Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. –1 Thessalonians 5:11
We are all on the journey as Christians. Along the way, we experience different levels of spiritual maturity than others and face circumstances that provide opportunities for moving ahead or falling behind in our Christian lives.
From time to time, to one extent or another, we all struggle with who we are and who we want to be. We wonder how our lives have come to be the way they are and how they might otherwise be different if we had made different choices along the way. We question whether or not we are living out the life God intends for us and whether we are making any impact through our lives.
As a worker who telecommutes from home, a thousand miles from the office, I have on occasion, questioned the impact I have through my ministry. Once, while I was relating my journey to a friend, he responded with a shower of affirmation. My mood and outlook were affected tremendously! I walked away from the discussion feeling completely different about my situation!
One of the big jobs–and blessings–that we as Christians have been given is that of building up and encouraging fellow believers. Affirming God’s work in others is a powerful way to do this! When we come alongside others and say things like: “I just want to tell you how I see God using your life…” or “I know this season of life is rough, but you’re going to get through it,” not only do we impact others, we also remind ourselves of the power and grace of Christ to make a difference in our lives, causing us to survive and flourish in our own faith.
Our faith is a response to God’s work in our lives. Therefore, it should not be a source of pride in our lives, assuming that we’ve arrived. On the other hand, our faith should not be a source of pain when we understand how far we fall short. Rather, our faith ought to be a tremendous source of comfort, confidence, and assurance as we look to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. When we understand God’s perspective that faith is His work, we have freedom to be the man or woman God has intended us to be and we escape from the tyranny of spiritual paralysis.
Today, whatever your life situation, be encouraged by a fresh understanding of the freeing love of God in a new and powerful way in your life.
1. Reflect on a time when someone’s encouragement made a positive change in your life and faith.
2. Who needs your encouragement today? Affirm God’s work in her or his life!