I have just watched the film trailer of Dunkirk. One of the screen shots is labelled with the phrase “Hope is a weapon“. During the past year I have learnt a lot about hope.
Hope is life-giving. Hope is not easily quantified. I have often described hope as a spectrum (a horizontal line). There is hope for eternity (one end of the line), but there is also the need for hope in this life, hope for tomorrow, hope for today and even just hope for now (the other end of the line).
Whilst the good news of Jesus Christ is an indestructible hope, we need to give sufficient hope to people where we find them. Here lies the sheer power of an encouraging word or a word of affirmation.
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12v25 (NLT)
The first type (encouragement) calls people to lift their chin and press on. This is the “You can do this” word.
The second type (affirmation) declares what is already present in that person which shows the world they are made in the image of God. This is the “You are this” word.
Both are weapons in the hands of the righteous. Encourage what can be, and affirm what is. People need the hope of both.
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12v25 (ESV)