Tag Archives: encouragement

You Never Know

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This passage brought to my mind this quote.  It is so true and something we often forget.  We know what is happening in our lives, and can get so caught up in it.  Sometimes we forget others may be struggling too, and how that may effect them.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 (CEV)

From Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

To the church in Thessalonica, the people of God our Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

When Christ Returns

My dear friends, we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time. That’s why we brag about you to all of God’s churches. We tell them how patient you are and how you keep on having faith, even though you are going through a lot of trouble and suffering.

11 God chose you, and we keep praying that God will make you worthy of being his people. We pray for God’s power to help you do all the good things that you hope to do and that your faith makes you want to do. 12 Then, because God and our Lord Jesus Christ are so kind, you will bring honour to the name of our Lord Jesus, and he will bring honour to you.

These verses are quite personal ones – greetings, prayers, thanking God for them and encouragement.

The Thessalonians are going through trouble and suffering.  How many of us are familiar with that!  We all have struggles and difficulties.  Some of us would never dream of letting others know, some are more open – but the reality is that we rarely know the truth of what is going on in someone else’s life.

But the author (and there is some dispute over who that was – but personally, I don’t think that effects the message) wants them to know that they are being prayed for, and what an example they are in the way they are dealing with what is happening.

This makes me wonder how much we pray for our fellow Christians.  How much do we support them and encourage them?  How do we enable them to live with the realities of their life, whether we know what they are or not.

I find this expression of prayerful concern a challenge to me – to pray for others – not just those whose needs I know about, but others too – those whose troubles and stresses I know little of; to encourage them, let them know how much difference they make in my life – and to allow others to do the same for me.

Song: Can I Pray for You

Thank you Lord
for all those around me
who show me you,
those who are faithful
to you
and to me,
and show your love.

I bring to you
those with their struggles and troubles;
those I am aware of
and those I will never know;
those I hear
and those I miss;
those broadcast
and those hidden.
Lord
though I may never know
what others are carrying,
thank you
that you do.
May I be faithful in remembering.

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Encouraging

Whatever you do in life, it is always so much easier if you have someone cheering you on and supporting you.  Everything from sport, performing, going for a job interview and even giving birth.  It is better to know there is someone on your side.

The writer to the Hebrews goes on with expounding the fact that Jesus has made the only sacrifice that is necessary, and nothing can keep us from the presence of God.  They then move on to the practical outworkings of that in the Christian life.

Hebrews 10:11-14 and 19-25

11 The priests do their work each day, and they keep on offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. Now he is sitting at God’s right side, 13 and he will stay there until his enemies are put under his power. 14 By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.

Encouragement and Warning

19 My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place 20 by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ himself.

21 We have a great high priest who is in charge of God’s house. 22 So let’s come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let’s keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water. 23 We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us. 24 We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. 25 Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.

As we live as a community of people of faith, we should be encouraging one another – cheering each other on.

Living out the Christian faith can be hard at times.  We need to support one another when the going gets tough, to encourage each other to step out and try things, to help remind each other what it is all about, to love and accept each other as we work it out together in our place and time.

So let’s get practical and specific:

  • How can we go about encouraging each other?
  • What can you do to encourage the Christians in your church and community?
  • What do you do to support those who need it?
  • DO we know each other well enough to know how to support each other?

Getting Measured

They say the measure of  a civilisation is how it treats its weakest members.  Quite a measure!

Paul asks the Thessalonians to remember them by how they treated them.  He asks them to remember how hard they worked, how they lived among them, how they treated them – teaching, encouraging and comforting them.  Showing them the way to live lives worthy of God.

I wonder if we were being measured by how we treated others, what the result would be.  How would people see us?  How would they see God through us?

Lord

when people watch me,

what do they see?

When they measure me

against you,

what is the result?

When they remember me,

do they recall a life lived worthy of you?

Do I encourage, comfort and teach

your way?

Lord,

I pray that it may be so.