s just learning about God, has never been to church or read a Bible before. I was sharing about God, His love & salvation through His Son Jesus. She’s very excited to learn more & this Bible would be amazing for her to learn who God is by reading all the devotionals.
Cecily Bornemann says
I can encourage someone by words of affirmation and expressing my thankfulness to my friend.
Any S. says
I plan to be more intentional with looking around me to the people I would naturally and daily encounter to purposefully find ways to encourage them. Sometimes we get into autopilot with our life or are too focused on our busy schedules that we forget to look around.
I have been using this bible for a few months and have been working through the Better Together online devotional. If I won, I would gift it to my sister who is going through a rough time.
Misty robinson says
This week I will encourage a church bus girl, a young married woman, a widow, and a prodigal child’s mother. I was/am one and I make it my mission to encourage them weekly if not daily so that God may get glorified through my trials! Thank you for this awesome opportunity!
I try to be ready to listen and pray with my co-workers any time.
Instead of just saying, “I will pray for you,” it’s always a blessing to stop and pray WITH them.
Nicole McQuary says
I feel like I can encourage other women by simply being real with them. Not acting as though, as a Christian, my life is all put together. I’m a mess sometimes and life is a mess sometimes – that’s why I need Jesus!!
Thank you for your ministry!!
Kristin Bush says
Encouragement often looks like just being there. When people know you’re there and you’re in their corner unconditionally, it’s encouraging. When you listen to their hopes and dreams, their trials and sorrows. When you share the burden. That’s how I encourage those around me. I choose to show up and in everything push them towards Christ so that they can experience God’s best and His love.
Encouragement goes so far and it’s so important for us women to keep encouraging others. I plan to write a few notes to college students away from home. Perhaps add in a gift card for coffee or snacks.
I want to encourage others who are going through the loss that I have recently gone through. I hope to encourage them through Christ that we can get through this.
Gina Fox says
I can let people know that I will be beside them no matter what. I will be the friend whom I would love to have. Each woman has a right to believe she is beautiful and a daughter of the King. They are all created on purpose and to be a community to each other.
Cassie Larson says
I’ll be attending a conference for preschool directors and can encourage those I meet. We can get negative and focus on griping instead of the blessings. I’ll be a table hostess and can have a sweet note at each spot every morning.
Thanks for the chance to win!
I always have big plans to leave encouraging notes in public bathrooms or in mailboxes at our church. This has given me the boost I need to actually follow through with that!
Cassie Larson says
I am going to a conference for preschool directors this week. I’ll be a table hostess and can have a sweet note at their spot each day and guide conver9to focus on blessings rather than gripes.
Cassie Larson says
I am going to a conference for preschool directors this week. I’ll be a table hostess and can have a sweet note at their spot each day and guide conversation to focus on blessings rather than gripes.
I always have big plans to leave encouraging notes in public bathrooms or in mailboxes at our church. This has given me the boost I need to follow through with that!
In the season that I’m in now, community and friendship is something that I’m having to intentionally seek out. I recently got married and moved to a new area and am in the process of trying to see God where I am now. This week I can encourage others by sending quick words of strength to others, maybe through a text or card. But it also challenges me to make a coffee date with a friend and catch up on life. To be intentional about friendship.
My son is going out on a limb today and doing his 1st dance competition. It’s a big deal for him and he is very nervous. Unfortunately my other son came down with the flu so I was unable to go with him. So I have been cheering him through messages all morning. Also sending lots of prayers his way.
Tami Theobald says
This study sounds fascinating. I try to encourage my friends with handwritten notes and often with a little happy in the mail. You can let this be anything. I choose fun and happy items. Also random texts!
This Study is so timely and perfect! I have 5 almost adult children that I disciple and encourage on a daily basis just by showing patience and a listening ear! I always feel that when they come home from along day in the world their home is a place where they are encouraged and loved right were they’re at! Sometimes they feel weighed down by the day and other time they have a day that is uplifting but whichever it was They can let all guards down and find peace when they walk through the door. so when they go back out they can encourage others and minister that peace and love to others!
Well I’m going to be checking in with all of my ladies who missed bible study last night and getting their prayer requests! There are a bunch who have heavy stuff they are going through so I’ll be asking about how we can meet those meeds
Life has hit my friend hard with troubled adult children. So painful. I’m going to send her a card to encourage her today.
