Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Encouraged By Encouraging"

Sometimes we feel the need for encouragement, and God sends it by His Word, His Spirit, His church, and other means whereby we are strengthened and refreshed.

Sometimes, however, He doesn't. Sometimes no cool breeze or cup of cold water seems forthcoming, and in such times, we can be sure that a different form of encouragement is at hand.

"For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you... Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes" (II Corinthians 4:11-12; 15).

The greatest encouragement we receive is that which we dispense to others. The strengthening that passes through us does so much for us personally because believers in the Lord Jesus have His love "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). It is therefore our nature to look upward and away from ourselves, and in such hearts, "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

When we feel cast down without reprieve, the Holy Spirit moves within us to direct our attention to the needs of some other hurting soul. We may only have opportunity to pray a prayer, but what an opportunity that is! Or we may find words and ways to reveal the living water of the Lord Jesus in direct ministry. Whatever the case, as our focus departs from ourselves unto the glory of God and others, our need for encouragement will either be reduced, or it will be supplied in the "more blessed" way of Christ's loving self sacrifice being ministered in and by us.

We thank God for those times in which He personally fortifies our hearts. And we thank Him when we are encouraged by encouraging. Both ways are the fruit of the Lord Jesus, whose lived His entire earthly lifetime in His Father's care, and in the glory of devotion to others...

"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many."
(Matthew 20:28)

"Walk, even as He walked."
(I John 2:6)

No comments: