Make Over My Mouth Project 2012: Elizabeth, the Excellent Encourager

Maternity Curves 

Imagine you’ve just discovered you are pregnant. You are engaged to be married, but your fiancé is not the father of the baby and you’re quite certain that when he finds out you will no longer be engaged. You have not done anything improper but no one believes your story. You really need some encouragement, but where can you go for support?

Of course this is Mary’s story. 
Who needed encouragement more than Mary when she was faced with being an unwed mother in the first century? Mary ended up going to her relative Elizabeth who was also experiencing a miraculous pregnancy.
As we read this story, we can see that Elizabeth was an Excellent Encourager. What can we learn from her?
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Luke 1:39-45 NIV
Here are 6 Principles of Encouragement from Elizabeth’s example:
  1. Use your experiences to encourage people going through similar circumstances. Mary went to Elizabeth because the angel had told Mary that Elizabeth was also pregnant.
  2. Rely on the Holy Spirit—do not offer comfort or advice on your own. Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (v.41).
  3. Speak God’s blessing on others. Elizabeth told Mary, “Blessed are you among women!” (v.42).
  4. When encouraging others, put the focus on them and not yourself. Elizabeth was the elder, but she declared she was honored to have Mary visit (v.43).
  5. Tell others the positive effects they have on your life. Elizabeth told Mary how her own baby leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice (v.44).
  6. The most important encouragement is the encouragement of someone’s faith. Elizabeth told Mary she was blessed because she believed God’s Word (v.45).
How can you use these truths of encouragement this week?

photo credit