Paul had not met the Roman church before he wrote this letter, but he had heard of the challenges they faced, and he wanted to encourage them. Paul’s greeting highlights three things we can do to encourage one...
Paul had not met the Roman church before he wrote this letter, but he had heard of the challenges they faced, and he wanted to encourage them. Paul’s greeting highlights three things we can do to encourage one another daily: 1) recognize and celebrate when reliance on Christ gives others the strength to overcome troubles; 2) offer prayer and help for others when they face trials; and 3) use our gifts to be a blessing to others.
Can you think of folks who have been an encouragement to you over the years? Do you remember how it felt to be uplifted through their words? When I moved to Dallas seven years ago, I left my church and community back in Michigan. I did not find a new church community right away and soon focused on my career aspirations and goals instead of Christ.
As my career consumed me, God began putting Christians in my life. He knew I would need them. After a couple years of pursuing my image, God’s purpose for those Christians in my life became clear when I began to experience severe anxiety and panic attacks. Those friends were by my side offering help as I faced my fear of failure. They prayed for me and helped me connect with others at church. They urged me to seek recovery from the sin and idols in my life. Even after my recovery through Christ, they remind me of how I have been blessed through my story, spiritual gifts, interests, passions, and resources, and how I can be a blessing to others.
Often, we are too focused on ourselves and fail to see opportunities when friends or strangers could use a word of support or a hug. Most of us hear or feel very little encouragement in our lives, whether we are at work, home, or church. The Bible directs us to encourage one another daily, and yet we usually pass by opportunities. Words of appreciation, gratitude, and affirmation cost us nothing, but are often priceless to those who hear them. Who do you know that needs the priceless gift of encouragement today?