The past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom. 15:4)

IT”S HARD TO OVERSTATE the power of encouragement. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants once said, “I get a lot of encouragement, but I never got an overdose.” I think you would join me in saying, “Neither have we.”

Charles Dickens’ early life was not one that inspired encouragement and success. Because his father was imprisoned, young Charles had to quit school when he was twelve. He got a job pasting labels on bottles in a rat-infested workplace. In his spare time, he pursued his dream of becoming a writer, but one editor after another rejected his work. One day, however, an editor included a note in his rejection letter that told Dickens he was a great writer and that the world needed him. Imagine the encouragement Dickens felt upon reading that great compliment.

Fortunately, he didn’t give up. He endured and produced such masterpieces as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol.

Paul reminds us that the Scriptures provide endurance and encouragement, which lead to hope. The words of Scripture can strengthen your heart and lift your spirit. By reading God’s Word faithfully, you can fortify yourself against the discouraging storms of life. When circumstances beat you down, the Scriptures can build you up. Then, as the Word encourages you, you can pay it forward by encouraging someone else.

Draw encouragement from God’s Word then be an encourager to someone else today.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than twenty-nine years.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.