Thursday, March 19, 2015

Encourage One Another: A Devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV).

Have you ever needed encouragement or do you need it now? We all go through times in our lives when we need someone to encourage us. You may be feeling that you need someone to encourage you right this moment. Problems, illnesses, money issues, and worries can totally overtake us so that we feel there is no hope. It is very likely that sometime in your life you will say, “Why is this happening to me?”.  Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33-34 NIV). Yes, you will have trials, but Jesus will give you the peace you need to get through it.

How you handle your trial and the way you show others that your faith has not wavered and that peace is still in your heart is a great witness to others who are going through a trial themselves. This trial and how you handle it with faith can show to others how Jesus can help them and give them strength also.

The point I am making is that you need to reach out to others after you have gone through a trial and help them. It is very easy to say to someone, “I am so sorry”, but if you can tell them that you have gone through it too and that God helped you and strengthened your faith through it, you can really show compassion to that person in a special way. There are so many people who feel all alone in their distress. You are the one who can be the beacon of hope for them, and you can tell them how His peace was there for you in the middle of your storm. As the above verse says, “we are to encourage the fainthearted and help the weak”.

The Good Samaritan story comes to mind. Here was a man who was lying by the road all beaten up and half dead.  There were several men who just passed him by and did not help him at all. But one Samaritan stopped, bandaged his wounds and took him to an Inn. (Luke 10) We are to be like the Good Samaritan. We are to help others and encourage them when they are fainthearted. Please do not walk by or ignore someone who is having trouble. Be the one to encourage, listen, and show compassion.

Dear Lord,
Help us to encourage one another and tell them how you helped us overcome despair by giving us your peace. Help us to share how faith in you has helped us get through our tough times. Give us a heart that is full of compassion.
In Jesus’ name,