Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Encouragement – the Goldy Thing to Do

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

RevRayEncouragement – have you ever given it or received it?  I mean – really – and if so – how did it feel?  Recently one of my daughters was going through a tough experience – and the family encouraged her to hang in and she did and she accomplished her goals.  I imagine the encouragement helped.  At times we just need to be encouraged – we need others to believe in us and to help us see the possibilities that we might not be able to see during tough times.

Can you remember the last time you gave someone encouragement?  Can you remember the last time someone gave you encouragement?  How did they make you feel?  Share in the comments section if you will.

Today’ passage speaks about encouragement – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Encouragement is very helpful.

Let’s look at today’s passage in partial context.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

The early Christians were going through a tough season for sure.  They were being persecuted for their faith.  Many were being put to death – while others were being beaten – imprisoned – and had family members taken away.  Some would be crucified – even in arenas while others watched and cheered.  Some would be thrown to the lions or do battle with gladiators.  It was a time when being a Christian – a follower of Christ – meant you would face or could face or probably would face severe consequences.

Paul was encouraging Christians facing these tough times by saying the end was coming – the victory in Christ was at hand.  In other places he writes that their suffering will only be for a short while – that the eternal victory would be theirs. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you facing a tough season?  Of course most of us are not facing nearly what the early Christians faced – but a tough season may be upon us.  Hang in there!  The time is coming when we will receive the victory – already won through Christ’s victory over the cross and the grave.  We will rest – eternally – with Christ soon enough.  Persevere and maintain your hope and faith – for remember He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  Encourage one another because it is the godly thing to do!

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

June 6, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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