8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world. 9 For God, whom I serve with my spirit in telling the good news about His Son, is my witness that I constantly mention you, 10 always asking in my prayers that if it is somehow in God’s will, I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I want very much to see you, so I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
In the passage above, Paul speaks of mutual encouragement and strength that comes from being with other believers. How often do you find strength and encouragement from other believers? Do you leave your LIFE Group strengthened in the faith? Ready to stand firm in the Lord? Are you intentional with the time you spend with your brothers and sisters in Christ? After you spend time with another believer, could it be said of your time that you “were encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine”?
It’s not a one-sided coin. We are to be encouraged, and we are to be an encouragement. Romans 15 puts it beautifully:
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.’ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:1-7 ESV)
Are you weak? Do you know someone who is weak? What is the remedy? Romans 15 talks about finding hope through Scripture and through endurance. All over Scripture there are traces of this type of encouragement. Do you need some encouragement today? Are you searching for strength to make it through the day? Look no further than God’s Word.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Read these encouraging Scriptures:
- “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114 ESV)
- “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.” (Psalm 130:3-7 ESV)
- Today as you seek to obey the Lord, pray for the Holy Spirit to bring to mind people you should encourage this week. You could send them a letter in the mail, or even a simple text message. Encourage one another in the faith. Spur one another on to good deeds.
- Look up encouraging verses for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Share a Bible story with them. Pray for those who have yet to believe. Pray for your Oikos.