"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Hebrews 3:13)
Every hour, on the hour
How often do you need encouragement? Hopefully as often as I give it. I'm not kidding. Encouragement is something needed by all and all the more as so little of it's in the air—in my opinion. I met a lady once who was battling cancer. Her head was wrapped in a cream colored cloth that hung down her back a ways. A dark band secured the material around her head. It was simply done, elegant and exquisite. Her demeanor was calm and she was kind. As we talked a moment, I looked at her and gestured with my hand and said "this", encircling it around my head, "is beautiful". Looking back, I realized that I didn't say she was beautiful (though she was attractive). Because I would have been giving her props that were reserved for her husband, in my opinion. And it wasn't that I wasn't willing to comment on her features. Just that she'd done such a beautiful job of covering her head, nothing more. So I told her this. To which she responded that I had made her day. She was genuinely touched. But I couldn't help it as her "inner beauty" led the way. God bless her.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
It really is this simple. God's done stuff for you and buoyed you in times of distress and anguish. You know what it feels like to both need and also to be supplied. And so you in turn give it out. I must confess, I haven't dealt with cancer personally (how clinical sounding). But I have felt the dull pain of a hopeless situation. One that God has delivered me from. I have something, by God's grace, to give.
"Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." (2 Corinthians 1:10)
I couldn't read any expression in the woman's face whom God used me to encourage. But her comment told me my words had effect. Even if you don't get a response from the person you uplift, encourage them anyway. Exhort them to keep their chin up. Your hortatory words will come around.