Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Together In the Valley"

"Together In the Valley"
   We all have times when we need the encouragement of others, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ.  As Solomon declared, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver" (Proverbs 25:11).  Sometimes we are the one administering the encouragement, and interestingly, we may often find ourselves refreshed by our own refreshing of others.

    "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

    When tempted to discouragement, we do well to remember that we are not alone in the challenge.  Others hurt also, and the love and power of Christ makes possible our own cross becoming the basis for others to experience our Lord's risen life.  Thereby we who feel weary and downhearted serve as His means to strengthen and revitalize those who feel what we feel.  Perhaps we pray for others, remembering that suffering establishes a powerful basis of intercession in our hearts.  Or we speak a helpful word, or perform a kind act that aids another traveler along the way.  However the Lord may work, offering ourselves to Him for others in times of our own need constitutes a response to the love of the Lord Jesus that reflects His presence, character, and nature in us.  "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway 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" (II Corinthians 4:10-12).

   The challenge is great, namely, to realize that our difficulties of discouragement call us not only to look to Lord for help, but to also arise in the determination to help others.  Rather than sink into paralyzing self-centeredness, the Holy Spirit works in us to arise and see the needs of others.  This is the love of Christ that led Him to bear His cross for us, and that leads us to bear our cross for those in need.  Thereby our Heavenly Father ministers to us as we minister to others.  We all experience similar paths that sometimes include sojourns in the valley.  Thus, we may all help each other to look up and see trials as opportunity to encourage others to embrace by faith the triumph of the Lord Jesus.

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
(Philippians 2:4)
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
(Galatians 6:2)

Weekly Memory Verse
    And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True.
(Revelation 19:11)

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