Friday, August 24, 2012

Encourage One Another

In Search of Fellowship: Part 3

  I don’t have to tell you that life is hard.  Let’s face it tough times are a fact of life.  From financial pressure to medical problems to relationship difficulties to the death of a loved one we have all faced some sort of hardship.  The Christians who originally received the book of Hebrews as a letter understood tough times.  They had already lived through one persecution, but were weary and ready to give up when a second round of persecution hit.  These were people willing to throw away everything in order to escape a second round of suffering.
It is little wonder then that the writer of Hebrews tells his readers twice to encourage one another.  In Hebrews 3:13 he writes; But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. The writer doesn’t say to tell each other to hang in there, but he tells them to encourage each other daily.  We have to be on the lookout for how we can encourage one another everyday.  Why?  We need to encourage one another every day because life is tough for someone every day.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to write; Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching ( Hebrews 10:25).  Part of finding encouragement is being dedicated to meeting with other followers of Jesus Christ.  We can’t lock ourselves away in our rooms and expect people to come and encourage us.  Being encouraged is the result of intentionally being around other people.  Since we cannot guarantee that encouragement will happen when being with other Christians we need to remember to find ways to encourage those people we encounter, whether it is a kind word or a smile or seeking them out and saying hi.
Encouragement is about letting people know that no matter what happens they are not alone.  I know I gain courage and confidence when I remember that I have people who love and accept me no matter what may happen.  Encourage someone today, remind them that they are not alone.


Juliana Leslie said...

Thanks for this!!

Paul Steele said...

Thanks for reading. I am so glad that you found this post encouraging.

lisa croker said...

Paul, I totally agree as I have done with part 1 and part 2 also.
That scripture sums up these friendships I have shared about in the comments on posts 1 and 2.. encouraging each other daily to literally stay on the pathway! when going through a dessert time there feels sometimes like a war is waging and you have to cling on - other times the walk is easier! its in both times however we need people to encourage us AND we need to encourage others as it lifts us to do so.

Could I make one small point? I used to think people who say they can't come to feelowship were just rebells... until I took very ill and forced myself for a long time to go to all the meetings etc but it didnt do anything to help me in and of itself and I eventually accepted the opinion I already had which was even being expressed to me from those in my Church - that if I don't go I am walking away on God and sinniong and being disobedient etc. and so I felt like i had lost my salvation even... becasue I physically was confined to bed. but God? He saw my heart actually was for Him and I wanted help and had asked for help and true fellowship and attending meetings wasn't the only way I was gonna get it(and when I was betetr I would attend again) so He graciously brought people to me... via phone and skype when I couldnt bear to be seen even... and we started walking through this thing in a deep and prayerful and loving way and it began to bring healing for a start but it also showed me that sometimes when people can't get to YOU for fellowship its not always 'cos they refuse to be honest or they are in rebellion... sometimes they are just at rock bottom and just as Christ came TO us... we can go to them.

The sick, the bereaved, the new mother, the elderly, the handicapped! you know? how to house bound people get fellowship if we confine it to them having to come to our 'fellowship meetings?' boy did He ever break open my eyes when I found myself in that boat :)

Thought I would just share! xx

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