Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1Thessalonians 5:11
As we go through our Christian journey, our faith will be shaken at some point. No believer is immune from this spiritual crisis. It does not matter the level of our spiritual maturity, the vicissitudes of life will cause our faith to be shaken. Therefore, we need other brothers and sisters that will encourage us to stay the course and trust in the Lord despite our circumstances.
Many Christians have lost their way when their faith is shaken. In the absence of an encourager, an immature believer can become cynical when his or her faith is shaken. Our ministry to others in the body of Christ is vital for their spiritual survival and the wellbeing of the Church of Jesus Christ.
God has used many saints to encourage me when my faith is shaken. He has a way of sending the right person at the right time with the right words of encouragement to help stir up my faith. The stirring of my faith has fueled my worship and enriched my ministry.
When Elijah’s faith was shaken, God sent an angel to encourage him. Paul had Barnabas, Timothy, and Silas. He exhorts the Thessalonians to encourage one another and build one another up because he knew the road to glory can be perilous.
When a brother or sister in our sphere of influence has gone astray, we should not be quick to criticize or speculate. Instead, we should search within ourselves and wonder how we could have encouraged that individual to stay the course. Over 200 pastors leave their pastorate every month. Years ago, I asked the Lord how I could encourage these pastors, and the Lord gave me this writing ministry. My hope and prayer are that I would make the life of these discouraged and overworked pastors a little easier by providing them with some resources to help them prepare for their Sunday sermons or Bible study lessons.
It takes all hands on deck to help the body of Christ to do its great commission work. Every believer is called to the ministry of encouragement. We should predispose our minds to affirm others and empower them through words of encouragement. After all, it is in encouraging others that our souls can become encouraged.
In previous devotionals, I talked about a dear friend who is incarcerated in New Jersey. That brother has been in prison for over 18 years for a crime he did not commit. The Lord has used me throughout these years to encourage him so he would not lose his faith. He has been using my devotionals to encourage others in prison. When I asked where he finds the strength to help others giving his predicament, he reminds me it is the sick that needs a doctor.
During these challenging times of pandemic and social unrest, many people are experiencing the shaking of their faith. Whereas we may be tempted to dismiss the mental, emotional, and spiritual anxiety of these people as we focus on our own traumas, we have to be grateful to God for the privilege to fan the flame of faith of others. When we encourage others, we are investing in our own spiritual account that will pay dividends unto eternity.
So take the time to check on someone you have not heard from in a while. Be an encourager to those who are going through difficult times. Share you Jesus-joy with others so they can weather the storms in their lives. The faith that you help to strengthen may be the faith that will help you through a life crisis.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I am praying for brothers and sisters who are struggling in their faith walk. Give them the strength to trust in you as they continue to press toward the mark to get their heavenly crown, in Jesus’ name.