The nicest thing that you can say to someone is only going to change that moment. The powerful things that God says to them will change their year. . .and their life. God speaks through His Word. His Word will bring about real relief. Practical, emotional, and spiritual wounds are treatable.
It was 10 years ago when I had a line of people trying to encourage me. But I was still miserable. I didn't feel better until God solved my problem. I had good days and appreciated kind words, but I needed my circumstances to change. I need God's power in my life, not just compassion.
Our best gift to hurting friends is to see them through to God's rescue, not just wish them well. Let's use His Word as a sword to stand guard over the vulnerable and wounded. Encouragement can shuttle someone into God's presence, so that they can hear His plan. His goodness includes real solutions, not just feeling content with our hardships.
We need to remind one another to boldly approach the throne of grace in our time of need.*
We need to remember that in this world, we may have trouble, but He has overcome the world.**