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Importance of Encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5)

With the condition of the world around, is there anything to be happy about? In your daily life you face evil at almost every turn. Yet, as Christians, there is no limit to the blessings we have received and we have so much to look forward to! (Phil. 3:20, 21; 4:4) What, you might ask? There are at least three things to remember; Jesus Christ our Lord is coming, you are not a part of the world’s mess, and you have brothers and sisters that face the same trials.

First of all, you must remember that at any moment Jesus will return! (1 Thess. 5:2, 2 Pet. 3:9, 10) It is easy to fall prey to complacency especially considering that it has been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus ascended into heaven. Peter tells us, “… that with the Lord a day is a thousand years…” (2 Pet. 3:8). If you think that He’s not coming you make Jesus a liar. Peter tells us that He is not lazy in His promise of return. This being the case, do you really have time to be a part of the world? Absolutely not!

Moreover, knowing that Jesus will be here soon, remember whose side you are on. You are commanded to not be of the world, for this is not of your Father. (1 Thess. 5:5, 6; 1 John 2:15) We must resist evil that dwells in the world and not succumb to the lies being spewed. (Titus 2:11, 12) As a true disciple of Christ, remember that God did not select you to be destroyed like the world; rather He saved you through his son. (1 Thess. 5:9, 10) Now that is something to be excited about! If we walk with God in light we are free of the judgement to come. (1 John 1:7) This makes all the evil and worldly struggles worth it, because if we overcome them we will be blessed! (Jam. 1:12)

However, our responsibilities as Christians extend to more than just ourselves. We must not forget to encourage one another. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:14 we must, “warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” These are simply different types of encouragement. We encourage the rebellious to submit to authority. We encourage those who are spiritually tired. We encourage those who are weak. Encouragement should never be limited based on the situation but practiced always.

As you consider how much encouragement you do, remember that at some point we have all been in a state of weakness, need, and sin. Romans chapter three, reminds us that we are all sinners. Therefore, we should always be willing to give help and recognize when we need it. Like any kind of team, if we desire to be a strong and effective group of Christians we must always encourage one another. Remember that just as Jesus is coming to relieve us, the devil is hunting us. (2 Peter 5:9) Never forget that you have brothers and sisters who face the same struggle and are willing to help and encourage you whenever needed. (2 Pet. 5:8)

Be always vigilant, your brother,

Ryan Herring

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