Sunday, September 1, 2019

Words that Fill Others with Courage

by Audrey Frank @audreycfrank

With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 32:8, NRSV).

Like a present wrapped in beautiful paper, tied with a silver bow, the Hebrew word for encouragement is a gift. Upon opening it, one discovers that it contains not just one treasure inside, but many. Sāmak in its fullness means to sustain, uphold; to lay (one’s hand upon); to be braced, be steadfast; to lean upon, rely upon, gain confidence; to strengthen, refresh (Kohlenberger III, John R, Swanson, James, A Concise Dictionary of the Hebrew, 1996). 

Think about it! The gifts of sāmakwe can give others with our words!

Sustain, uphold.

I once helped a friend complete a half marathon. We had already run many metaphorical marathons together as she made the brave healing journey from childhood trauma and abuse. On this day, she was bringing physicality to the race she had been running for years. Within a mile of the finish line, she began to weep, her body screaming that it could not finish. I laced her arm over my shoulders and ran her across the final distance. She was meant to finish that race and all it represented in her life. And I was meant to be there to sustain and uphold her so she could. 

Fellow writer, our words have sustaining, upholding power to lace weak arms across our shoulders and carry them across their finish lines. Perhaps someone is within sight of her finish line today and your words are meant to be the arms that uphold her across the final distance.

Lay one’s hand upon

As the king passed through our medieval city in North Africa, our son leaned forward on his Daddy’s shoulders to get a closer look. The King caught his eye, and seeing he was a foreigner, drew nearer. Laying his hand upon our little boy, he smiled broadly and spoke the traditional blessing of peace to him. The effect in the pressing crowd was communal; the joy of it spread to everyone. Our son’s favor with the king was talked about for a long time afterward.

Our words have the power to communicate the King of king’s favor to the individuals and the crowd. He is looking across the masses for those who will lean near and dare to look into His eyes. God can use our humble craft to lay His hand of blessing upon the small and the great. Perhaps today someone is leaning in, hoping for a glimpse of the King, and your words will be the means of seeing and touching Him.

To Gain Confidence

Many around us are falling away in the battle right now. Leaders in the body of Christ are abandoning their faith, and for every public figure who walks away, there are scores of unknown others following suit. We need confidence to face our great enemy. 

King Hezekiah understood this. When facing battle with the King of Assyria, he encouraged his people with these words in 2 Chronicles 32:8: “With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”

The words gave confidence to the people of Judah that day. They hold the same power for us this day. The Lord is with us to help us and to fight our battles. We can share these timeless words with our readers.

Let us use our words to sustain and uphold the weak with truth written in grace and strength. Through us, may the King of kings lay His hand upon those who draw near. As we write today, may we help the fearful gain confidence to face the enemy.

Lord, thank you for being with us to help us and to fight our battles. Write words through me that fill others with courage. Amen.

Words that Fill Others with Courage - @AudreyCFrank on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Her upcoming book, Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World, is an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available for pre-order now at

You can also find Audrey at, as well as on Twitter and Facebook


  1. I always look forward to your comments, Audrey. You write with so such grace and depth. Your words are always encouraging. Thank you.

  2. This is AWESOME! Thanks for writing and sharing it.

  3. With each post you share young lady, a bit of your heart comes with. A heart filled with God's healing love. Thank you ma'am; and God's continued blessings.