Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Fellowship That Leads To Encouragement

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We must be careful when we pull verses out of context and try to make too much out of them.  I pray I don’t do that – simply using the words of Scripture to encourage and give us something to think about as we go on our way each day.  Here is a word that encourages me and I pray it does you as well.

Paul is coming to the close of his letter (Epistle) to the Christians in Rome and he is trying to give them encouragement after giving them much instruction.  Encouragement can be so helpful.  When a team is going bad – encouragement can lift them to play better.  When a person is fighting depression – encouragement can help them fight through the down time and see the light at the end of the tunnel.  When a student is having a hard time focusing on material for a test – encouragement might be of help.  When someone is trying to accomplish a significant task – encouragement can help.  Who are you encouraging today?  Who’s walk in Christ are you trying to encourage?

So where are you today?  Someone just left my office this morning that felt encouragement from the worship service Sunday.  They were battling some thoughts and some possible illness – and yet the Holy Spirit spoke to them through our worship service Sunday and they were very encouraged.  In prayer this week and a prayer partner they rebuked the illness and now they feel very encouraged.

So where are you today?  A brother recently expressed battling with his feelings – and I have witnessed people giving him encouragement and calling on the Lord for him.  You know – it is really a downer when you think you are facing depression or trouble alone!  Thank God for community – friends and the Body of Christ (sometimes all three in one person).  It is because of our walk with Jesus – and we need to be reminded of this often – that we will never walk alone!  He has promised that if we stay focused on Him and keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

It is so important to be connected to a fellowship for worship and support/encouragement.  It is equally important to be connected to a small group of some sort so that a few people have your back spiritually.  Encouragement usually comes from those closest to us – are you connected to a fellowship – to a small group?  If not – ask me or call the office of your local church and get connected.  We are going to make a renewed push for small groups this summer to start in the fall.

So – be encouraged today – may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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May 8, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , ,

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