Thank you for your ministry!
God bless each of you.
Tami Daniels says
I will send a card of encouragement to my friend in Seattle who is battling cancer including scripture to bring hope and courage!!!
Bessie Childs says
My life is hectic at best. It’s crazy and wild but through this crazy wild life I get to talk with people I never would. As a military spouse I encounter people from all walks of life, using my experiences as an 18 year spouse to encourage others and letting them know I’m praying for them is a simple yet bold step. Being someone the younger spouses can come to when life gets hard while our spouses are away is easy but being there for them when life makes no sense and being able to encourage them is a true blessing. This week as our current underway drags on I will take time to make sure our younger spouses are doing well and reach out to encourage them to keep strong and look to God for strength.
I often have someone come to mind when I listen to worship music. So I usually send them a quick text with a link to the song and just let them know I was thinking of them, and then chat a bit to get a sense of how they need to be encouraged further and prayed for. This article prompted me to finally reach out to a friend of mine who the Spirit has brought to mind several times the past few weeks but I kept forgetting to get in touch with her. She’s a busy mom like myself with little ones. I’m sure she could use some words of encouragement, prayer, a meal or something.
Nicole k. says
In this digital age, I send greeting cards with an encouraging note and bible verse to people I know are going through a difficult time. Sickness, a job loss, or even just an “I’m thinking of you” card. I pray a simple card can add a little bit of encouragement to my friends and family.
Bet Ausborn says
I have really enjoyed the Better Together “ study! I am looking forward to the next study! I am going to encourage friends to do this with me in my rider to
Get more out of it!
Peggy Roberts says
I encourage my son that God loves us and by worship and prayer he hears us and knows of our love of Him.
Christina Holland says
I am starting up a weekly group of ladies from my church to follow the (in)courage bible study so week can dig into God’s word and share and incourage each other.
SUSAN JOHNSON says
I try to encourage my co-workers daily by helping them to learn new things and this in turn helps the young children we teach together. Lead by example is how I try to live and has worked most of the time for me. I encourage my daughter to be whatever she want to be, no matter what others say. Another thing I do is leave notes of encouragement at home, work and places I go because you never know when someone might need a little pick me up.
Susan Johnson says
I encourage my family and friends through simple notes left where they can find them 🙂 I encourage my co-workers by letting them know I am there for them and this goes for the young children I work with as well, this helps them to learn empathy and how to listen to others and help without wanting anything in return.
I started a bible study a few weeks ago and this week I plan to encourage the group to start a study with the (in)courage Bible next!
Abby B says
I encourage my ladies by sending verses that are encouraging me throughout the week! It usually inspires a kick backvtext and starts a snowball of encouragement!
This devotional really spoke to me. I’ve been dealing with jealousy and it has harmed friendships because I don’t want to encourage them or reach out to them due to my envious feelings. This really convicted me and reminded me to love others and put their needs before my own.
So I am trying to encourage my Dad as he is in the battle of his life. He was diagnosed with brain cancer Jan 2. He has stage 4 GBM. I call and pray with him. Send him cards. Let him know we love him.
Carrie Smith says
My dad has stage 4 brain cancer which we found out Jan 2. I send him cards and call everyday to encourage him and let him know we love him.
My friend is writing a book and her deadline for the draft is coming up soon! I have been so excited for her to publish a book! I know she struggles with anexity, so sending her reminders of why she is writing this book and doing work for God could be a way to uplift her and encourage her this week.
Jade Harvey says
I hope I can encourage one of my friends who is also a new mom by getting her the opportunity to join this study if and when she wants to! I have found this study so encouraging esp. with my busy days with my two month old and I hope to give her the opportunity to feel the same.
Ann Spain says
I think this version is a nice read. Would love this for a dear friend going through a tough time in her marriage. It would definitely be an encouragement.
Deborah Wayne says
I was given this Bible by another lady here so that I could participate in this study. I have at least 3 friends I would invite to join here with us but like me can not afford to purchase. If I were to win I would gift it to one of them to encourage them as this study has been helping me. I want to thank all of you at (in) courage for all that you do for others. Also, as a substitute teacher I like to encourage the sad children and those that think little of themselves. So many hurting children in this world. I praise God that He has put me in this place to help others with encouragement.
