1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
My husband and I have noticed that every time a significant interruption occurs in our life it is usually followed by opportunities to share with and encourage someone else in what they’re experiencing.
The Apostle Paul, a seasoned Follower, experienced many troubles in his lifetime. He goes so far as to list them so that other Believers would know that his encouragement is trustworthy indeed!
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
And the one man who endured all of these things reaches the following conclusions:
- (God’s) grace is all you need. (God’s) power works best in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Corinthians 12:9-10)
- I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)
Jesus said plainly in John 16:33 - Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
We all are going to have troubles. And sharing freely how Jesus overcomes them for us encourages others and builds them up in their faith. And this is what Believers are instructed to do.
Thank you for the people in my life who speak your wisdom and your truth to me by their own experience. Thank you for Paul’s words encouraging us all. Help me to be an encouragement to others. And thank you for proving to me time and time again that this encouragement is real. Anyone anywhere can take my word for it, as I have seen firsthand, that your grace IS all I need. You do make me strong when I should be utterly weak. And I certainly can do all things because YOU give me the strength to endure and to overcome all the time. Thank you so much! I am not making this up; you really do these things for those who trust in you, and I am so very thankful! I love you and praise you and desire to be an encouragement today. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.