Philippians 2:1-2 (NLT) Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Tenth Avenue North has a popular song that says – No man is an island, we can be found
No man is an island, let your guard down! You don’t have to fight me, I am for you. We’re not meant to live this life alone! Though true in theory it is not the reality of life and even church today. With many boundaries and borders in our love and giving, it seems as though island life is chosen by many. It is not what the Lord created and designed us for. People need the Lord. People also need people. It’s a fact foundation laid in the Book of Genesis and carried out through Revelation. “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
There is a reason why “iron is supposed to sharpen iron” as the relationships in our life break hard hearts and redesign life. There is a time and season designed for it. Relationships are like the pollination of a flower which is needed for plant reproduction. I have something to deposit in you for you for sound growth and strong development. You have something for me. Together people are to form a well-defined and awesomely working physique called the Body of Christ. Each piece and part empowered and infused by God’s Spirit with its own special work. There is the innate potential and divine purpose to become a mighty Kingdom which is powerful and strong against any enemy’s advance. It is called eternity and it is hidden in each heart. Faith activates these essential parts and motivates us to come together.
Is there encouragement from belonging to Christ? Is there? Do you feel encouraged today? Do you see a great future before you defined by hope? Are you excited to see what the Lord will do with His Mercy in this brand new beautiful day? Or are you tired? Worn out? Stressed to the max? Anxious about everything? Barely holding it together? Ready to give up? Unfortunately, most people identify with the end of these questions more than the beginning. Some days I do to despite my natural optimism. Everyone comes to the end of their rope tying a knot just to hang on – it resembles the end of self to run out of ordinary options.
Is there any comfort from His Love? Is there any fellowship together in His Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? What if that is what it is really all about? Coming to the place of needing other people? God has ordained us to be His Hands and Feet to emulate His Heartbeat to the world around us. Maybe it is up to us to get tired of the “island life” in order to accept encouragement and become encouragers. Perhaps it is in isolation that somehow the importance and necessity of relationship is discovered. I believe this to be true. I love to encourage other people. However, find it difficult to accept encouragement. I love to give yet find it tough to receive without feeling the need to reciprocate. Giving and receiving is part of sowing and reaping or planting and harvesting in life.
Proverbs 10:20-21 (NLT) The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
There is nothing like godly or godlike encouragement. When someone comes and speaks the right word into our life – the word that reminds us that it will be worth the heartache and struggle. The words the nudge us on so that we do not give up but choose to keep going just one more step. We take for granted the power of our words sometimes using them for means other than intended or withholding the very fountain of life that someone needs due to our own insecurities. Mark Batterson hints in his books that the words used every day are the seeds of miracles and I believe it. Your smile can change someone’s day by releasing the Light of His Love hidden in our heart. The words of the godly encourage many… What does it mean encourage? To encourage means to bring courage, spirit and/or confidence or to inspire. It is the very means to foster, promote or advance another with our words or actions. When was the last time you encouraged someone? When was the last time you offered the hope that you hold on to for them to grab hold of too? It’s a mighty big anchor with plenty of room for them, too! (Hebrews 6:19)
I Samuel 23:15-17 (NLT) One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him. Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.”
Every David needs a Jonathon. To every Jonathon there is a David. You have the words that will feed someone’s courage, strengthen them in their weakness, and pull them from the verge of defeat. You…yes you! Imagine Jonathon’s position. His father on the warpath bent on killing his best friend. Jonathon encouraged his friend in faith. He told him not to be afraid. He reassured him. He even reminded him of his calling. We all need encouragement from other people. Not necessarily affirmation, acceptance or even approval. These come from the Lord mixed in His Word delivered through other people. You are that person. I am, too. No one is called to be an island. We are all called to be encouragers.
Romans 15:1-5 (NLT) We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. (Romans 1:12) The Lord has given us the seeds that bear much fruit through His Spirit. We must grow where we are planted and spread life wherever we go. Paul wrote of his plan for his coming visit. To encourage each other. Not that he was coming only to encourage the people, but rather he also expressed his expectation that they would encourage him as well. The Word of God is an abundant resource of encouragement if believed enough to receive. To read, ingest and digest the Word each day gives us insight into the blessings, promises and favor of God hidden in this life, and it facilitates good news. Isn’t that what the Gospel is supposed to be? Good News! Even on my worst day, I still have Good News. I have victory no matter the odds stacked against me. I have blessings hidden in the Valleys filled with tears. I have promises uncompromised by all the problems that I see. While waiting patiently on the Lord, it is the encouragement of others that help us during such times of drought and famine. The people who take time out of their busy day to say, “God is enough! He is going to carry you through! He is your provider, defender, protector, healer, deliverer…and any other characteristic of His Abundant Nature you can think of. You do not know the true potential of the Gospel until you speak life into someone else by planting seeds of faith and allowing hope to grow in their life, too.
Isaiah 35:1-4 (NLT) Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”
My husband called me. I was quick to answer the phone as I really needed his encouragement at the time. I was feeling like an island alone and lost at sea. I am usually the encourager but for some reason I have struggled a bit lately with overwhelming anxiety. When I heard his voice, I could tell that he was in need of the same. As I began to remind him of God’s Promises for him, us, our family and life – I could feel hope rising up inside of me. He did the same for me. I cannot tell you what it feels like or how it works just that it does. When release God’s Word to another – it somehow feeds our soul, too. I need encouragement. You do, too. Today – why not try to encourage three people. It could be as simple as you look nice today. It may be as straightforward as “you are going to make it.” It doesn’t have to be a sermon or three-page dissertation. God has given us good news. It is more than enough to change people. It is all about His Unconditional and Amazing Love. Encourage someone today! Encourage me!
I Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.