It was Ravi Zacharias who said there will always be the need of encouragement to meet suffering in the world, because suffering is ever present.

When we finally recognise that suffering is something we carry about in our being, we understand the need of empathy; of understanding the impact of stressors on people, and their aggressive responses. We understand their implicit need of encouragement. And that’s how we love people – through anticipating some could appreciate the kindness of our encouragement.

Encouragement is given as a gift of our presence through a kind word, gesture, body language or deed, or combination of these. Kindness is never a normal, human default action. Kindness is always creative, an act of giving up part of ourselves for the other person.

The blessings unfold in encouragement because we experience God’s life and power when we choose to give such kindnesses. It’s living like we’re loved so much that that love overflows into the lives of others as love at least some, at the time, will need.

Few need encouragement all the time, yet many need it regularly, and there are always some who need hope to survive.

Experiences of suffering can never be good, unless we regard God’s use of them as instruments that forge compassion.

Suffering generates weakness, which becomes brokenness, which breeds compassion, because if we experience brokenness our hearts are opened to the brokenness probable in others’ lives. That upswell of empathy becomes compassion the moment we agree to do something God’s Spirit leads us to do.

One sure way to love others all the time is to imagine the struggle in their lives is real.
Living the loving kindness of encouragement is love on target, loving people especially when they’re needy. Such love misses no mark.

Sometimes the kindness we give is needed, and it’s okay – great, even! – when it’s not needed. There should never be a moment, however, where kindness is needed and we refuse to deliver when we could.

There will always be a need of encouragement, and such kindness will never return to the giver void.

If you need encouragement today, and there are some who’ll read this who do, God appreciates your faith in Him, the fact that you’re choosing harder responses through the strength His Spirit provides. Well done, good and faithful servant. God is teaching you an empathic love in your struggle that is worthy of the compassion of His Son.