How We Can Support Each Other In Our Moments Of Difficulty

As Christians we have the special role of stirring each other up toward love and good works. We both need to encourage and to be encouraged.

How We Can Support Each Other In Our Moments Of Difficulty

January 27, 2022

The soft ding from my phone across the room interrupted my train of thought. Turning from my computer, I picked up the phone and saw the notification. A friend had emailed me a Starbucks gift card. Not because it was my birthday. Not because I had done something for her. But just because she knew I needed encouragement.

I’d been stuck in a funk. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason. Nothing big or dramatic had happened. Just a lot of little frustrations. COVID and the weather had forced us to stay inside, creating cabin fever. God had not answered all my prayers in the ways I had hoped. Chance and circumstance had thwarted the progress of some of my personal projects. In every way possible, I felt stuck.

The words on the card, “You’re The Best ~ Just Saying”, echoed the reassurance she had given me earlier that week. Just a few hours later, another friend sent me an encouraging text. Her words also bolstered my waning confidence. 

My friends’ words of affirmation did more than lift my spirits, they encouraged me to push through the surrounding obstacles. A kind gesture from a loyal friend goes a long way.

I think the author of Hebrews understood this principle. As persecution against the church began to intensify, many of the early Christians felt tempted to return to their old ways of Judaism. After building an argument for the superiority of Jesus to anything they experienced in the past, the author encouraged these Christians to stay faithful. 

Although we don’t face the same level of persecution today, it can still be challenging to hold on to our faith during difficult times. To help each other not give in to discouragement, the Hebrews author gives us this instruction:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

The Greek word translated as “consider”, katanoeó, carries the idea of concentrating on a problem in order to figure out a solution. The words “to stir up” come from the Greek word, paroxusmos, which means to incite or to provoke. Although the verb can have negative connotations (we can provoke arguments or disputes), the heart of this instruction has a purpose. 

First we are called to help each other love. We can love a variety of things, but Jesus calls us to love God first and our neighbor second (Matthew 22:36-40). The Bible also describes many good works for us to do, one of which is to stay faithful in the face of trials (James 1:12). 

I love how this verse highlights both our need to be encouraged, and our need to encourage others. All it takes is our willingness to think carefully about what someone needs, and then to follow through with action.   

When my friends lived out this verse for me, they inspired me to follow their example. Focusing on how I can encourage someone else helped me get out of my rut.

All of us experience times when we need encouragement. Wherever my travels take me next, I pray to consider how I can stir others up for love and good deeds. As you travel your life’s path, I pray you can do the same. And through it all, may we help each other hold firmly to our faith in the One who continues to lead us home.

 

           

 

How We Can Support Each Other In Our Moments Of Difficulty

January 27, 2022

As Christians we have the special role of stirring each other up toward love and good works. We both need to encourage and to be encouraged.

The soft ding from my phone across the room interrupted my train of thought. Turning from my computer, I picked up the phone and saw the notification. A friend had emailed me a Starbucks gift card. Not because it was my birthday. Not because I had done something for her. But just because she knew I needed encouragement.

I’d been stuck in a funk. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason. Nothing big or dramatic had happened. Just a lot of little frustrations. COVID and the weather had forced us to stay inside, creating cabin fever. God had not answered all my prayers in the ways I had hoped. Chance and circumstance had thwarted the progress of some of my personal projects. In every way possible, I felt stuck.

The words on the card, “You’re The Best ~ Just Saying”, echoed the reassurance she had given me earlier that week. Just a few hours later, another friend sent me an encouraging text. Her words also bolstered my waning confidence. 

My friends’ words of affirmation did more than lift my spirits, they encouraged me to push through the surrounding obstacles. A kind gesture from a loyal friend goes a long way.

I think the author of Hebrews understood this principle. As persecution against the church began to intensify, many of the early Christians felt tempted to return to their old ways of Judaism. After building an argument for the superiority of Jesus to anything they experienced in the past, the author encouraged these Christians to stay faithful. 

Although we don’t face the same level of persecution today, it can still be challenging to hold on to our faith during difficult times. To help each other not give in to discouragement, the Hebrews author gives us this instruction:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

The Greek word translated as “consider”, katanoeó, carries the idea of concentrating on a problem in order to figure out a solution. The words “to stir up” come from the Greek word, paroxusmos, which means to incite or to provoke. Although the verb can have negative connotations (we can provoke arguments or disputes), the heart of this instruction has a purpose. 

First we are called to help each other love. We can love a variety of things, but Jesus calls us to love God first and our neighbor second (Matthew 22:36-40). The Bible also describes many good works for us to do, one of which is to stay faithful in the face of trials (James 1:12). 

I love how this verse highlights both our need to be encouraged, and our need to encourage others. All it takes is our willingness to think carefully about what someone needs, and then to follow through with action.   

When my friends lived out this verse for me, they inspired me to follow their example. Focusing on how I can encourage someone else helped me get out of my rut.

All of us experience times when we need encouragement. Wherever my travels take me next, I pray to consider how I can stir others up for love and good deeds. As you travel your life’s path, I pray you can do the same. And through it all, may we help each other hold firmly to our faith in the One who continues to lead us home.

 

           

 

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1 Comment

  1. Margaret Kemp on January 28, 2022 at 6:48 PM

    A good reminder to look for opportunities to love and encourage one another!

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