Lisa batten says
After losing my Dad May 4th to a massive heart attack, I found myself sinking further down, everyday getting smaller and smaller. I was disappearing. I had no one to encourage me. No one to pray with me. No one beat down my door. No one sent a card. No one came to pray. Where were all the ones who were supposed to be there? I did not want to go on. If living was this way, then I did not want it.
The only encouragement I had was God’s Word. And it ended up being enough. Out of that time,God birthed a vision and a dream in me so no woman would stand alone. Each week now I find someone to encourage. Someone to love on and share God’s Word with. I saw this Bible, and had it in my cart for weeks to buy. I cannot wait to own one. I love Denise Hughes, my Word Sister
Sandra Beckwith says
Being a friend is much more than walking with them thru difficult times. It is being a spiritual friend to walk thru those times when the devil seems to worm his way into our lives. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that stickers closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24. A friend is there in sickness and in health just as a married couple might do. The good thing about being a friend is I learn in the process as well of how a friend should be and my friend teaches me how it feels to be loved by a friend. It is a two way street!
Kristi Edwards says
I try to encourage people daily. I make sure I speak to them, by name. I engage in a conversation with them, yet brief at times. If I know of any situation that they may be dealing with, I try to let them know that they are not alone, that there is a reason they are going through this, and that I will be praying for them.
Linda Purcel says
I have enjoyed this past month’s study and am looking forward to the next one. I pray for people and I want to be able to speak when the Spirit says speak instead of being afraid. Sometimes all people need at that moment is someone who hears what they say and cares about them.
I want to encourage a friend who recently lost her mom.
Emily Callaway says
Hi my name is Emily. I was really encouraged by your post that fear lets those words not slip from my mouth. Sometimes I find freedom in being able to express, other times I fear I have already taken up someone’s time too much.
I remember once seeing the most beautiful elderly lady I have ever seen. How do I describe her wonder? Dressed in full lavender, coat and shoes, with long dangly silver and teal earrings and I’m sure lavender accessories to match. Lavender, by the way, my favorite color. The softest white hair. Her style was unmatched- I knew from the moment I saw her, wow. I aspired to be like her when I’m older. I aspire to be like her now, even.
Being so socially awkward, I snuck in a photo as she wasn’t looking! Her style, her confidence she exuded standing in the checkout line. I guessed she had probably lost both of her parents. I don’t know if she has anyone to tell her she looks lovely. I sure hope so. I paid her a compliment as she walked by me with her groceries in tow. I said “I like your outfit.” This compliment was accompanied by the quiet soft voice that I tried so hard to get out. She first walked past, unclear what I said, but then she turned around and asked what? I repeated it again.
I will never know the extent of my compliment; but one day I want to be like her – strong enough in my own mentally to grow old, and have things pass, and still be me. It is so easy to be swayed by this world. I’m so glad I had a picture of this wonderful woman.
Also I really need to encourage my mom. Thank you.
God bless you all.
Rebecca B says
I can help other women who are down by telling them that they are worth it. I will tell them to listen to what God is telling them. God is there. He is there and everywhere. He’s got us in our hands and we can find Him in the midst of our despair.
I want to encourage a friend who is going through a hard time. I’m not quite sure what to say yet. This will take boldness and courage and help from the Lord! But I believe God has placed this friend in my life for a reason, and I want to be there for her in her time of crisis.
i hope to win this bible for my mom who wants to dive into God’s word!
i can encourage my friends and family daily by praying for them and being there for them how ever they need : )
tina smith says
I try to be encouraging on a daily basis. I post a thought of the day on social media hoping to inspire and encourage others. This week I want to encourage my niece and remind her of God’s love for her So I will send a card of encouragement. I am enjoying the Bible Study just finished Better together so I am looking forward to this next one. I am using the kindle version so this would be a blessing.
Linda T says
Thanks to the convenience of texting, I like to send out a scripture verse and a short word of encouragement to my friends. Also handwritten notes and cards are a tangible reminder that our friends are important to us as well.
Vanessa Ortiz says
I will like to keep incouraging my Marine son and fellow Marine’s Moms.