Monday, January 16, 2023
Thessalonians 5:11, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
We all need encouragement, don’t we? We don’t want people to go around discouraging us, but many in our life it seems to be a mission they are on even when they don’t realize it.
The truth is that we need to encourage people in our life. All of us are going through something at some time and a good word here or there can make our day or break our day. Fact is that we all need each other.
There is a story in the Bible in 1 Samuel 30:1-20 which tells us, “but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” Do you realize that even if no one does encourage us when we need it we can be like King David and encourage ourselves in the Lord? They had come to Ziklag to find their wives and children had been taken captive and the people wanted to stone David. Then after this, the very same men that were about to stone David followed him and overtook their enemies and rescued their families. Have you ever thought about what happened here from going to wanting to stone David to following him and being victorious? Psalms 42: 5,11 tells us that David talked to his own soul (his emotions and his mind). “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why are though disquieted in me?”
Have you ever wondered why they used the term “cast down”? David was a shepherd and being a shepherd is important. A sheep that was “cast down’ was one that could not get up and would die if not helped up. So David used an analogy that he understand to explain that his soul felt “cast down.” He was feeling like he wouldn’t get up and yet if he didn’t he could die. David tells his soul basically to get up…and by that he encourages himself. Then he talks to God and tells God how he feels and why. (you do know you can tell God anything, ask anything, get upset whatever…God has heard it all and wants to encourage and help you in His timing and in His way).
In Psalm 103:1-2 David does not forget to bless God and he remembers all of his blessings and benefits. Psalm 34:1-3 David blesses the Lord at all times. This story means that no matter if it looks like your ship is going down and even if you see no way out (right now) praise the Lord with all your heart…for He truly hears you.
We all need encouragement in or walk through life, but there are so many places in the Bible that tell us that we also must encourage ourselves in the Lord. Even if no one encourages you. You can encourage yourself.
Praise God even in the rough times of life. We don’t get to go through life never having a difficult time about something. Paul was a man who did what he preached. When Silas and Paul were attacked and beaten (severely) and put into prison. They did not sit and whine and complain blaming God and asking God how this could happen to them. Instead, they prayed and sang praises to God Acts 16:22-25. Because of their actions, God sent an earthquake and the prison doors opened. They, however, didn’t run away as one would expect. If a jailer lost a prisoner, they were killed and I am sure that Silas and Paul knew this. Do you realize even when we see something as bad God can use it for good. They didn’t run away and something good did happen that day…The man/jailer that was in charge, and his family accepted Jesus as their Lord and became Christians. We just never now what will happen in life in our dark times of problems, but we can always know that God is there for us and that He loves us. God is always working behind the scenes. But know this also that God doesn’t take every bad thing out of our life. We live in a fallen world and because we do…we might have things happen in our life that we really didn’t want to go through.
If you feel like you sinking in the circumstances of life…Talk to Jesus. If you really want and desire to rejoice always in any circumstance, God will enable you and I to get through whatever comes our way. We can, at times, see good come from whatever circumstance we find ourselves, and if we are really honest with ourselves, how many of us would really rejoice if we had been whipped, beaten, and even tortured? Not many I would think, yet these two men praised God even then. They should be an example to each of us.
When people are struggling and feel like giving up, it’s often not so much the result of the pressures “out there” as it is because they receive little if any encouragement from those “in here.” People need to be encouraged, and again, if they won’t encourage us…then you encourage yourself just like David did. I saw this statement and it is so true: “Living with the saints above may be glory, but living with the saints below is quite another story.”
When people are hurting, they need help, not criticism. You don’t have to agree with the person, but you sure can pray for them. And just so you know there are sinners in the church, but at least they are in the right place to get some help. The church should never make you feel worse than you do already for what you have done. God can help you no matter what your sin has been. Many have forgotten the instruction of the Word which says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:24-25.
Look around you each day and possibly ask yourself what can you do to encourage someone today. We live in a dark and evil world and to that person…your kind words might be the only thing they needed that day to stop their pain. How about Philippians 2:23 says “In humility consider others as more important than yourselves”. So each day ask yourself who needs a kind word (well, everyone does, but we know that doesn’t happen, but you can encourage someone). Your family, co-workers, friends, and those that you do life with daily. After all, what you say may be what it takes to give someone the strength to get up after he has fallen. We just never truly know the depth of what another one is going through or what they feel. We can care and we can at least encourage them.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 says basically, “If you are willing, God will supply the right words”. The world is full of critics, the ones who are quick to point out your mistakes, but there are few real encouragers. You be that person that cares and at least tries to ease the pain of another.
Now, may the Lord be your encourager for you to also be an encourager for another. May the Lord bless you, guide you, help you with the right words to say, and may He give the person peace by your kind words, and peace to you as well.
God bless you.