In the midst of difficulty, hurt, and disappointment, I’m constantly reminded of how important God’s encouragement is in life. Quite frankly, this world can be a challenging and painful place to navigate regardless of who you are. Some are challenged physically and others emotionally, but we can all agree that at times we feel an incredible weight. For Christians, that weight is something that can keep us from putting our passions and gifts into motion. When we stop putting our gifts and talents to good use, we stop glorifying the One who’s blessed us with everything that matters. Likewise, our lives often cease to attract non-believers during these periods of time. I mean how can Christianity be compelling to an outsider if Christians themselves are weighed down all the time?
I know that having difficulty and facing struggle is an inevitable part of living in this world, but it shouldn’t keep us from glorifying God with our gifts and talents, should it? Of course not, but it can be difficult to pull oneself up by the boot straps and “keep on keeping on” when troubles arise. But that difficulty is exactly why we need God’s encouragement. We are limited creations; not boundless or unfathomable. Romans 15 speaks to this need for God’s encouragement nicely and I think that verses 5 and 6 capture it nicely.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mindtoward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God’s encouragement gives a Christ-like mind so that we can glorify the Lord in whatever we pursue. That’s something to not only pray for, but to take heart in. Paul had written these words in a letter to the Roman church as they dealt with the hardships of persecution. If it helped them, I can guarantee that it will almost certainly be helpful to modern day believers as well. Truth be told, we needn’t navigate the difficulties of this world alone nor let them weigh us down.